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Football goes to market

The modernisation of English football in the 1990s has produced winners and losers, echoing the market revolution of the 1980s. The gentrification of the game has alienated a minority within football's heartlands, but that New Football is still better than Old Football

The condition of football in Britain has changed beyond recognition during the 1990s. Nowhere provides a better illustration of this than Sunderland Football Club. At the beginning of the 1990s the Wearside club was in a similar position to many others in the country’s industrial and sporting heartland: it was playing dour football in front of dwindling crowds in a dilapidated stadium. With the northeast in recession and football still struggling to overcome the traumas of the late 1980s-culminating in the death of 96 Liverpool fans at Hillsborough in 1989-there was little hope that things would get any better for…

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