Published on 13/11/2023
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Society Matters
  • Join Dr Danny Fitzpatrick as he explores why football is becoming more political in the 21st century
  • Danny's talk will dissect how political theory provides a robust, theoretically-driven insight into our current political landscape.
  • Political Football – Why has the ‘beautiful game’ become so political? will take place on Thursday 30 November at Café Artum in Hockley Social Club.

Tickets are on sale now for the final Society matters LIVE event of 2023.

Political Football – Why has the ‘beautiful game’ become so political? will take place on Thursday 30 November is free to attend and brought to you through a collaboration between Aston University and Café Artum at Hockley Social Club.

The speaker is Dr Danny Fitzpatrick, lecturer in politics, history and international relations at Aston University, co-founder of the Football Collective and co-convenor of the Political Studies Association Sport and Politics specialist group.

Danny's talk will explore how political theory and better understanding of the political climate may help to save the beautiful game from being engulfed by the culture wars. Discussion and debate by the audience will be encouraged.

Danny said:

“The old saying that ‘sport and politics should not mix’ has never seemed more anachronistic. 

“Sport is now replete with political activism and controversy: from the athlete activism of Marcus Rashford, Le Bron James, and Megan Rapinoe to the reputed ‘sportswashing’ of Saudi Arabia’s human right abuses, or the charged debate on the inclusion of transgender athletes.

“While it's true that politics and football have always overlapped, it also does seem that in recent years, football has become hyper politicised in terms of geopolitics and also the ongoing culture wars. 

“Stepping back from the current heat and controversy, we're going to try to put this relationship into some perspective and think about how we might reconfigure it in the future.

“I look forward to welcoming you to my Society matters LIVE talk for an evening of thought-provoking debate.”

Tickets are free but must be booked in advance. Sign up for your place here.

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

For over a century, Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.

Aston University’s history has been intertwined with the history of Birmingham, a remarkable city that once was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.

Born out of the First Industrial Revolution, Aston University has a proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875, the first UK College of Technology in 1951, gaining university status by Royal Charter in 1966, and becoming The Guardian University of the Year in 2020.

Building on our outstanding past, we are now defining our place and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and beyond) within a rapidly changing world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7446 910063 or email:

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Sue Smith,
Head of Press and Communications


Sam Cook,
Press and Communications Manager


Nicola Jones,
Press and Communications Manager


Helen Tunnicliffe,
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