Board members, fans or foes? Research on board members in Dutch professional football organizations since 1955
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Using data collected from club archives, year books and websites, this thesis demonstrates that the composition of the boards of Dutch professional football clubs between the start of professional football in 1955 and 2015, correlates with the (still increasing) commercialization in football. In order to give a clear view of this historical development, the backgrounds of over 400 club directors (during 1955, 1970, 1985, 2000 and 2015) of the ten most successful clubs of the Netherlands are taken into account. In addition, this study provides a contextual explanation for this alteration and shows how this development relates with the theories on social capital of Coleman, Bourdieu and especially Putnam. Whereas football clubs in 1955 were mostly inside oriented (looking for social capital in their football habitus itself) clubs anno 2015 are much more intertwined with business, politics and society as a whole. This thesis shows that i.a. the introduction of (shirt)sponsoring, the ‘explosion’ of the transfermarket after the bosman-arrest and the live broadcasting of football matches on television influenced the composition of boards in Dutch professional football.