‘Rugby Reloaded’ this week talks to Professor Gavin Kitching, author of ‘A Fateful Love; Essays on Football in the North-East of England 1880-1930’ about what history can tell us about the recent takeover of Newcastle United by a Saudi Arabian investment fund.

Is the hyper-commercialisation of football today a consequence of the commercialism which led to the creation of the Football League in the 1880s – or does it represent something new? Why don’t fans reject billionaire takeovers of their clubs – and what does it even mean to talk about ‘their’ clubs? The Newcastle takeover illustrates the issues which face not just soccer, but all sports which base themselves on free-market capitalist commercialism.

For more on the history of the football codes, take a look at www.rugbyreloaded.com (where you can find the links for this episode) and follow me on Twitter at @collinstony

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