Football and the Mysterious Nature of Global Capital: A Case Study of Birmingham City FC and Birmingham International Holdings

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This article utilises English professional football club Birmingham City FC as a case study to examine the place of football within the globalised economy. In October 2009, the Hong Kong based businessman Carson Yeung led a takeover of Birmingham City (BCFC). The Birmingham International Holdings (BIH) group that he led aimed to develop the club’s business profile and support in China by importing Chinese players to BCFC and signing deals with Chinese companies. Yeung was arrested and charged with money laundering in 2011, and was unable to directly fund the club he bought. BCFC were negatively affected by many of the decisions made during Yeung’s reign. The case study analyses the consequences of poor planning for a football club in the globalised economy. It utilises the ideas of Appadurai on globalisation, and examines how the business of football exemplifies what Appadurai terms the mysterious and complex nature of global capital.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Review For the Sociology of Sport
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2018


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  • Appadurai
  • globalisation
  • football
  • China
  • Birmingham

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