Text full multimedia monochrome

First time here?

Find out more about how The Lecture List works.

Coronavirus situation update

Our lecture organisers may or may not have had time to update their events with cancellation notices. Clearly social gatherings are to be avoided and that includes lectures. STAY AT HOME FOLKS, PLEASE.


Find out what you can do to keep The Lecture List online

The beautiful game? You're having a laugh!

Debate about football

Money, violence, hate, cheating: that is the face of modern football. Once the so called “beautiful game” represented something precious and important about English identity. Football clubs were part of the fabric of local community; football players felt genuine loyalty to their clubs. And in the spirit of the traditional game, neither players nor fans tolerated diving or other forms of cheating as a legitimate tactic. But from a mixture of greed and appalling incompetence, the British football authorities have encouraged foreign oligarchs to take over the game – and this, say the traditionalists, has destroyed all that was valuable in the national game. Teams consist of foreign mercenaries; cheating is an essential component of the footballer’s repertoire of skills; successful clubs are no more than global brands. But are the traditionalists right? Haven’t mercenary values and unsporting tactics always been part of the spirit of English football? Isn’t the truth rather that the foreign fortunes poured into our football and the foreign players they have attracted have made the game infinitely more exciting, skilful and pleasurable to watch?


Tom Bower | talks
Dominic Lawson | talks
Chair: Ed Smith | talks
Garth Crooks | talks
David Sheepshanks | talks
Hunter Davies | talks


Date and Time:

29 April 2010 at 6:45 pm


2 hours



Methodist Central Hall Westminster
Storey's Gate

Show map

Organised by:

Intelligence Squared
See other talks organised by Intelligence Squared...



£25 (Students £12.50)

Available from:


Register to tell a friend about this lecture.


If you would like to comment about this lecture, please register here.


Any ad revenue is entirely reinvested into the Lecture List's operating fund