Two academics in The York Management School have been awarded a João Havelange Scholarship by football's governing body, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and the Centre International d’Etude du Sport in Switzerland.
Dr Kevin Tennent and Dr Alex Gillett are using the scholarship to undertake a pioneering management history of the 1966 FIFA World Cup, which, although few people are aware, attracted UK Government funding.
According to Dr Tennent "the study will investigate the impact of the tournament on local and national economic development. Harold Wilson's modernization of the British economy serves as a parallel to the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where there are hopes the world cup will contribute to Brazil's emergence as a global economic power."
The development of football as an industry in England will be a key secondary theme, as the joy of winning the 1966 tournament was soon overtaken by the perceived decline of the English game throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
This summer has been a busy time for the FIFA World Cup 1966 Project. June was a busy month, involving the launch of a blog called Soccermadboffins as well as two appearances on BBC Radio York to talk about the research, the blog, and to discuss the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Soccermadboffins was also reported in the local newspaper The York Press.