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UK policy on football supporters’ trusts: a ‘window of opportunity’ generated and exploited by the co-operative party

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Abstract

The Co-operative Party is the independent sister-party of the Labour Party, with which it has had a formal relationship since 1927. Despite achieving consistently high levels of parliamentary representation for a small party, as well as its unusual ‘sister party within the same polity’ status, it has been the subject of little academic attention. This article seeks to better understand the Co-operative Party by asking what influence it had over the 1997–2010 Labour government’s decision to create the organisation Supporters Direct, which provides advice and assistance to football supporters groups in England which aspire to establishing supporters’ trusts as a means of taking a financial stake in their clubs. Utilising Kingdon’s multiple streams approach to analyse the ‘problem’, ‘policy’, and ‘politics’ streams, it makes two core conclusions; (i) that policy entrepreneurs linked to the Co-operative Party were able to decisively influence the policy agenda of the Labour government and; (ii) that they did so without the involvement of Co-operative Party sponsored MPs instead influencing policy in a manner more consistent with an ‘advocacy’ think tank.

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Fig. 1

Reproduced with permission from Rosen (Rosen 2007b)

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Kippin, S. UK policy on football supporters’ trusts: a ‘window of opportunity’ generated and exploited by the co-operative party. Br Polit 14, 408–425 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41293-018-00096-y

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