28 April – 3 May 2009
A new photographic exhibition in Liverpool celebrating the role of the football fan in the 21st Century. This May, journalist Stephanie Power, will be exhibiting a selection of her work examining the 21st century face of football and its relationship to the traditional football fan.
The exhibition of 20 photographs not only celebrates the power of “The Beautiful Game” itself, but raises more serious questions about the power of the fan in an increasingly commercialised environment.
In the UK, with the introduction of all-seater stadia for the top two football divisions and the decision to take the game “upmarket”, rising ticket prices mean many fans can’t afford to go to matches, watching it in the pub instead.
In comparison with clubs in Europe, British fans pay more for tickets and have less say in the running of the clubs. High ticket prices and the increasingly corporate face of football means that the average age of those actually attending the game is 42.
As well as documenting the lives of fans, the exhibition raises many questions, and asks: whether fans in England really can have any power over their clubs? How can the FA attract younger fans; Will the traditional fan base continue to get priced out of the game as it becomes increasingly gentrified and has the FA made the correct decision when repositioning the game?
Photographer Stephanie Power became interested in the politics of football after moving to Liverpool in November 2007. Working as a national radio journalist from the city, she was struck by how much football fans had changed since the 80s and 90s. With the gaining popularity of Spirit of Shankly, the new football supporters ‘union’, she noticed how young fans were beginning to become politicised through football. In a multi media age, Stephanie decided to use photography as another way of telling the story and documenting the lives of fans. The result is Fan Power.