Banyan Tree: Football and Politics

Mon, Dec 5, 2011

I recently did a talk on football and the politics behind it, as part of the Banyan Tree talk series at ThoughtWorks. The slides from the talk can be found here on Speakerdeck.

It was great fun for me. I thought I did well.

It is a topic I know my way around. The history behind the El Clasico - the Spanish civil war, Franco, the trade unions and Di Stefano was discussed. We also looked at The Old Firm. I also talked about Athletic Bilbao’s use of football as a form of cultural resistance. The last parts of the talk were about multiculturalism, united Europe and football as a globalized game.

About 20 people turned up and while most of them liked it, some had the opinion that they needed to understand more European history to fully appreciate it.