Dr. Joel Rookwood

Course Leader Sport Business Management

School of Sport and Health Sciences

Greenbank Building, GR143

+44 (0) 1772 89 5584


Subject Areas: Business and Management

Dr Rookwood is Course Leader for Sport Business Management. He has research interests in football fandom, management, mega events, peace building, social development and violence – areas in which he has published widely. Joel has worked for professional clubs and governing bodies as a coach and match analyst, and has contributed to 30 sport-for-development projects across six continents during the last fifteen years. He has also conducted research at fifteen football mega events.

Full Profile

Dr Rookwood completed a PhD in 2008, a socio-legal study of football fandom undertaken at the Management School of University of Liverpool. Joel previously lectured at Leeds Metropolitan University, Liverpool Hope University and Southampton Solent University, and has been a visiting fellow at University of Vic, Spain since 2010. Joel has written three books, 15 chapters in edited collections, 19 articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented 53 papers at academic conferences across 12 countries. He has also worked on and managed 30 collaborative football, health and education-based sport-for-development projects across six continents since 2002. Dr Rookwood has produced numerous global education-based documentaries since 2005, with online versions amassing over 250,000 views. Dr Rookwood was a primary global football columnist for Soccerphile based in Japan for ten years from 2002. He has undertaken research at tournaments including the 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups, the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 European Championships, the 2008 and 2017 African Cup of Nations, the 2011 Asian Cup, the 2011 Gold Cup and the 2015 Copa America. He has watched football in 120 British league grounds and at stadia in seventy countries, and has visited 160 countries.

  • Ph.D. Football fandom, University of Liverpool, 2008
  • M.Sc. Sport Management and Sociology, University of Leicester, 2006
  • M.Res. Notation Analysis, Liverpool John Moores University, 2003
  • B.Sc. (Hons.) Science and football, Liverpool John Moores University, 2002

Joel had an article published in December 2017 in The Conversation about alcohol and fan zones at the football world cup entitled ‘Banning booze at World Cup 2018 won't help curb violence — but fan parks will’

Joel had an article published in June 2018 in The Conversation about the CONIFA World Football Cup - the ‘other World Cup’ helping unrecognised nations through football

Membership of Professional and Learned Bodies
  • Membership of: Football Collective
  • Reviewer for: International journal of sport, policy and politics; International review for the sociology of sport; Sport in society; Soccer & society; Journal of sport for development; Journal of qualitative research in sports studies


Kenyon, J., Mason, C. and Rookwood, J. (2018). Emerging social enterprises and navigating uncertainty in an ‘era of austerity’: an ethnographic case study from Liverpool International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics. 10 (online).

O’Gormann, J. and Rookwood, J. (2017). Football and international social development. In, Routledge Handbook of Football Studies. (Eds. J. Hughson, K. Moore, R. Spaaij and J. Maguire). pp. 124-137. London: Routledge.

Rookwood, J. (2017). Managing football hooliganism. In, Critical Issues in Global Sport Management. (Eds. N. Schulenkorf and S. Frawley). pp. 152-163. New York: Routledge.

Brannagan, P.M. and Rookwood, J. (2016). Sports mega-events, soft power and soft disempowerment: international supporters’ perspectives on Qatar’s acquisition of the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics 8 (2), 173-188.

TEACHING activities and responsibilities

Course Leader for Sport Business Management – teaching on modules including Sports and Leisure Events, Human Resource Management, Strategic Business Management, Sport Business Environments, Research and Sport Business and Contemporary Issues in Sport Business Management.

External Affiliations and Roles

External Examiner, Sport Management – University of Ulster: September 2017 - present


Joel has presented papers at 53 academic conferences and been on the organising committee of two conferences.