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Superleague Formula 2008: A Case Study in Managing Safety and Security Risks in Soccer-Themed Motor Racing

NCJ Number
International Journal of Police Science and Management Volume: 12 Issue: 3 Dated: Autumn 2010 Pages: 357-372
Steve Frosdick
Date Published
16 pages
This study used the application of grid Group Cultural Theory (GGCT) to build an empirical case study and examine how soccer fans would behave at motor racing circuits in Spain (Superleague Formula), thereby providing more knowledge about the safety and security risks such fans might pose.
This is a case study in five main sections. The introduction sets out the background as a commercial consultancy assignment involving the practical application of Grid Group Cultural Theory (GGCT). The second section outlines GGCT, a neo-Durkheimian theory which can be usefully applied for the assessment and management of risk. The paper then gives a brief overview of Superleague Formula, a new sporting series which combined motor racing and soccer. The bulk of the paper details an assessment of how soccer fans from 18 clubs around the world might behave as spectators at six soccer-themed motor racing events in Europe. The research was problematic because of time constraints and because of the new risk setting. The application of GGCT teased out eight key areas of threat, seven of which related to public order issues involving the fans. The eighth threat referred to fans as victims of indiscriminate policing. These threats were risk assessed for each of the 18 clubs at each of the 6 circuits, 864 assessments in all. The risks were evaluated with reference to a defined risk appetite. Appropriate control measures, including police tactical deployments, were devised for each of the races. The paper then highlights the safety and security risks which became realities at the events. As well as having set out a rigorous analysis derived from applied theory, the paper concludes that the eight key threats form a good basis for others to hypothesize how soccer fans might behave in a new setting. Figures, tables, and references (Published Abstract)