Dr Graeme Law

Lecturer in Sociology of Sports Coaching and Course Leader

School of Sport

E: g.law@yorksj.ac.uk

T: 87 6485

Staff picture of Graeme Law

I graduated from York St John University with a first class degree in (BA) Physical Education and Sports Coaching and completed an MSc and PhD in the Sociology of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Chester where I was also a visiting lecturer.

My PhD focused on the role money plays in the relationships within working lives of professional footballers.

In 2015, I re-joined York St John University as a lecturer in the sociology of sports coaching after working as a first team and youth team coach in professional football. 

Further Information


I teach across modules and I am currently teaching on:

L1 Sociological Issues in Sport 
L2 The Coaching Process (module director)
L2 Applied Sociology of Sport
L2 Applied Pedagogy Key Stage 3
L2 Conditioning Techniques 
L3 Coaching in Practice (module Director)
L3 Academic Tutor 

Alongside teaching, I also act as a supervisor for dissertation projects.


My research draws upon sociological theory. My previous research has focused on professional football managers and the role the manager plays within a football club and the impact that interaction has on this along with impression management. I have also carried out research on managers’ behaviours towards injured players drawing on figurational concepts, with an emphasis on power balances. This was conducted by interviewing 10 professional football managers ranging from international level down to conference national.

Research Expertise

My PhD focused on the monetisation of relationships within professional football. The aim of this project was to examine the impact that money has on the relationships within the working lives of professional football players. In doing so, issues of contract negotiations, secrecy within the changing room and the effects these have on relationships in and outside the football clubs were analysed, along with their lifestyles outside the football club. Key findings from the PhD were the importance of image in professional football in the form of conspicuous consumption along with the culture of gambling. The data presented on gambling attracted national and international media coverage.


Peer-reviewed publications (available on RaY

Law, G. & Bloyce, D. (2017) ‘Pressure to play?’ A sociological analysis of professional football manages’ behaviours towards injured players. Soccer & Society.

Oral presentations at international conferences

Law, G. (2018), Life on the move: A sociological analysis of contract decisions and the impact on relationships within the working lives of professional footballers. The British Sociological Association Conference, Northumbria University, United Kingdom.

Law, G. (2017), ‘They are just in it for the money’: A sociological analysis of the role of agents in professional football. The British Sociological Association Conference, Manchester University, United Kingdom.

Law, G (2016) 'Gambling is rife in football': A sociological analysis of the leisure lives of professional football players. Aston University. British Sociological Association Conference.

Law, G. (2016), ‘It’s a taboo subject’: A sociological analysis of the secrecy of wages in a professional football changing room. International Sociology of Sport Association Global Conference, Budapest, Hungary.

Law, G. (2015). Conspicuous consumption, ‘It’s all about one-up-man-ship’: A sociological analysis of pay and conditions in professional football . The British Sociological Association Conference, Post Graduate forum, Edge Hill University, United Kingdom.

Professional Activities

As an ex-footballer I am a member of Professional Footballers Association (PFA) and as a coach I am a member of the Football Association (FA) and England Badminton. As a footballer I played both in England and Scotland.

I was also capped at international level when playing for Scotland in the European under 19 Championships. During my time at University I represented Great Britain in the World University Games in Shenzhen, China, winning a Silver medal.

I have also coached at English professional football clubs at youth and first team levels. Prior to coaching at professional clubs I was the Assistant Head Coach at the La Manga Football Academy, Spain.

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