We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Research & business

View Profile

Publication details for Dr Martin Roderick

Roderick, M. & Schumacker, J. (2017). ‘The whole week comes down to the team sheet’ a footballer’s view of insecure work. Work, employment and society 31(1): 166-174.

Author(s) from Durham


This ‘On the front line’ article focuses on the work and employment situation for an insecure, individualized sports worker whose main job task is fundamentally and publically collaborative. The narrative offers a realistic and nuanced understanding of the material conditions of work for a journeyman footballer and defies sociological ideas associated with attachment and identification to work, which are frequently and implicitly connected to this profession. So while physical and skilful dimensions are commonly foregrounded, the testimony of (now retired) professional footballer James Schumacker lays bare not only the uncertainties and instability of this job, but also specifically the constant tension between securing fixed-term employment and being selected for first team games: making the ‘team sheet’.