Huddled around a personal computer in a community center in Eltham, a suburb of London, a group of young people is devising a plan to secure sponsorship for a football (soccer) team. Among them is 19-year-old Kieran (not his real name), who is trawling the Internet for clues on how to attract commercial patrons. Logos and advertising on football stadiums and the shirts of Premier League football players flash across the screen.

As a child, Kieran did not much care for school. As someone who...


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