Imagine the scenario, you watch football, you enjoy football, you like to think you know a fair bit about football (it’s not complicated after all). Then you have a run-in with a ‘real’ football fan. After which you begin to question…what the flip happened to that man (or woman) to make him (or her) backwards and be so vociferous in his views nonetheless? Not just that, what made him think his point of view would have any effect on me, an educated man, and my views?
Here are some of the arguments I’ve had thrown my way during my football supporting career:
You Shouldn’t Be A Glory Supporter — I’m a Man United fan from Halifax. I get told regularly that I should be ashamed of that fact. Why? I made the decision when I was 7 years old. If somebody had said to me when I was 7, you realise that the decision you have just made will be held against you for the rest of your life, I’d have said ‘how childish’. When I was 7 I wanted my team to win trophies, I’m 23 now, I still want to see my team win trophies. I’ve not changed teams since then, I’ve always followed United, even during those seasons when we didn’t win the league. It was hell. People say, ‘oh look at all the supporters that have come out of the woodwork since Chelsea and Man City have been taken over.’ So what. Let people support whoever they want, they shouldn’t have to justify themselves.
You Must Support Your Local Team — Well here you have to be clear about how you define support. Do I follow FC Halifax’s results and hope they do well? Yes I do. Would I go and pay to see them play? No I wouldn’t. I believe I ‘support’ them the right amount. I’m not ashamed about supporting Man United so don’t have me believe that I should be. It’s like I said before, support whoever you like. If you want to support your local team then do so, by all means, if not then don’t.
You can’t be proud of being a club with a ‘Sugar-Daddy’ — Why not? If you were to say to me that you wouldn’t want your team to have the spending power of Man City then I could in all confidence call you a liar. ‘Yea but if you win the league you haven’t earned it, you’ve bought it!’ I don’t think they acknowledge that in the history books. If you have the most points over 38 games then, yes, you have earned it. It’s not cheating to buy the best players and any club would want that kind of financial clout.
It’s Bad To Be An Armchair Supporter — ‘Have you ever been to Old Trafford to watch United play? ‘No.’ ‘Oh, you’re an armchair supporter then, you’re not a real supporter.’ Hmmm, interesting theory. I can disprove that with simple maths. Man United have a fan base of millions. Old Trafford has a capacity of just under 80,000. Where would everybody sit should every single United fan go to a game? Or there is this other little equation I have. How much does a ticket cost? Roughly £40. How much are you willing to spend? Not £40. Do I still support United despite not being present at the games? Yes.
You Aren’t Allowed To Complain About Bad Decisions If You Support A Big Club — Every team experiences their fair share of bad luck. If you’re a smaller club playing against a bigger team then you expect a few dodgy decisions to go against you. Those decisions piss you off and you have every right to be pissed off. So why if a decision goes against a bigger team are they NOT allowed to be pissed off? Why have they to just accept it? Stinks of hypocrisy, if you ask me.
You Must Support English Clubs In Europe Even If They Are Your Rivals — What a load of bollocks! I wouldn’t support Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool or Man City in European competition. EVER. They wouldn’t support Man United, that’s the whole point of being rivals. Everton fans wouldn’t support Liverpool, Leeds fans wouldn’t support United, Fulham fans wouldn’t support Chelsea, Spurs fans wouldn’t support Arsenal. Next season, when Newcastle are dicking Barcelona in the Champions League, they won’t get any support from Sunderland fans. You want to see your rivals lose every single game, whoever they are playing.
Football Gets More ‘Real’ The Lower Down The Football League You Get — Go figure. What does ‘real’ even mean? I ask because I’m pretty certain I haven’t imagined the Premier League being the most entertaining league in the world. ‘The Premier League isn’t real football; real football is your Mansfields or your Orients or whoever.’ Ask a Mansfield fan or an Orient fan or whoever if they’d like their team to play in the Premier League and the answer you’d receive would NOT be no.
You might think that this article smacks of elitism and arrogance and it’d be a fair assumption. The point I want to make is football is an unsavoury game full of unsavoury characters; players, managers, owners, fans, journalists, even holier-than-thou bloggers who think they’re better than everybody else. You need to derive all the pleasure you can from the game considering there are so many of aspects of it that are detestable. If you want to take it that seriously that you put in place these pseudo-rules to live your life by to be considered a true fan then so be it. Just don’t be telling me that I have to do the same thing. Otherwise, I’ll get the old typewriter out and write more of this shit!