Saturday, 2 November 2013

What we want to (and don't want to) see at the football

I don't want to see stewards harassing fans. I don't want to see stewards searching fans outside the ground and making them deposit their personal belongings in a tray before retrieving them inside the stadium. I don't want to be stared at by stewards trying to intimidate me and asserting pointless authority and sternness once in my seat. I don't want to see a steward tell a supporter to "keep the noise down" or stop them exchanging in banter with opposition fans as if it is being assumed that any exchange of banter between opposing fans is an declaration of hooliganism or violence.

I want to see stewards acting like they're equal people to us supporters, not high and mighty people frowning upon us and treating us like criminals before we've even set foot inside the stadium. I want to see a friendly greeting from them: "Alright lads, enjoy the game", not "put your arms out Sir, I need to search you". I want to see them stamping out any violent or threatening behavior at the match if there is any of course, but that's a rarity anyway. I want to see them treat us as if we're real, innocent people- not treating us with little respect and as if we're guilty of being mindless, violent hooligans until proven innocent.

I don't want to see fans being addressed as "customers" like is the case at Chelsea. I don't want to see clubs being referred to as "institutions" (Brendan Rodgers) or "organisations" or "businesses". I don't want to see posh boxes and executive areas all around the stadium as if we're at the theatre. I want every seat to be a normal seat that everyone has to pay for equally- not VIPs, special guests and people being told they must keep quiet when sat in corporate areas (I have been before, sickening. I was at the football for Christ sake). I just want fans alongside each other in regular seats or stood up and certainly not corporate areas ruining the atmosphere of the stadium and disenfranchising proper fans from going.

This= NO! (Is this a hotel or a football stadium?!)

I don't want to see ridiculously expensive food served in boxes and trays as if I'm at a Baseball game. I want to see horrible looking coffee and dirty pies. That gives the place that smell of football!

I don't want to see fans dressed as if they're going out for a posh meal. I don't want to see cringey banners around the stadium such as "We're not really here" (Man City), "Holte End, Twelth Man" (Aston Villa), "Shere Wilpower" (Arsenal), "Who needs Batman when we've got Robin" (Old Arsenal one) and there were plenty more at the Etihad Stadium that I can't quite remember. They've probably been wiped from my memory they're that bad. Some flags and banners are great, they should definitely play a part in the whole match day atmosphere. Just not cringey ones!

I don't want to hear goal music after a team scores. Yes, I'm looking at you Reading, and you Burnley, and all you others: Wolves, QPR, Wigan and so on. Stop it. It's cringeworthyness of the highest order. I want to hear loud, passionate cheering and applause which is generally the case; we don't need any music after a goal. That's just not football. As aren't cheesy mascots, or cheerleaders. Or having an eagle fly across the pitch before kick-off (Crystal Palace). That's just bizarre.

I want to see pyrotechnics (flares) being accepted as they add to the atmosphere and cause no-one any harm. Fans being banned for using them is beyond crazy; I heard one fan got a 3 year stadium ban for it. Mad. I don't want to hear drums at the game.

Speaking of crazy, I don't want to see players being booked for celebrating goals and wins with their own fans. What is that all about? Displaying positive, happy emotion and sharing and celebrating it with your own paying supporters, what's wrong with that? Players shouldn't be booked for taking their shirt off either, I don't really get why some players do it but they do and there's nothing wrong with it. Football's an emotional game for goodness sake. I pick this example because I happened to see it earlier today, but just look at the stewards in this video stopping supporters from celebrating with the players after Everton have just got a 92nd minute winning goal:

I'd like to see more player/crowd interaction, not having the two segregated at the football as if the stadium management think the fans are uncontrollable animals that are going to hurl themselves at the players. Let's have a bit of banter and interaction rather than feeling so cut off from them. It relates back to celebrating goals with fans, not being able to do so just adds to this vast separation feeling.

I don't want to hear chants like "your support is fucking shit" and "shall we sing a song for you?" being sung by the likes of Chelsea fans. On your bike lads, you play at the quietest library in the league. Focus on your own atmosphere before criticizing others'.

Overall I want to see fair, friendly treatment of supporters by stewards, stadium management and everyone for that matter. I want to see fans in all corners of the ground as equals, not separated or priced out of going by ridiculous corporate areas, which have no place in sport. What we want is for supporters to have a great day and a laugh at the game, just being treated well and watching the great game in peace, in a good and healthy atmosphere.

(Image sources: &

(Video source:

1 comment:

  1. watching football in stadium : shouting the chant until we run out of voice!