Forwards, ever forwards?

Loyalty of football fans not beyond breaking point, he said, expectantly wanting the backlash to start.

There’s one school of though that view that on one side there are ‘others’ and on the other there are ‘fans’ and that the ‘fans’ are a homogenous group met by the evil diabolical machinations of the others (players, owners, leagues, FAs etc). I just can’t see how such a view is tenable. The sad fact is that awful, crooked, bent and downright thuggish owners have been tolerated by fans of those clubs as long as success appeared on the agenda. Fans have supported bans of away supporters from grounds. Fans have supported the banning of fellow supporters, siding with owners who have been criticised by those banned fans.

There’s a wider issue, I think, for the supporters movement to grasp hold of though. Ultimately, the reason bent owners survive, the reason too many clubs spend for tomorrow’s income and not today’s, and the reason people moan about players yet continue to play their wages, is that the majority of fans wish it so.

We can blame poor regulation, and we can blame others, but until we also accept the fact that we – fans, that is – allow these things to happen too. We’re not not children who have things done to us – we’re adults who make choices. Some of us get involved, make a difference, try to change minds. Others choose not to, to turn up, sit down and get behind the team, and tell these politcos going on about shares and ownership of the club and board meetings to shut up. They’re fans too, and if they didn’t do what they did, the owners and authorities who have acted against the interests of fans and the game couldn’t have gotten away with it. You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem. So don’t be scared. When the situation demands, go forth and call your fellow fans idiots.