There's only four teams involved in football's top honours these days, so what's it like to win silverware every season? This is the blog of one football fan who decided to, fully and unconditionally, do the unthinkable and change the football team he supported to spend one season at the top... AND NOW HE'S DOING A SIMILAR THING FOR EURO 2008 WITH A MATE BECAUSE THE SEASON'S FINISHED AND THEY'RE BOTH BORED

The Silly Season on Five Live!

The Silly Season on Five Live!

22/10/07

Striker!… Today The Silly Season made it on to Five Live’s Midday News programme for an interview about the blog… aka a total public lynching from most football fans.


(Source: BBC)

It was great to get a mention on national radio, and apparently there were loads of texts into their studio as a result. Some people even came out in support of this crusade, but most people think it’s just wrong. So, if you’ve made it here through listening to that interview, then welcome. Please don’t hate me… This is genuine social experiment by a real fan who has supported his club for more than 20 years, until now.

The idea of supporting one of The Big Four (I’ve chosen Arsenal by the way) came from the fact that football has been completely monopolised by these teams… None of the other 88 teams in English football now stand a chance, cash injection or not. Seriously, The Big Four have covered all bases: they buy the best current talent and sign the youth players up on massive contracts before anyone gets a look-in. If a benefactor came along now to finance any of the other clubs in English football, it wouldn’t matter. You still probably wouldn’t win anything… You’d be Spurs or something.

It’s a protest in a way. There are many reasons why we choose to support our clubs, but one was because we believed that they could conceivably win something at some stage. That reality has been taken away by The Big Four’s rule.

Also, I just want to see if a football fan can emotionally and unconditionally detach him or herself from the club they’ve supported all their lives and, by the end of their first season, love their new club like they did the old one. Or, can it not be done? Will I go back to my old club next season?

Anyway, I intend to throw myself headlong into this, and give an honest account of the experience. There’s plenty more fun to come from this, so stayed tuned and do that RSS feed thing down the bottom of the page. (I’m not sure what you do with it, but it means you can keep up with what’s going on for The Silly Season.)

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Comment from: Mike Dunn [Visitor] Email
For many years, I have held a season ticket at a club known until recently as Manchester City Nil. Had I been a native of Basingstoke or Basildon, I might well have been one of those people clogging up the northbound M6 every other weekend and claiming in cor blimey accents to be Manchester United “fans.” But no,as a Mancunian there could really be only one team to support.

It has rarely been easy to be a Manchester City fan, but over the last 15 years or so it’s been doubly hard. While our neighbours have been winning countless leagues and cups, causing much dancing in the streets of Saffron Walden, we real Mancs have suffered the ignominy of playing in the league now inhabited by Leeds and Nottingham Forest. Instead of derby matches at Old Trafford, we have played our derbies at Macclesfield Town, Stockport County and Oldham Athletic. Instead of watching Arsenal and Liverpool at the late and much-loved Maine Road, we were visited by the likes of Grimsby Town, Port Vale and Bournemouth. When the Red Rags somewhat fortunately won the European Cup in 1999, we almost lost to Gillingham in a 2nd Division playoff final. Even the fact that we are at last enjoying some long-awaited success cannot hide the reality that last season we scored our final home league goal of the season on New Year’s Day, and avoided relegation only by virtue of a couple of half-decent away results.

So yes, Norwich City fans, we know how you feel. We’ve not only been there and got the T shirt, we wrote the book on how to be supporters of useless, under-achieving no-hopers, and we’ve been a lot lower – in every sense – than you are now. We once paid over £3 million for Lee Bradbury, who had both “r”s surgically removed from his surname when he joined us, and, like most of our signings in those years, soon moved on again for less than half the price we paid. We yo-yoed around between the divisions so much that we once went 5 seasons without staying in the same league once. We’ve been knocked out of cups by Lincoln City, Doncaster Rovers and Chesterfield, and lost league games at home to Bury and Stockport, but did we ever consider abandoning City for Arsenal, Liverpool or – horror of unspeakable horrors – U***ted? Never, never, never.

And do you know why Matt? Because a genuine football fan can no more change his club than he can change the colour of his eyes. You can change your hairstyle, you can change your house, you can even change your wife, but you can never change your football club, even if, as you claim, it’s only a temporary transfer. Supporting your club through thick and thin, even if it’s mostly thin, is – or should be – part of your DNA. No matter how tongue-in-cheek you claim your “defection” to be, you have committed the ultimate sacrilege.

Sorry Matt, but from where I and I’m sure all genuine football fans sit, people who change their football allegiances like they change their socks are not football fans, they’re glory seekers. We know all about them in Manchester, polluted as it is every other week by glory-hunting tosspot foreigners who call themselves Northampton Reds, Essex Reds, Hull Reds, Timbuktu Reds or whatever, who have stuck a pin in a map and attached themselves to a city and a region they know nothing about, and who wouldn’t know the difference between Crumpsall and Christmas.

Please Matt, just consider where our game would be if everyone behaved like you and deserted the smaller clubs. What would happen top the likes of Walsall, Brentford, Tranmere, Stockport, Rochdale and all the other clubs who’ve rarely tasted success, but are the focal point of their local communities. All these clubs, where the teams sometimes do a lap of honour when they win a corner, are within 10 miles of at least one Premier League ground, but their fans don’t go glory hunting down the road, because if they did, their clubs would die. What would become of Crewe Alexandra, who over the years have developed players of international quality like Dean Ashton, Danny Murphy, Robbie Savage, David Platt, Geoff Thomas, Rob Jones and many more, if nobody paid to watch them? Certainly Norwich would never make a tidy profit from buying and selling the likes of Ashton.

So keep the faith Matt and get your backside back to Carrow Road. You never know, if you wait as long as we did, you too might find a wealthy foreign benefactor who’ll shower you in sublime Brazilian midfield wizards and lightning-quick Bulgarian wingers with a nifty sideline in vicious 30 yard screamers. But even if you stay becalmed in the lower reaches of the Championship, won’t you feel much better in the knowledge that your hard-earned is actually making a real difference to your local club, rather than lining the overstuffed pockets of post-Soviet oligarchs?

Come on Matt, get back to Norwich and taste Delia's pies again. Let's be 'avin' you.





Go on Matt, get back and taste Delia’s pies again. Let’s be ‘avin’ you.
PermalinkPermalink 26/10/07 @ 09:51

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