The worst football fans

By | Category: Travel rumblings

From workplace water coolers to bars, football – now that the Olympics are over and the new soccer season has kicked off – is a prime topic of conversation in the UK. Pick up a paper, turn on the TV and football, like taxes and death, can’t be avoided.

And for good reason: football is the one thing that unites us all regardless of our age, race, religion or gender. Unless that is you’re sat next to an uber annoying fan…

If you’re one of the 800,000 people planning on travelling to the UK this year so as to watch a football match, here’s the low-down on five football fans you’ll want to avoid

The fanatic
“Football quite clearly isn’t only a game.” So said Paul Ashworth – the protagonist in Nick Hornby’s hit novel, Fever Pitch, and prototype of the die-hard fan. They’re the ones who, clad in their team’s colours will travel to Grimsby on a Tuesday night in February for a crucial cup tie, miss their mate’s wedding because their club “are playing Man U at home”, plan their summer holiday around pre-season fixtures and name their dog ‘Neymar’…

The bluffer
Everyone knows a bluffer – an observer of the game who goes out of their way to appear as if they know what’s actually going on, relying on stock phrases such as “Is the referee blind?” when a free kick is awarded to the opposition. Still it’s better to be seated next to the bluffer than the pundit – the football supporter who seems to be suffering under the illusion that he’s the manager, shouting out endless instructions  to “track back”, “stay with him” and “shoooooot.”

The plastics
The worst insult you can snarl at your opposition’s fans? That they’re ‘plastics’ – aka fake – fans. As a rule of thumb, plastic fans are wealthy supporters whose devotion to their team is not determined by geography or family ties, but by how much silverware their chosen club has won. Plastics prefer to watch their team (typically Chelsea, Arsenal and the two Manchesters) on telly, in their living room. On the rare occasion that they venture to Old Trafford/ the Emirates etc to watch their team live, you’ll be able to spot them by their silence – plastics aren’t au fait with all the club chants and songs.

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The corporate crowd
The corporate executive invariably views attending football matches as too much trouble. For them, the thought of sitting still in a stadium for 90 minutes in the freezing cold, isn’t an attractive proposition.
These guys are exactly who the stadium builders had in mind when they built executive boxes – affording those with cash to splash, the opportunity to watch the on field action in comfort and style. When you’re warm and dry and being plied with food and booze, football becomes a far more beautiful game….

The hooligan
Ninety nine per cent of football fans are most definitely not hooligans. Unfortunately a few still prevail 
and can be found terrorising the terraces, looking for trouble. Check out films such as The Football Factory (2004) and Green Street Hooligans (2005) for an insight into the ugly personification of the supposedly beautiful game. Should you happen to encounter a hooligan, shop them to the stewards.

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