Are fans around the world different from local ones? Do they want changes or are they just scapegoats?
There are many things you can term a football fan: passionate, devoted, energetic, emotional, and crazy and there are so many more. But they are all united by one thing- their attachment with their club. The recent affair with the European Super League and its plans to take away some of the biggest clubs of the continent sparked outrage. Here we say two breeds of fans emerging.
UEFA have no moral high ground.
FIFA have no moral high ground.
The Premier League have no moral high ground.
Sky have no moral high ground.
Fans do. And we’re all screaming a resounding “FUCK THIS!”.
— Adam Rowe (@adamrowecomedy) April 18, 2021
THE LOCAL FANS
One group was your local fans. The people who were there in the respective cities and countries of their clubs. They staged demonstrations, protests, took out banners, burnt jerseys and voiced their utmost displeasure with the owners involved in this mess. Their sense of devotion came from various reasons: growing up with the club, hearing stories and watching matches, following them around being just some of them.
The fact that would have hurt the most is the idea of their beloved clubs leaving their base, the league. For here is another connect. The domestic league that a club plays has become synonymous with each club that wanted to break away. Witnessing highs and lows together would never have been the same again. The sense of competition was morphing into something unrecognizable. Where would their rivalries go? How would the derbies happen?
Everyone was flummoxed and they made themselves heard. The anger with UEFA was different in the fact that there was mixed reactions on the principle of the “lesser of two evils.” But when it came to the national, the unity was wholly pervasive.
At the top, these factions are fighting about money, not morality. You don't need to look for heroes in this because there may not be any.
— Miriti Murungi (@NutmegRadio) April 19, 2021
THE GLOBAL FANS
The global fans have been credited with supporting the movement led by the local ones through social media and making their voices heard. They, like the local ones, could not imagine watching their beloved clubs play in a different “closed doors” competition away from everything they have been used to. This is where the real similarity lies. The fact that both sets of fans had gotten used to a fixed thing with which countless memories and emotions were attached.
But differences were there of course. The fans around the world were not physically present. They could only use social media as a tool in helping fellow supporters like them to put their points across.
Often we have also seen how the on-ground realities are not taken into account by these global fans which wanting or not wanting a certain thing. This is bound to happen and might leave the clubs at a disadvantageous position when the time came to take decision regarding the future.
It’s no more a secret that the local fans had had the most important influence in bringing about the collapse of the new league. Each of the six English clubs in their released statements has mentioned how the fans had affected their thinking and why they were integral in them pulling out. But it has to be kept in mind that what the fans have now ultimately settled for is UEFA and its new format.
I don’t like the Super League idea but have thought it was inevitable for a while. It’s the logical next step in football’s embrace of unregulated capitalism.
I also suspect there will be far more support for and interest in it than I’m seeing on my timeline atm
— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) April 18, 2021
Make no mistake, the new format increases performance pressure a lot. Such an increase in number of matches will also see many more injuries. But what it has done is started a conversation regarding the merits and demerits of UEFA. The thought of the national league stands tall in the minds of these fans. The question remains, were they too quick to jump the gun?
For the pandemic will see clubs losing a lot more revenue which alter the state of some in unforeseen ways. That only time can tell. For now the fans and the clubs are here to stay in a big way. The owners though might not.
People are frustrated with clubs are being run and want to take that power away of deciding unilaterally what to do. This is something where EVERYONE is united.