Can Football Fan Protests Change the Game?

Football Fan Protests

Football fan protests

So what’s been big in football this week ?🤣. But something seems not quite right. It’s hard to believe that Europe’s Football Elite wouldn’t have predicted the games reaction to the replacement of the European Champions League with a midweek non competitive European League. What do you think?. We have to wonder whether it is really part of a different plan to be able to negotiate to keep a bigger piece of the pie?🤔. Didn’t it fall apart just a bit too easily? Watch the space for the development of the real drive, for a future competitive European Weekend Superleague with the big clubs leaving their current national top flights!

They are telling us that football is in dire straights and won’t be able to afford to carry on as is, but isn’t it funny how professional football always looks at how it can earn more revenue and never looks at it’s costs, surely players wages would be a good place to start if football really is in financial crisis?!

This week, with football supporter power, (seemingly) swiftly brining about a change in direction (or so we think 😐), even gaining support from good old Borris Johnson, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at ‘Supporter Protests of the Past’ and see if they had any real impact. What do you think?

Tennis Balls in Dortmund¬†During a quarter final game between Borussia Dortmund and Stuttgart. Dortmund’s fans boycotted¬†the first 20 minutes of the game and when they arrive threw tennis balls onto the pitch to protest against increasing¬†ticket prices.¬†Long term result: Ticket prices up, player wages up 😐. Fans lost?

Liverpool Fans 77 minute walk out. Similarly when Liverpool hosted Sunderland in a Premier League match,10,000 fans walked out of Anfield to show their objections to sky-high ticket prices. Leaving¬†the stadium in the 77th minute because of the ¬£77 price increase for the next season.¬†Long term result: Ticket prices up, player wages up 😐. Fans lose.¬†But the team went on to win¬†a title, so fans won or lost?

“Wrong One‚ÄĒMoyes Out.” With Manchester United heading towards a seventh-place finish under David Moyes, some fans decided to take up the level of protest. They¬†paid ¬£840 to fly a banner reading “Wrong One‚ÄĒMoyes Out.” over Old Trafford while United played Aston Villa.¬†Moyes was sacked the following month.¬†Short term result – Fans Win?? Although the “Right One”, didn’t last too long either 🤣, oh and ticket prices went up and player wages went up, fans lost 😐.

“Without fans football is not worth a penny”. During a Champions League group match against Arsenal and the Emirates Stadium their fans orchestrated a well thought out demonstration. Upset at the price tag on the tickets they boycotted the first five minutes of the game. Then, they raised massive banners that read:¬†“¬£64 a ticket. But without fans, football is not worth a penny”, much to the liking of the Arsenal supporters who applauded the gesture.
Long term result: Long term result: Ticket prices up, player wages up 😐. Fans lose.

Ahead of the Brazil World Cup in 2014, thousands of Brazilians staged protests across the country, complaining about governments use use of public money to build World Cup stadiums. Instead of funding much needed housing projects and spending to address social issues. It came to a head when riot police fired tear gas at demonstrators in Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro and protests continued throughout the World Cup.
Long term result: Stadiums built, FIFA paid, ticket prices up, player wages up 😐. Fans lose, population lost.

So you have to wonder whether these protests really make any difference long term. There is an increasing distance between those running, playing and earning from the game at our top football clubs and¬†those that support the clubs which makes sense (particularly in a pandemic) as armchair TV support becomes more important. What was ‘The Peoples Game’, is becoming less so, but the clubs would do well to remember that the supporters are customers at least and no business can operate without it’s customers.

We’re happy to have some of the most loyal lads around at our games 💪⚽🙌, keeping playing and keeping us all playing. Thank you for your support and see you at your match night this week.

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