Football In A Coma – Is it time for fans to take back the game?

Something is brewing in the midlands. Over in Wolverhampton, a grass-roots campaign for change at the highest levels of football is growing in size and momentum. Disenfranchised fans from across the country are uniting to decide that now is the time to ‘Take Back The Game.’ 

September 19th 2011 Stockholm Sweden, and match day for the city’s two rival clubs, AIK and Djurgårdens IF. A local football derby’s atmosphere is difficult to beat; all that passion, emotion and tension whipped up into a grand spectacle of chanting, shouting, screaming noise. For the first 10 minutes of AIK’s match against Djurgårdens IF however, the stadium fell eerily quiet.

Such a scenario was unprecedented. Both sets of rival fans had united in silence to make a stark point in protest; a graphic vision of football where the fans had been priced out of the game completely.

After 10 noiseless minutes, the stadium roared with defiance. From illustrating how bleak a future would be without them, now was their moment to display their devotion to their clubs and their cause. At the outset of the second half, both sets of fans ignited flares at either end of the stadium, bathing the pitch in a fierce, burning red. As the referee halted proceedings, the crowd chanted as one: “Football killers!” Their screams aimed squarely at the Swedish Football Association.

This was the inspiration that galvanized a pocket of discontented Wolves fans into online action. After rousing the other sections of their clubs’ support they set about contacting fans from across the country, ignoring usual partisan lines. Their message can now be found across the social media channels, inviting supporters of every affiliation and allegiance to ‘Take Back The Game’ together.

FC United of Manchester were born as a breakaway protest club against the Glazer's takeover of Manchester United

As price hikes and a treacherous global economy stretch the finances of football fans ever thinner, long held grumbles are being converted into driven activism. There seems to be a real sense of awakening within the English game as fans begin to self-organise in response to the corporatization of their sport. Other revolutions are already underway through different means, such the fan-owned splinter clubs AFC Wimbledon and FC United of Manchester, but many would rather fight for their clubs than start anew elsewhere.

Whilst hyper-capitalisation has brought success and glamour to the English Premier League, the rampant commercialism and focus on profit has left fans feeling like cash cow customers ripe for exploitation. From the ‘39th game’ through to privatised TV rights, European super leagues and the lingering suggestion of abandoning relegation, those at the very top seem evermore determined to seek ever-greater riches to create a manufactured, vapid commodity product that bears little resemblance to a sport.

Fans don’t want sports entertainment packages or a bloated franchise; they want their local football clubs back.

With ever-rising ticket prices and commercial interests overtaking those of the fans, a sector of the Wolves support decided enough was enough!

The first major ‘Take Back The Game’ protest will be held during Wolves’ match against Sunderland on December 4th, with a 10-minute silence from kick-off in the spirit of the Stockholm derby protest. A noncompliment orchestra of Wolves and Black Cats, struck quiet.

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7 thoughts on “Football In A Coma – Is it time for fans to take back the game?

  1. Whilst I agree with your opinion a lot of fans are their own worst enemies, take Evertonians they are disgruntled because they can’t make marque signings, they are crying out for a sugar daddy. United fans are only unhappy because they have lost their transfer monopoly, all bought with the corporate clout. Blackburn fans demonstrating against the new owners and manager, ask them if they would turn down a suger daddy. Arsenal fans frustrated because the manager and board will not buy big. You can’t have the success without the money, just look at gate attendances when a team is lower in the league. Corporate gives what corporate gets and in my opinion most Premiership fans have bought into it, and for other fans its still the promised land.
    A far more effective stance would be if all the Wolves fans stood outside the ground for ten minutes after kick-off then started to enter the ground, that would really make the club take note and if it happened at every premership league match it would send shock waves throughout the league. One can only dream, the minority want change the majority want sugar day bought success and they will pay for it. Those without the sugar daddy have to get income in other ways in order to compete and in most cases survive, one of those ways is inceasing ticket prices.

    A Forfar loon

  2. Lol Prins.
    You may be missing the point. Football fans want a Sugar Daddy because that is the ONLY way their club can begin to compete.
    Even those clubs owned and bankrolled by Billionaires are being charged stupid money to attend.
    Would Man City prefer to win the league with 11 homegrown Mancs compared to 25 agent-led, money-grabbers? I bet they would!
    Football and the FA brag about the brilliant TV deals that plough millions into each Premier League club, yet they still squeeze as much money as possible out of their recession hit customers knowing that blind loyalty (and let’s be honest, many of only have the footie to look forward to) will bring us back time and time again.
    Well for many people, that “time and time again” is or has come to an end.
    Would a player on £100,000 a week (yes count them zeros) play for £10,000 if the alternative was £500 a week in a factory – of course he would. Greed – often agent’s greed – has blinded them from reality.
    Its time the bubble burst!


  3. For me, the premiership hasnt been the same since the turn of the millenium, I much preferred the 90’s league, Tickets where still affordable, teams still based around British based players, you had players like Fowler and Giggs as the star men to watch. Obviously it was great after the 94 world cup with additions of Klinsmann and co, but the whole point was then that teams would maybe have a ‘star’/’marquee’ player. A player that whilst a spectacle would be no more important to fans as the day-to-day home grown talent. Most money = Win the league = Make more money = repeat til fade. Kinda boring to me.

  4. Entertainment v Religion

    The fundamental question for me is whether football should be treated as a form of entertainment or a form of religion.

    The former would suggest that supporters are treated as customers who pay X amount for a ticket and have the whole time as an experience ie. get to the ground, buy a pie/hot dog inside, and have their day improved by the whole camaraderie of an announcer acting as a presenter and having goal music (a whole separate issue!). If this is what football has come to, then clubs have a right to maximise profits and essentially price the true supporters out of their club.

    Moving onto the concept of football as a religion; for some going to football matches is an essential part of the weekend that they couldn’t live without. This has been scuppered by sky somewhat with the erosion of the permanence of 3pm Saturday kick offs. Many would say that this is how it was in days gone by with crammed terraces (yet again, a separate issue!) with old and young alike stood side by side exhibiting tribal passion for their 11 men on the pitch.

    With the advent of sky television, from my own perspective football has moved from being a religion to a form of entertainment. The fact that people can watch it on television means that they associate watching football with comfort that they want replicating on their extremely irregular visits to wherever they hunt down due to glory. Football started out as a sport for the working classes; I am no way suggesting that it should be exclusive to the working classes, but games should be staged with these people in mind.

    As football is moving towards this ‘form of entertainment’, I feel that it is losing it’s passion (at least in the greed league). This is why it is important to back this campaign; football’s soul is being ripped out by greed and something needs to be done to reclaim the game for the real fans who go week in week out and back their boys no matter the result.

  5. Football is a business these days and to think otherwise would be foolhardy. The fans can do what they want but as long as the big money is being invested, the best they can achieve is something the vein of FC United. Which is a rather ugly point to make. For example, imagine if it went as far as the fans boycotting their own games. As unlikely as this is, there would always be others willing to step in and take their tickets. Football is entertainment, as said by the guy above, and the entertainment industry never sleeps.

  6. This can be a good write-up with well-scripted, engaging material that may be entire of original and sensible views. Much of the informative content is in line with my way of imagining.Alice from franchise

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