The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #163410   Message #4104646
Posted By: Steve Shaw
04-May-21 - 06:55 AM
Thread Name: BS: Football (not the U.S. kind)
Subject: RE: BS: Football (not the U.S. kind)
Well you don't have to like football or its culture, but, more than any other sport, football is at the heart of many communities in working class areas, and even the biggest clubs in the world, Manchester United and Liverpool, still have something agreeably parish pump about them at fan level (which, to me, is at the top level, not the bottom). I'm not just talking about big league clubs either. You might not exactly regard footie as high culture (looking at the skill and fitness levels of the best players, many would disagree), but an integral part of our culture it is, from the very top right down to the most junior school team, and in the north of England at least we treasure the working class roots and traditions of the game. Don't just say God, say Shankly. And just look at how the women's game has burgeoned in recent years. It's magnificent. The Premier League, and especially those bloody foreign billionaire owners, have served football extremely badly in the last thirty years. Well they are the ultra-capitalist ugly side of the game, so the clash with the traditions of football is extremely jarring. An object lesson, in fact, as to how ugly capitalism in general is. I'm one hundred percent on the side of those fans (key word there) who protested and stopped the game on Sunday. They have spent sixteen years protesting to no avail about an absentee American billionaire family who have kept the club in debt, under-invested to the extent that United have won nothing for years after a long spell of winning everything, presided over a rotting stadium, seen the area around the stadium decay yet use the club as their personal cash cow. Well now the fans have taken direct action. I tuned in and was looking forward to that game with my team Liverpool but I unhesitatingly applaud those thousands of protesting fans, even the couple of hundred who got on the pitch. Things won't be the same again. I don't care for opportunistic knocking of fans for violence and unruly behaviour, etc. when something like this happens. Like everybody else I don't want to see flares or a cop in hospital. I have cousins up north who support United or City, and there's me with Liverpool, and it was Bury or Burnley when I was a lad, and a little lad at that. My grandad was a lifelong avid United fan. We are all mates but we can get sniffy with each other over the beautiful game, for about 22 seconds only, a bit like me and Mike here. It's in our blood, is footie. We want it back!