A wind – up? An expression of dual identity? Or an expression of the impact of the global football market?
Many ridicule such an image, of a ‘football fan’ sporting a shirt with two club emblems on the chest, however you may be more alike than first thought.
How many people can truly say now that they support their local team? How many people even support their regional, or indeed their national team?
There is an ever increasing number of football fans supporting teams who occupy Europe, predominantely teams from Europes BIG FIVE, notably in Germany, Spain, Italy, France and England.
Mass media has allowed us to be consumed by football events, heroes and villians. Everyday we are emerged in a spectacle of footballing prowess, and those teams with the greatest amount of money and the greatest amount of power possess the loudest voice in our social world. It is therefore probable to assume that football is no longer as community based and tribal as it once was. Globalisation and immigration has been a huge factor in this also.
Is this a good thing?
Many people agree, and feel positively about getting away from footballs ‘tribal’ elements. Possibly believing it will alleviate violence, and ethinic difference.
Is it a bad thing?
Well it is changing the culture of the game. Fans are now involving themselves in the business of football like never before, and are being commodified by the vast media market. This goes against the age old tradition of being ‘born’ a fan which is charaterised by common footballing tales such as ‘cut me and i’ll bleed (insert team colours)’, ‘my Dad was a (insert team name) fan, so I am’ or ‘I was born here, so I support (insert team name)’.
Traditional fans don’t like this commodification of football fans, and more importantly they don’t like that “fans” are buying into it. Many struggle with the concept of having a ‘second team’. To many it’s unthinkable, but in the modern world it’s ordinary.
I would love to live in a world without sky sports. I would love to have seen an international match with a minimum of 100,000 people standing under one roof watching the sport I love (From 1906 – 1914 Scotland v England managed this feat: never less than 100,000 attendance during this time).
Alas, these are changed days and we live in the age of digital media. However, I must side with the traditionalists. With dwindelling numbers at football grounds, and complete lack of local and national talent in the United Kingdom I only worry that collective identities soon become extinct. Of course football must celebrate multiculture diversity, which football has aspired to since the Bosman ruling (1995), but it should never lose sight of local and regional pride and identity.
All that from one kit, eh?
PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS AND THOUGHTS BELOW.