Football without fans is nothing (FWFIN).

A year, a decade or more, we will not stop until the clubs and authorities realise that Football Without Fans Is Nothing.

Pyro, pyro and more pyro!

Easter is now upon us, some of you will like it for religious reasons, some of you will like it for the Easter Eggs, but here at FWFIN, we like it for one thing and that’s the football. Some of you will be playing today and Monday, some of you will be playing Saturday and Monday, some of you might only have one game over this weekend because Sky or ESPN have to but in and mess around with the fixtures in which is normally a significant weekend in the footballing calendar. It’s a great time to watch your team, the next two games could define whether you push on for the title or you fall into the relegation places. Best of all though, you get to watch your beloved team twice in quick succession, whether it be one home, one away game, two at home or for those that are really lucky, two away games, remember to back your team from start to finish. Players maybe driven on a lot by money, but at the same time, if they hear the crowd urging them on, it will give them a spring in their step to perform to a higher level, to make the extra tackle, to score that crucial goal.

Over the last few days the second leg of the Champions League and the Europa League quarter finals have been played and guess what? English support was embarrassed again, Chelsea had their plastic flags which the club supply, whereas Benfica had the ultra mentality and outsung Chelsea for the majority of the game, it was only when Chelsea scored right near the end; Chelsea fans found their voices. We don’t mean to always go on about Chelsea, it’s just they’re the only English team left in the Europe, it happened before with United against Bilbao and when City played Sporting Lisbon, European fans have a better mentality than those of the English. Take when Schalke travelled to Bilbao yesterday, they had a very strong vocal backing over there, something which Man United lacked when they went to Spain not too long ago.

As the season draws to the close, for whatever reason, more pyro is tend to be seen in the English leagues, but it normally is only towards the end of the season. That has nothing to do with being ‘ultra’ though, that’s just something that somebody does to brag about it to their mates, but the sad reality about it though, is that if a smoke grenade or a flare is set off somewhere along the line, they do believe that they are ultra, well you’re not. In the United Kingdom pyro is a luxury, if you went about doing it week after week, eventually you’ll get caught. There is no crime in pyro, not by a long shot and this is something that will be tackled as we proceed on at FWFIN, but as long as people keep using it here and there, more and more people will get interested in it, which is only for the good of our game. It adds colour to the atmosphere and also, the vocal support tends to increase when it is set off as well, which is always a good thing. People still do need educating on the ‘ultra mentality’ and that’s what the next post will follow up on after the Easter weekend.

We do apologise about the lack of activity on the blog recently, that has been due to some work being done behind the scenes which will be made very clear soon. For all of you going to football over this weekend, support your team no matter what and remember that football without fans is nothing.

FWFIN.

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Nothing will ever replace Fan Culture.

Video says everything that needs saying.

It’s that time of week again; it’s the calm before the storm. The day before the game that makes or breaks your weekend, ninety minutes of ups and downs. Support your team no matter what, remember, football without fans is nothing.

FWFIN.

Double Standards from UEFA.

What an absolute joke. Celtic have been fined after displaying a banner saying ‘F*ck UEFA’ and setting off flares when they played away at Udinese in the Europa League earlier on in the season. The banner was in response to a fine the club received from UEFA for sectarian chanting. FWFIN 100% disagrees with sectarian chanting, but, to fine them again for having the banner is border line stupidity. They were fined for breaching article 11 of UEFA’s disciplinary regulations. Those regulations include prohibiting the lighting of fireworks and “the use of gestures, words, objects or any other means to transmit any message that is not fit for a sports event, in particular if it is of a political, offensive or provocative nature”. Fair enough, UEFA has regulations and they have to be followed, as does everything, but what about in Holland when a banner called UEFA a mafia? Was there any sanction there? Don’t be stupid. How about tonight, when there was a flare at the Marseille versus Bayern Munich match, surely there must be a punishment just around the corner for the club responsible? There is more chance of Michel Platini admitting that he despises British football and its dominance.   

Not as much as recent years, but British football has always been a relatively dominant force in European competitions, teams such as Forest, Liverpool, and Man United all have an impressive record in European competitions and that is to name just a few. Over the last few years Barcelona have oozed quality and have a very strong stranglehold on Europe now, but asides from that, Britain has been quite decent when it comes to cup finals etc. UEFA are a joke, Britain will be targeted to be set an example of all the time, because we don’t stand up for ourselves, the FA have no backbone and will just listen quite freely to what UEFA and FIFA alike have to say, not caring about our clubs.

The Green Brigade at Celtic have never shied away from controversy one way or another, but this is a farce, you can’t fine a team for displaying a banner. They took a stand and said what everyone else was thinking, other teams have thought the same about UEFA about the fact they’re so money orientated, but Celtic took a stand and did something about it and this is how they’re repaid, it’s disgusting. An ideal scenario would be other clubs to look at what has happened to Celtic and have anti-UEFA banners at their next game, whether it be big clubs or small clubs, just to see what the repercussions would be. Guaranteed if this had happened in Platini’s native France and it was Marseille or Lyon who were the culprits, nothing would’ve been done, but because it’s Britain, we must get punished.

AC Milan ultras were on fine form tonight as their team managed to keep a clean sheet against Barcelona which is by no means an easy job, however though, AC Milan have used flares before so maybe they should be banned from ever playing again, eh Platini? UEFA are corrupt and money driven, people need to wake up and realise it. After all, what happened to freedom of speech? Together, we can expose them for what they are, after all football without fans is nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FWFIN.

Is there a bias towards certain clubs?

For those of you that saw the United versus Fulham game last night, when Michael Carrick fouled Danny Murphy in the last few moments of the game, how many of you thought it was a penalty? Having watched the replay a few times, it was a stonewall penalty, Carrick has come from behind, not won the ball, it should’ve been a penalty. “Everyone in the stadium expected a penalty, you have to be brave to give an away penalty at United,” said Fulham manager Martin Jol. It’s true though, if that was the other way round, United 1-0 down with just a few minutes left in the game and Danny Murphy fouled Carrick, there would be 70,000 people going berserk, screaming for a penalty and chances are, the penalty would’ve been given. Jol also went onto to say that if it wasn’t a penalty, then Murphy should have been booked for diving, which is correct; the referee can’t argue with his positioning, he was there in line with the tackle which makes you wonder why on earth it wasn’t given.

Obviously, it would never be admitted by the FA, but is there a bias towards ‘bigger’ clubs? Time and time again, teams have gone to Old Trafford and ridiculous decisions have been given against them, or decisions which should’ve been like the penalty award that never was last night haven’t been given. It’s not just Man United though, when Chelsea played at Wolves earlier on this season Frank Lampard made a horrific tackle, near enough all the pundits said it should’ve been a straight red, yet it was just a yellow. However, a couple of games previous to that, Wolves midfielder, Nenad Milijas was given a straight red card at the Emirates stadium for a tackle where he won the ball. It wasn’t the best of tackles, but it was certainly better than the one Frank Lampard made; so where is the justice? Decisions seemingly go against the so called smaller clubs more frequently than they do that of the bigger clubs because there is such a lack of consistency when it comes to the officiating of football matches; one week an offense can warrant a yellow, the next red, the next it might not even be a foul.

Fans do have an influence regarding the situation, if we relate back to the opening topic of the penalty that never was at Old Trafford last night, it is clear that if there was thousands of people shouting and screaming, the probability of the penalty being given would’ve rose. Referees and officials aren’t meant to be influenced by supporters, but it’s happened before where the referee wouldn’t have a clear view of something, the crowd would shout handball and the referee or the linesman would give it. Excluding this weekend’s football the team that has had the most penalties this season, is none other than Man United who have been awarded nine penalties, which is three more than anyone else. Last season, the two teams who were awarded the most was Manchester City and Chelsea, the year before that Chelsea again. FWFIN understands that the aforementioned are going to have a lot of attacks, but it seems like a pattern forming, doesn’t it?

Football supporters all around Great Britain need to unite against the bias that is playing a massive part in the Premiership; it will never be admitted by those in charge, but next time you play at somewhere like Old Trafford or the Emirates, or Stamford Bridge, don’t be surprised if the majority of decisions go against you. Always remember that football without fans is nothing.

FWFIN.  

 

People are getting priced out of football.

You’ve just won promotion to the league above, the sun is shining, and you’re in a beer garden toasting next season about all the new grounds you will visit, about which you’re looking forward to most. But say for example, you’re in the Championship and you’ve just won promotion to the top flight, after a while, it loses its glitz and its glamour, because fans suddenly come out of nowhere, meaning fans that have been coming regularly during the previous seasons, now find it more difficult to obtain matchday tickets. Take Stoke City for example; their average attendance the season they got promoted was 16,823, the first season they were in the top flight it was 27,020 an increase of over 10,000. What does that stem from though? Larger away followings will play its part in the rise, but not by such a significant amount, maybe it’s the fact that some people are too bone idle and don’t want to watch Stoke play teams like Barnsley on a dull Tuesday night they would much rather be on ‘Super Sunday’ at home to Man United, because that will certainly be sold out. People won’t admit it though, despite that ten thousand people have come from nowhere, if you ask the majority of people they will all say that they’ve been coming for years. Granted, some have, but people do tend to lie so they don’t look like they’re a big league fan.

To your average working class fan though, the novelty of the Premiership soon wears off, the first season you’re up, you look forward to going to Old Trafford, Anfield, White Hart Lane because it’s a new experience, second time round, you will try and go to the grounds that you couldn’t go to last season. However, third time round, when you have to fork out near enough £50 to travel to Stamford Bridge, you have to question, is it really worth it? The atmosphere will be drab and boring although Stamford Bridge has got one of the better atmospheres out of the ‘bigger’ clubs, it’s just repetitive, but yet people will still go. They will still go; blind with optimism thinking that their beloved team can pull of a shock result. Take Wigan on Saturday at example, away at Liverpool, no one really gave them a chance of getting anything, yet they came away as 2-1 winners. Only a small contingent of Wigan fans made the journey to Anfield, but the loyalty was rewarded coming away with the three points.

The fact of the matter is, the Premiership is not really a league for your normal fan anymore, it’s becoming more expensive every year and it will keep on getting worse until someone steps in and does something about it. Problem is though, it isn’t just the Premiership now, it’s starting to filter down to the Championship as well; when Leeds played at home to West Ham a couple of weeks ago, due to the fact it was a ‘Category A’ game, it would be £36 to be an away fan, which is a horrible price. Just goes to show, how much money is taking over football.

If you were offered two scenarios, which would you pick? Your team travel to Old Trafford on a bright, sunny afternoon, you take quite a decent allocation up there, the fans that you’re there with all sit down throughout the game, only standing up to get a beverage at half time and the atmosphere doesn’t really exist. Or, it’s a Tuesday night, it’s raining, it’s gloomy, there’s not even a thousand of you on the open terrace that you’ve been allocated, but you’re all supporting your team, there aren’t any people who are sitting down because they haven’t turned up here, because they don’t have the comfort of sitting down under a roof. FWFIN hopes you would pick the second one, because the first one is exactly what is wrong with modern football. Remember, football without fans is nothing.

FWFIN.

Stop Mod£rn Football!

Chances are at some point in your life, the majority of you would’ve played Football Manager or some form of football game on a console. There’s also a very high chance that at some stage when playing the game you have cheated to give yourself more money, yes? For Roman Abramovich and Khaldoon Al Mubarak who are the chairmen of Chelsea and Man City, that game is a reality; last night when the two teams clashed at the Etihad Stadium the amount of money that both squads cost put together is ridiculous. Even if you took Torres, Aguero and Balotelli who started up front in the match, they total over £100 million thereselves, let alone the other thirty-three players. The two chairmen have luxurious roles at their respective clubs; they can pick and choose near enough any player in the world and pay over the odds for them and then see them play for their club, it’s the same with the manager as well, Abramovich is on his ninth in as many years as he tries and buys success. However, things may be changing over the next few years, because the new FFP (Financial Fair Play) rules that are being put in place basically mean that you have to live within your means or break even; Man City last year reported a loss of almost £200 million, so that will have to stop. There will be a way round it though, there always is.

As previously mentioned the game last night was played at the Etihad Stadium, which to you and me it is the City of Manchester Stadium or Eastlands, the same way that the Sports Direct Arena will always be St James’ Park. Clubs are selling their souls far too easily now, how long will it be before we have team names sponsored by companies? It has happened in Austria and in New York where you have now got Red Bull Salzburg and New York Red Bulls, Red Bull is a drink! It has nothing to do with football, but in America the commercialisation of just about everything is accepted, however in Austria there was a lot of uproar surrounding the issue, but in every walk of life money talks. How long will it be before Red Bull buy a football team over here, or another global company try and alter a team’s name and a logo? It’ll be a long before we know it, which is why it’s time to act now!

The video posted at the bottom of this article shows the difference between a better time and now, how commercial the game has become, how stadiums and atmospheres have changed for the worse, it’s time to stand up and be counted in the fight against modern football because enough is enough. It should of happened a long time ago, but action wasn’t taken, by the time next season comes around it will be planned out and major events will take place across the country as we try and take back the beautiful game. Football without fans is nothing.

FWFIN.

 

 

Your team is for every day, not just matchday.

Today is Wednesday, right in the middle of the week, if you’re not playing in midweek, then it’s probably the worst day, because it’s far away from last Saturday and the memories of what happened and it’s still another few days until you’re next game. That is of course, if you only support your team on matchdays; supporting your team is not something that only happens once, maybe twice a week, it’s something that is constant and will always be there. If you’re talking to someone today and they ask what team you support, you won’t say that you don’t support anyone today, because you’re waiting for Saturday to come around, you will tell them proudly who you support. They will then respond by telling you who they support and then a discussion will take place about past, present and future going ons at your beloved clubs about who is better and how you will get on at the weekend and so on, so forth.

Supporting your team is something that is done 365 days a year (366 this year), 24 hours a day and seven days a week. You will have your prawn sandwich brigade who just turn up on matchdays, sit in the corporate section, have a nice meal in the warm comfort of a box and not really care about the game, well that isn’t supporting your team, that isn’t even football. The build-up for your next matchday will tend to start straight after the other one has just finished, of course in between match days you will have work (or college, or school), but even then discussion will take place about the last game and when you have finished what you’re doing with your day, you will get back home and preparation will begin. Take the assumption that your next game is away from home, you will start looking at a decent watering hole for when you get there, your travel will be getting organised, whether it’s train times or buses or just a car, your route will be getting looked into. Then, you will start picturing the stand where you will be, you will start picturing a last minute winner which sends your fans into scenes of jubilation. Of course, at some point, no matter where it is you’re playing, or the significance of the game, someone will always say, let’s go on the pitch, or “if we score, I’m going on the pitch”. It’s just one of the wonderful things about football fans in this country; in the darkest depths there is still an element of humour, which is perhaps the most crucial thing of all.

Be proud of who you support, regardless of what situation your team is in, don’t feel nervous about starting off a new chant on the terraces, because if everyone was, then everyone would be in silence and that’s not what is needed, not what is needed at all. So, if you’ve been watching videos of fans elsewhere in the world singing a song like the Dale Cavese for example, don’t be frightened to try it, who knows, it might catch on. Perseverance is mandatory, because if you don’t persevere with your team, then you may as well give up now. Remember, your team is for a life time, not just for a Saturday.

FWFIN.

Stop Premier Greed.

Late last year the EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan) was accepted by a majority vote by Football league clubs. For those that don’t know, the EPPP now means that tribunal fees now longer have to be paid for young players when a fee can’t be agreed, for example, when Chelsea signed fourteen year old Oluwaseyi Ojo from MK Dons for £1.5 million, that won’t happen anymore, so that money that MK Dons would greatly receive has been wiped out for a more ‘structural’ system, in which, basically, bigger clubs can pick and choose what youngsters they want and at a snippet of the price. So a club like Crewe, who have produced many great youngsters over the past several years, wouldn’t make as much money as what they did, so when Dean Ashton went to Norwich for £3 million, it wouldn’t even be a cut of that price. So yet again, the big boys rule, money rules and quite frankly it is disgusting.

Crystal Palace are a team that have not taken lightly to this, with the Holmesdale Fanatics displaying banners (one of which is below) and boycotting the first five minutes of a home game, in response to this monstrosity. Clubs in the lower reaches of the Football League have also had banners that have been displayed in response to this, to raise awareness and to try and put a stop to it. Some of you will be reading this and you will support a team in the top flight and you really couldn’t care less, but put yourselves in a position of a Football League club, where you nurture youngsters through your academy, you’re looking forward to seeing them blossom and then, in a flash, they’ve gone to a bigger club and you’ve not even been paid the right amount either, it’s horrific.

No to EPPP (Holmesdale Fanatics).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly though, in the top two divisions it is only really Palace that are doing much about it, which is a shame because it will effect other clubs in the Championship asides from just Palace, but it’s the same as a lot of things, if it isn’t doing anything to bother them now, then people won’t act. The EPPP has been in place since late October and when it comes to a teenage prodigy thriving in your academy and you’re thinking that your club can make quite a bit of money on him and then you can invest in your squad, think again, because your likes of your Chelsea, your Spurs can just come along and pinch him, and then it will effect you, won’t it?  But by then, it will be too late. Which is why action is needed now, spread the word, and join up at – http://www.notoeppp.co.uk/. You can make a difference, if you join and you tell ten people, then they each tell ten people, word can spread extremely fast.

Fans can make a difference, no matter what anyone says, players tend to respond to backing from the supporters, admittedly, certain players are driven by money, but, when players are down and they think they’re on the verge of defeat, if they hear a rousing chant from the terraces, it can inspire them. Believe in your team and then they will believe, it is a two way thing, if the players are hearing moans and groans, chances are they will feel fed up, but if you give them inspiration, then they may make that pass, that tackle, that goal. But you will only find out if you try it, always support your team, because remember, football without fans is nothing.

FWFIN.

Get well soon Muamba.

Fabrice Muamba is a young, fit athlete, yet he collapsed on Saturday evening with a heart attack whilst playing for Bolton against Spurs in the FA Cup. Football has been united with hope that the England under 21 midfielder can pull through and it has been reported that he has been able to move his arms and legs more than what he could, so it sounds like he is on the mend, fingers crossed. Gary Cahill displayed a “Pray 4 Muamba” t-shirt underneath his Chelsea top after scoring yesterday against Leicester and Real Madrid players played with “Get well soon Muamba” and a message of goodwill towards Abidal instead of their shirt sponsor yesterday. Despite the amount of criticism modern football players are given by FWFIN, it is nice to see that fans, players and others have put their differences asides for Muamba. Get well soon, Fabrice.

 The FA Cup used to be one of the most prestigious competitions in the world, and to some people, including FWFIN, it is and that’s why it was refreshing to see such a brilliant end-to-end encounter in the Everton versus Sunderland game in the early kick off on Saturday. The atmosphere coming from the away end was also extremely loud as the allocation is increased for cup games and it was nice to see Goodison Park, which is one of the only traditional grounds left, playing host to a cracking game and a cracking crowd.

Wherever you were this weekend, FWFIN hopes you remembered that football without fans is nothing, as the wheels get in motion; it is safe to say that we will be functioning by the start of next season and this time next year, different things would have been done to help raise awareness in relation to it. Money has ruined football and slowly, but surely, people are beginning to realise it, however, when people become aware of it, they have to become part of the fight against modern football as well, there is no use in sitting back and just thinking, I’ll join in when everyone else does, it won’t work if everyone takes on that attitude!

Together, we can alter the face of football and how it is run, and we can make football ours once again, which is exactly how it should be! Love the game, hate the business.

 FWFIN.

The beautiful game has turned ugly.

Chelsea versus Napoli, as we said, the Napoli fans were so much better than the Chelsea supporters. The home supporters were given flags to wave as they sung along to the tannoy system, which quite simply sums up the support of some clubs in this country. Yet, the commentary team on ITV said how good the support was and how they silenced the Napoli supporters. They didn’t though; the travelling Napoli fans sung for the whole 120 minutes, without fail, Chelsea fans only really got going when they were in the ascendancy, and even when extra time began, again over the tannoy came music to get the fans going. However, yesterday night, Manchester United travelled to Athletic Bilbao, the home fans were again, the happier of the two supports, but there wasn’t a sign of any plastic flags being waved that were manufactured by the club in a desperate bid to make it look good for the television, instead the San Mamés Stadium was a cauldron of noise; scarves were being twirled as the supporters backed their team non-stop for ninety minutes. So yet again, the foreign support, betters that of the English, the mentality, the spirit are just two of the things that our counterparts beat us at tenfold.

Furthermore, the price that United fans were charged in Spain was nothing short of daylight robbery, it cost a staggering £77.50 for a match ticket; this is despite Man United charging Athletic Bilbao fans less than half of that at £36. You can get a one-way flight to Cyprus for less than the £77.50 charged by Bilbao; it’s beyond a joke, because tickets for the final of the Europa League in Category A are £94, so to charge £77.50 in the last 16 is horrific, dread to think what they will charge in the quarter finals against Hannover.

There are some big games all over the country this weekend, most of the stadiums will have a corporate section where you can watch the football from a box, whilst enjoying a three course meal and champagne, that’s not what it is about though, not by a long shot. Football is about supporting your team no matter what happens, throughout the lowest lows, when your team is in the process of losing week after week, because with the lows, come the highs! Where you go on a winning streak and every game you go to, you know you’re going to win, that is what makes it worthwhile. The players coming over to you at the end of the game to clap you, that’s what makes it worthwhile. Football is the beautiful game, it always will be. No matter what happens your team will always be your team, no matter how much you try to unattach yourself from them, you’ll always come back. Don’t let the rich tycoons bully us out of our game with sky high prices, we can take a stand and we can stop this madness, football is our game and it always will be, we won’t stop until we have regained what is ours. Football without fans is nothing.

FWFIN.