I couldn't agree with Adam more. Until recently I was one of those who
regarded England fans as a bunch of racist bigots who got all they deserved.
However, I object to fans of other clubs assuming that all United fans are
gloryhunting part-timers, whilst happily having the same blinkered view of
England fans. Double standards methinks.
Although there is clearly a very nasty racist element among England
followers they are a minority who get the majority of the publicity. Did
anyone see Panorama special on the subject last night (20th June)? Kevin
Miles made the point that yobs of this ilk do not express their racist,
bigoted views at home because it isn't acceptable for them to do so. Yet
they feel free to do so when abroad. And this doesn't just apply to
following England. I have heard reports that "No surrender to the IRA" was
heard at a recent United Euro away (either Bordeaux or Madrid). I'm hoping
it was a misheard "No surrender to the PLC"; but I doubt it. There are an
increasing number of idiots following United on euro aways these days. I've
lost count of the number of 'United fans' I met in Bordeaux or Madrid who
never go to OT because they "can't get tickets". Anyone can go to a euro
away - for a price.
And in my opinion draconian measures, like not allowing fans to travel or
heavy-handed policing, not only make life difficult for ordinary fans, it's
counter-productive anyway. Maybe it's time for us "ordinary fans" to take a
stand and make it clear that we won't allow a minority to spoil the game for
the rest of us. A kind of collective responsibility. Any ideas anyone??
Also whilst on the subject - I find it a bit rich listening to politicians
spouting on about "football hooligans". The sort of nationalistic jingoism
that seems to be behind much of the trouble which follows England is being
openly traded on by the leader of the opposition party (whose name escapes
me for the moment) in an attempt to win the next election. What else is
"Save the pound" about? OK it doesn't actually mention saving us from frogs,
krauts and dagos but the implication is clearly there and won't be lost on
those who think that way.
Rant over, Monica
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