The England football team have come under major scrutiny recently – as they always do although over recent years it has been the fans who are making the headlines. Indeed, 90 were arrested during the game against Holland last week. So, my blog post – a reasoned explanation as to why the English fans have got such a tough time.
Firstly, the narrative of ‘I hope these troublemakers get sorted out in Russia’ is absolutely disgusting. This is the opinion formed by lots of people, who have very little idea what makes up England’s travelling support. Those fans you see causing trouble are not the fans who make the trek to south America or eastern Europe - these are the real fans. The fans you see causing the trouble are those who go for the ‘atmosphere’ as opposed to the football – but why do they go?
Simply put – the media. You can bet any money that after any England away game a major media outlet with run with the title “Trouble flares as England…” when talking to fans – this is very much not the case with the exception of Amsterdam last week. Because the media paint this picture of England away trips being a ‘tear up’ it inspires others to join and gives the hooligans, who are looking for trouble, a reason to go. They think they’ll be joining the majority when in fact those causing trouble are the exception to the rule.
Why do the journalists do it? Its an easy story – it is easy to write about a fight in a pub or locals being unhappy about the travelling brits – it’s an easy story that doesn’t tell the true picture. Yes, the actions seen in Amsterdam were appalling and shouldn’t be tolerated, but why were these people here? Simply put, they believe the hype and piggy back on to it.
But England fans must do more, when things such as anthem booing take place, other England fans need to do more to call it out. It’s ridiculous, is frowned upon by 90% of the travelling support and openly harms out reputation abroad in front of a huge tv audience.
Rant over & lets hope the fans are not the ones making the headlines in Russia over the summer.