No public house can compare to the atmosphere of Anfield.
It’s a spiritual experience I am keen to revisit and take my wife, who’s never been before.
Many people go to stadiums and some are aggressively proud of their devotion. They hold the banner of real fans high and look down upon those who stay at home with Sky, or those who just pop over to their local watering hole.
The costs of going to a Premiership game increase every year, when you take into account the total costs from travel, food, drink, tickets, etc it’s astronomical. The fans in the stadium pay through the nose to watch and spur their sides on as the proverbial twelfth man. Their sacrifice, investment in their club seems valued by players, managers, commentators and fellow fans, even referees and their assistants seem to be painfully aware of the costs.
Following your football club is getting far too expensive in my opinion and looks like others agree. Linesman John Brooks found himself in hot water when he told Manchester City players to go and thank their fans. The fans that chose to pay £62 for a ticket to support them when they played Arsenal at the Emirates in the Premiership.
Manchester City had sent back 900 of their 3000 tickets as a form of protest against these huge ticket prices.
What about those who watch at home or gather in pubs and bars to follow LFC?
The money generated by armchair fans paying to watch their teams on television has changed the game and made the Premier League what it is today, for better or worse. Clubs exist in their current form thanks to the revenue generated by television and the sponsorship it brings.
Having Sky Sports alone doesn’t mean you can watch all the televised LFC matches, as ESPN have had a few this season too. Getting both Sky and ESPN costs £29 a month, that’s £348 a year! When you multiply £348 by the number of households, it really adds up. Pubs and bars pay more; for most it’s the best part of £2000 a month, possibly more!
Compared to the commute from Birmingham to Liverpool, the costs associated and the time it would take makes mid-week games impossible to watch at Anfield. I just don’t go to watch the Reds or anyone in stadiums any more – I haven’t been in years. I choose to skip the commute, work up until 5 minutes before kick-off if watching at home, or 20 minutes before if watching at my local.
I choose the warmth of the great indoors and the glow of a bevy in my hand. I choose replays with “expert analysis” by morons who I enjoy criticizing. I choose the banter of friends who don’t support LFC but will meet up in a pub and catch up.
Colleagues who support their local team, Aston Villa, suggested it is the death of football if everyone thought like me. They paint a picture of empty stadiums and stale games where there’s no atmosphere. I don’t see it that way. In my opinion the stadium experience is the theatre version of football, compared to watching the same match at home being the film version.
The theatre exits with the same stories as found in film, both co-exist so why do I get grief for being an armchair fan. I contribute, with my subscriptions and going to the pub, the pubs pay even more for their Sky/ESPN.
I put it to you that if all armchair fans got a life and stopped watching, then clubs would be hit harder than if there were empty stadiums.
What do you think? Leave your thoughts below…
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