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By fans, for fans. By fans, for fans. By fans, for fans.

Loyalty, love and the beautiful game...


Chewie

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Woke up yesterday to the news that Di Matteo had been sacked and instantly figured 'That's mental, totally in keeping with that club, but mental all the same'. Then, out of nowhere, another train of thought bulldozered through my head. It was totally unexpected, but it went something like this. Loyalty. Why should anyone be loyal in football? Why should we expect there to be any loyalty in football?

 

Managers demand loyalty from players, and plead for time from the owner, but then leave the club when a better offer comes along. Managers also drop any players who are under performing, selling them, ostracising them, trading them like assets. Even those who invest their 'heart' into a club are not 'bigger than the club'. When they do not produce on the pitch, their time is up and they are out.

 

Players. Why do we demand loyalty from players? Why do we demand it from players who have left other clubs to be with us? More so, why do we hold it against them when they leave when if they do not perform we can't wait to get rid of them. We say things like 'the club has been loyal to him' or 'the club has invested in his development', but here's the thing... the club quickly cuts those who it doesn't thing are worth being loyal to or developing. Even the adage about having young players, or local players, who will run through brick walls for the club etc etc. At the end of the day, it's only the talented ones that we actually want to keep. Merely being young, merely being local, is not enough. We think they will be more selfless, more sacrificial, in the interests of the club, when the truth is that our interest in them is entirely selfish - what can they produce for the team.

 

Owners. Why do we even pretend here? There are good owners, who realise that the way to accumulate is to invest and speculate, and are interested in competing. And there are bad owners, who asset strip and cream the rest. There are some who really wish they could do more but can't, and there are those who really should, but don't.

 

Contracts. What is a contract there for? It exists to provide security for both parties. It provides security of payment and reward for players and managers, and it provides security of compensation for the club should they leave, either at the wishes of the player or the club. The idea of 'he signed a contract', therefore he should stick by it, is only ever indulged if he is the sort of player we would rather see stick to that contract. If he's rubbish, then we reason that surely he'd rather take a cut and play elsewhere as for some reason he is 'robbing' the club. Robbing? How? By receiving what someone else agreed to give him?

 

As fans, we judge them all by their contribution to the game on the bit of turf that we see before our very eyes. Those that contribute to success, we laud, hail, and claim as 'ours'. For some reason we invest in them our sense of 'getting the club', of getting 'us'. Those that aren't as good as we'd like them to be, can be sold, got rid of, are not of a sufficient quality for our club and its mythical 'way'.

 

And actually this train of thought left me cold. It made me care a bit less about all of them, because in the end they are not loyal to me or us, nor I or we to them. It made me think that there is little left to have a connection with. They are professionals, in a professional game, and as much as we talk about the love of the game from our perspective, we judge them by professional standards. Deliver and they get to stay, unless they choose to leave, at which point we personalize the relationship and damn them accordingly. Fall short of delivering and we want shot of them anyway. Which means that we can't really just exist as a club purely for the sake of playing football. As if somehow it's all a bit of fun really, and we should enjoy the game without getting too hot under the collar about it. We aren't left with the romantic notion of simply loving the club and going along with it whether we win or lose. The very fact that we seek for the club to be about winning games, and winning things, drives us to being professional and detached from the individuals who can make or break this from happening. In the end, we are loyal to ourselves, and to the success of the football club. Everything, and everyone else, is a cog in that wheel. At one and the same time it makes following this football club very personal for me, but it depersonalizes everyone associated with it. Which leaves a very strange abyss. Football clubs are founded upon connections, heroes on the pitch, a sense of belonging between team and supporter, manager and player, and yet ultimately all those connections stand or fall by the output of winning or losing. We are ultimately loyal only to the result, and I dunno if that helps me love the game any more or indeed any less...

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I stopped caring about footballers when Torres walked.

 

Football is a sickening farce and I watch it for the same reason I watch Masterchef The Professionals or the X Factor. To shout at the telly and relieve the perpetual tedium of my pointless existence on this festering s****hole of a planet.

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As fans, we judge them all by their contribution to the game on the bit of turf that we see before our very eyes. Those that contribute to success, we laud, hail, and claim as 'ours'. For some reason we invest in them our sense of 'getting the club', of getting 'us'. Those that aren't as good as we'd like them to be, can be sold, got rid of, are not of a sufficient quality for our club and its mythical 'way'.

Can't argue with most of what you've said but you're having to grasp at fairly thin straws when it comes to fans.

 

Fans in general are extremely loyal to the club they support.

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I stopped caring about footballers when Torres walked.

 

Football is a sickening farce and I watch it for the same reason I watch Masterchef The Professionals or the X Factor. To shout at the telly and relieve the perpetual tedium of my pointless existence on this festering s****hole of a planet.

 

:unsure:

 

What can you shout at Masterchef?

 

"He's never cooked a f*cking kidney in his life this c*nt f*cking look at him sweating!!! Get him off! Go ed you c*nt, it's not even sealed properly you tw*t!"

 

The Professionals for that matter

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Can't argue with most of what you've said but you're having to grasp at fairly thin straws when it comes to fans.

 

Fans in general are extremely loyal to the club they support.

 

Sorry - prob my fault in wording.. fans are extremely loyal, but it is exactly to what you have said - the club. And not the owners of that club, not the manager, and not the players. They build incredible bonds of affection for those that deliver, for those that give everything to the job that they are doing, but ultimately no-one is bigger than the club, and if the club is not doing well those that are responsible for that - owners, managers, players - are rejected by the fans, sometimes we are apathetic towards them, sometimes we become uber cyber internet terrorists :guns:

 

the very thing that forms our closest attachment to the club is the thing that actually relativises everyone's role at the club. It is the club above all else that must do well, and in that pursuit all are expendable. Whatever 'loyalty' we speak of, it can only be spoken of within the understanding that ultimately the worth of any individual to the club and to us is entirely dependent on the contribution they make and the outcome of that contribution. Our loyalty to them as individuals stops short of supporting them 'no matter what'. As such, no one involved in the world of football has really any sense of obligation to stick anywhere, because in the end, someone else will make a determination on their worth or otherwise to the club.

 

The loyalty of fans is never in question..

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I stopped caring about footballers when Torres walked.

 

Football is a sickening farce and I watch it for the same reason I watch Masterchef The Professionals or the X Factor. To shout at the telly and relieve the perpetual tedium of my pointless existence on this festering s****hole of a planet.

 

:lol: You got dud gear again Matty?!

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I stopped caring about footballers when Torres walked.

 

Football is a sickening farce and I watch it for the same reason I watch Masterchef The Professionals or the X Factor. To shout at the telly and relieve the perpetual tedium of my pointless existence on this festering s****hole of a planet.

We could be twins.

 

When did football become the main criteria for defining people? Yesterday & today I've witnessed Chelsea fan after Chelsea fan essentially saying "we don't want him, he's Liverpool scum". You could have a chat with a guy, in a bar or in a work meeting, and they'll go away and say "yeah, he was alright". But you end that conversation with "I'm a Spurs fan" and he'll go back and say "I met a Spurs scum today - worra f***ing c***".

 

Football should go back to being a playground or Sunday park game; sod fans and sod professionalism.

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What can you shout at Masterchef?

 

"He's never cooked a f*cking kidney in his life this c*nt f*cking look at him sweating!!! Get him off! Go ed you c*nt, it's not even sealed properly you tw*t!"

 

Er, yes.

 

That was a weird way to cook kidney, you have to admit.

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My 10 Commandments:

 

1. Thou will love The Beautiful Game.

2. Thou will forever be loyal in thy allegiance to thy Club.

3. Thou will love thy Club.

4. Thou will not love any false clubs. (esp. them at the other end of the East Lancs Rd)

5. Thou will be truly loyal and faithful to Thine Manager. (but not Woy/Souness was a stretch, but he's a legend))

6. Thou will love, worship and show complete loyalty to Club Heroes/Legends.

7. Thou will also show loyalty to thy Club's journeymen and grafters.

8. Thou will forever show thy loyalty through thy loveable memories of ex & moved-on Players. (in most cases/Owen is a tvvat)

9. Thou will continually test thy loyalty towards any player patently forgetting who they once played for. (Lawro is a c#nt)

10. Thou will defend thy Club, Manager and Players against any onslaught from phillistines and heathens.

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I stopped caring about footballers when Torres walked.

 

Football is a sickening farce and I watch it for the same reason I watch Masterchef The Professionals or the X Factor. To shout at the telly and relieve the perpetual tedium of my pointless existence on this festering s****hole of a planet.

 

If only there was a comma between Masterchef & The Professionals. Then I would have been with you.

 

I shout at The Professionals all the time.

 

"Doyle, your hair really is sh*t"

 

"Bodie, stop driving like a c*nt. You're not even chasing anyone"

 

That sort of thing.

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"Would I ever leave this company? Look, I'm all about loyalty. In fact, I feel like part of what I'm being paid for here is my loyalty.

But if there were somewhere else that valued loyalty more highly, I'm going wherever they value loyalty the most."

- Dwight Schrute -

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