Archive for Heisel

What does community mean in Football today?

Posted in Football, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 4, 2012 by jackpinnock

In this document, I will thoroughly describe and evaluate several fundamental aspects on the importance of the community of Football today. The importance of the crowd as an individual, the expression of a football club as a community, the idea of the corporate fan, supporting your club as the urban working class, and the importance of the well renowned, Sky Television, are just some of the pivotal areas that need to be explained in great detail. Nevertheless, the most important question is, what role to each of these factors have for helping the community from the perspective of football?

Firstly, the importance of a fan from an individual perspective is fundamental for the club they support. The average football fan is critical for any football club because on a consistent weekly basis, they pay a staggering amount of money over the course of the year to watch their team through thick and thin. However, another query to this argument is do clubs appreciate their fans enough? From the 1980’s people were willing to pay over the odds to watch their much favoured team, and most importantly, enjoy their experience. However, in this present time, to go to an ordinary game, about £150 is spent to watch a 90 minute game. The most worrying factor is though; this staggering figure is not dwindling, and will keep rising for many years. Nevertheless, you cannot comprehend how much passion and commitment is shown by the fans in order for their team to strive forward.

Secondly, to give supporters the sense of reward, football clubs tend to involve themselves in community projects to help raise awareness. However, is a football club an expression of a community? Charity events, help with grassroots, and local visits to local institutions are just some of the activities both players and members of club staff get involved with. This is so the club can give something back to the urban working class who follow the club. But to say that a football club is an expression of a community is something that needs to be questioned. I agree, players and staff of every club across the football league and premier league all contribute to community work, but not on a regular basis, and I feel that prioritising can be improved for each club. Football is more of a business than a sport, and this is where the community is out of its depth and cannot compete with the wealth of football.

Thirdly, community is vital in the footballing world, however, no one seems to acknowledge that stadiums and arenas play a huge factor, which begs the question, were all seater stadiums bound to become cooperate?. During, what is called, ‘the Thatcher years’, the Luton Riot, the Heisel tragedy, and most notable, Hillsborough, all tragically happened in the 1980’s, which the rise of football hooliganism. During this period, terraces were the main attraction for fans to stand out and create a euphoria of noise on their home turf. Unfortunately, this caused major unrest between rival fans, and some matches spiralled out of control. This is where clubs saw a gap in the market, and create a so called business class experience by creating the cooperate box for the upper class customer. This was also the opportunity to eliminate most of the football hooligans from grounds, as it will be impossible for them to afford a box seat. After witnessing such horrific scenes, I think it was inevitable that terraces would be banished from stadiums and more money would be charged.

As a result of the business class customer to football matches, I think that the urban working class were trying to be deliberately excluded from football matches. This might not be because of the vile behaviour from some supporters, but the business and upper class was becoming a much more profitable market. It is remarkable how the game has changed, from the late 1800’s-even late 1900’s, you were considered scum if you followed football, especially during Margaret Thatcher’s reign. In this present day, the business class customer is looking far more attractive, and it’s almost as though the urban working class is being demolished. With this in mind, this is not the perfect solution on the community in football today.

Finally, as the urban class were gradually being forgotten, Sky Television exploited a great opportunity in bringing community back into football, and making it a more profitable market. In 1992, the formation of the Premier League was introduced, and Sky, who were only a small satellite broadcasting company at the time, introduced live matches to the nation. Football pundits, commentators, and television presenters became a worldwide phenomenon, and while winning back the footballing passion of the working class, also made football the most profitable sport in the world.

Overall, through the crowd as an individual perspective, football clubs on their involvement in the community, seated stadiums to cater for everyone, the working class football fan, and the emergence of Sky television, I feel that in this day and age, the community in football is still with us today, but I also feel that improvements and prioritising could be implemented into the football community.

The Casuals- Identifying society in a wider context

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2012 by jackpinnock

Before the 1980’s, going to witness a friendly, but competitive sports match was nothing out of the ordinary. However, as times gradually moved on, a rise in the Mods and Rockers grew, certain fashion became high priority for many people, and hooliganism expanded. There were a variety of reasons for this, however, the birth of the celebrity culture, and some of the main events that happened in the 1980’s and beyond, were the main influence for the casuals in the 1980’s.

Before the end of the decade, the casual was solely based on styling yourself to be as unique as anybody else. However, a group of Liverpool fans took a step further, and eliminated sartorial elegance from the game. The stylish jumper and Doc Martin’s were vanishing quickly, and Tacchini tracksuit bottoms and Adidas trainers evolved. This trend setting theme swept the continent, which made the fans much more masculine, and the era of hooliganism began.

In the 80’s, violence and hooliganism was a matter of life and death for people, a hobby, or maybe even just something to do, and whoever involved, the lives of people they were conflicting with did not cross their minds.

In 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands and started a war with the British. After Britain fought them off, a sense of triumph spread amongst the British nation and we felt united. In 1985, hooliganism, especially in football, began to become ever popular, and with that, the Luton riot occurred. In that same year, the Heysel tragedy, when Liverpool played against European giants, Juventus, sadly claimed the lives of many fans and all English clubs were banned from European football for 5 years.

The grief and sadness of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 was the last straw, and you could say that hooliganism had gone too far. The lifestyle of the casual had disappeared as the media had now discovered what had really been happening, and sportswear manufactures had dispersed into another form of fashion culture.

In this day and age, you could say that the casual has reborn into a new light, eliminating the Tacchini tracksuits and Adidas trainers, and moving onto the fake burberry hat and Hackett polo collared shirt. Even though it’s not as bad as it was, you could say that the world of hooliganism and the casuals is still upon us.