Bad Atmosphere - Is it any wonder?

March 24, 2015


We as fans are criticised for not singing loudly, yet in England players don’t stick around to clap the fans in attendance. This is quite disrespectful.  It is the norm for players to clap travelling fans at away matches yet at home games there is next-to-nothing.

 My friend made the journey from Belgium to Stamford Bridge to experience a game for his birthday – players should take these situations into account as they scurry down the tunnel at full-time. They could at least stick about for the duration of ‘Blue is the Colour’ (if/when they decide to play it…) when you take into consideration there are fans that have made ‘football pilgrimages’ to see their beloved team.

Fans without season tickets can pay up to £87 for one ticket to one game, though this is nothing compared to the staggering amounts the players get paid per week as standard. As a fan, if I paid that much money for one ticket to one game – let alone fans who pay a lump sum to the club to support the wages of the players, year in year out – the bare minimum I would expect from these idolised players is one minute of their time to thank and appreciate me for supporting them.



It doesn’t surprise you that people complain about players just being in it for the money when they don’t seem to appreciate the fans who are part of the job. We wear expensive shirts with their names printed on the back, and we sing their name during the game. When a player is rushing inside to post a topless thank-you on Instagram it makes you wonder why they don’t spend that one extra minute thanking the fans who are actually there. It can often leave you feeling like the final curtain has gone down after a pantomime, is that really it?

I visited the Allianz Arena to see Bayern Munich thrash Werder Bremen 6-0, and the Bayern players gave a hearty clap and bow whilst walking the four corners of the stadium. This is not only because of the high-score, but out of respect to the fans who support them week in week out.

During Borussia Dortmund’s bad run earlier this season the images of Roman Weidenfeller and Mats Hummels engaging with angry fans to apologise went viral. This special connection between Bundesliga players and their fans left a bitter taste in my mouth when I returned to Stamford Bridge and saw players half-heartedly clap on their way into the tunnel.



After the game in Munich fans (I know there are different laws) I went and bought another beer and sat back in the ground to have a chat and watch the big TV screen showing the sports reports of the day. We stuck around for a few hours, exploring the ground, experiencing the club shop and waiting for the iconic red lights to fill the outside walls of the Allianz Arena.

Compare this to Chelsea fans checking the time on their phones and leaving in the 86th minute to catch the tube before the rush, seemingly pleased another game is over. There’s no passion. There’s no mingling of opposition fans analysing the game, clinking plastic cups of beer together. There are no children singing their team’s songs on the underground earning hi-5s from merry grown-ups in team scarves (even though it’s sunny).

I don’t know if it’s because London’s football fandom is so tribal, but on match day in Munich there was a veritable buzz around the city. Munich may be red, but the all-in-green Werder Bremen fans were welcomed with knowing smiles and cheerful jibes. The next day in a Biergarten some Bremen fans (still in their team colours) entered happily announcing “we just lost 6-0” only to be met with a cheer from all of the punters.



In England you are sometimes released at different times so as not to cause conflict. England’s football grounds, though filled with mostly decent people, are a safe haven for racists, sexists, and across the board thugs who need a place where they can get away with shouting abuse.

At the Chelsea vs PSG game I heard a male Chelsea fan shout “get off the train!” when Chelsea were not awarded a free-kick. It received a raucous chuckle from the surrounding fans. A different male fan actually (I kid you not) threw a half-eaten cheeseburger, and later an empty plastic bottle into our own fans. These are the people who claim to be the most passionate.

Love Chelsea as I do, if this is the kind of trash (!) I have to deal with; I know where I’d rather be.

This article was originally published on www.chelseafancast.com

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