Being A Football Tourist Is Not A Crime
The Premier League brings with it many things.
Money, new fans, new ideas and, for many, disconnection.
It might seem weird to become disconnected with your club the more successful they are but with Palace enjoying an extended run in the top tier, more and more fans are becoming distanced due to the actions of the club.
One such action is the want to sell each seat to the highest bidder, whether that be to a corporate bod, or a football tourist.
As we lurched full throttle into Sky’s over-hyped Merseyside versus Manchester Super Sunday, many pictures emerged of people in the stands holding up signs saying where they’d come from and how excited they were to be at the game.
These images were closely followed by the football snobs, the “real” fans, ripping the piss out of them.
The snobbery wasn’t just directed at the fans, either, but of the way the game has sold out. Comments such as “All the clubs want is the money” and “They don’t care about atmosphere, just want any bum on a seat” were the tamer end of the scale.
Before we go further, let’s get one thing straight. Football needs atmosphere and I like atmosphere, and being part of it.
It’s all too easy to point the finger at these “football tourists” for their part in the sterilisation of the beautiful game, but the truth is there have always been elements of sporting crowds who don’t wish to sing and chant and scream.
Equally, there have always been grounds which have been a bit sterile.
But the crux of the matter is, if these people are in town and can get hold of a ticket, why shouldn’t they attend a sporting occasion starring some of the world’s greatest players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and… er… Marouane Fellaini?
How many of us have done similar? I know I have. In fact, I plan trips around the world going to attend sporting events. I AM a SPORTING TOURIST, not even just a football one. I’ll go along and watch most sports, regardless of who is playing, in a foreign city, just to experience it. Hell, I went to a game in Hamburg in fancy dress on my stag do!
Wherever you go, it’s different and varied, and isn’t that a good thing? I reckon a significant portion of my football supporting followers on Twitter have done similar, whether it be Barcelona, Madrid, Milan… or Dundee.
Why are we any different to those visiting our shores, and why should we stop doing what we enjoy doing?
Besides, why are we so scared of the “football tourist”? If you think it’s them sterilising the game, I can’t help but think your fears are misplaced. Or is it just because they are different to you in the way they watch and support?
Let them come, I say. Let them experience what we enjoy.