Football Supporters Are Inherently Conservative

That break that last for a couple of days towards the end of a major football tournament can do strange things to you. I considered at great length whether I should go into enormous detail about the European Championship semi-finals (which, lest we forget, are being played tomorrow night and the night after), but I thought that a break would probably be good for all of us, and that it would have the advantage of allowing me to pontificate briefly on a subject that I’ve been playing about with in my mind quite a lot over the last few weeks. Over the last twenty-five years or so, football has become political. Whether it was the National Front selling their repulsive magazine “Bulldog” outside grounds in the early 1980s, the fanzine movement or the growing movement against the creeping commercialisation of the modern game, being a football supporter has become more than just turning up to the matches, singing yourself hoarse and going home again. It has become more of a 24/7 lifestyle. Fifteen years ago, if I wanted to talk about football I would have needed to go to the pub, but now we have any number of message boards that we can discuss it upon, and with this vast expansion of the role of the game into the periphery of our lives has come a new role for...

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