Perhaps the time has finally come. What time is that do you ask? Well perhaps it is time to treat the modern day football fan like a child. Perhaps like a child with crayons we cannot be trusted anymore as we might eat them or draw all over the walls. After the events at The Etihad this weekend; where projectiles were thrown onto the pitch throughout the ugly side of football has unfortunately marred the other side of the game.
As United players celebrated a last minute winner they proceeded to celebrate in front of their home support. Say what you want about the over-exuberance of the player’s celebrations but boot on the other foot and the jubilant scenes would have been carbon copied. The fan who got onto the pitch could have been a bigger issue if it was not for Joe Hart’s timely intervention. He and Matija Nastasic were at hand to defuse the situation taking the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Robin Van Persie and Phil Jones away from a potentially volcanic situation.
Yet this does not mean this is a blame game aimed solely at Manchester City fans; or any collective team of fans out there but unfortunately the ugly minority who spoil it for everybody else up and down the country.
This sort of thing has been seen across the country, including at Old Trafford, before I am accused of any favouritism.
So what can we do to prevent it?
Well there is the idea of not being allowed anything metal in the ground. Sort of like an airport. Metal detectors on the way in and placing mobile phones, wallets, keys and belts in the tray provided. That would mean no key-rings as well unfortunately as that has now proven to be the object that hit Rio above the left eye.
As for coins? Well unfortunately some of us can’t be trusted so those won’t be allowed either. A system used in some places across Europe is like a ‘SmartCard’ given to members when you sign up to buy tickets. You can upload money as a balance on to the card and spend any cash in the stadium that way. Any change from outside purchases I’m afraid will have to be handed in upon entry.
Or put nets up around the corner of the pitch. Obscuring the view and desensitising the experience for us all.
Clearly I am being deliberately melodramatic but these sorts of ideas are soon going to become a reality if the minority don’t shape up and take defeat with humility in the crowd; like those at a rugby union match. Not hurtling chairs into the ring like after an under-ground boxing fight.
This is professional football so it is time the fans started acting a bit more professional themselves; before they ruin it for everyone.
image: © vincentteeuwen