Usually, when writing these topical pieces, we try to incorperate Liverpool into them as much as we can but, sometimes our individual personalities are lost as we try to create content that is as professional as possible. Today is different as it relates to a personal opinion which is the name of the piece: Does going to live games make you “better fan”?
As of writing this piece, I (YM) have only been to 3 football matches in my life. All 3 matches involved teams that were not the team I support which is obviously Liverpool. PSG vs St Etienne at the Parc des Princes in 2012, Man Utd vs Wigan in the Community Shield Final at Wembley in 2013 and Man Utd vs Leicester City in the Community Shield Final in 2016. Funnily enough, all 3 teams that I wanted to win (PSG, Wigan and Leicester) all lost but I digress. Working exclusively weekends has cost me the chance to go to games when I have been offered the chance which is a tad inconvenient to say the least.
“Going to games” is an easier argument to validate in terms of making you a “better fan”. It shows that you are willing to spend your hard earned money on the club that you claim to support. It shows that you are committed to making a journey of x miles to see the club that you have made yourself apart of. You also gain the chance to make yourself involved in the atmosphere of the match which could benefit the players. But does this make you a “better fan”? Going to games allows you to feel like you are but only if you assume that, the average fan who can’t go to games, don’t go because they do not want to.
There are a multitude of reasons as to why “going to games” doesn’t necessarily imply that you are a “better fan”. for one, support is support. Doesn’t matter on the representation of the support, whether it be a tweet, you at the game or you on the sofa watching Sky Sports or BT Sports. Also, you are limited by time. Most people who can afford to go to a game, usually work tobe able to fund the ticket. This does not always imply that the person will be able to get time off their job for a game, especially depending on the occupation. Price is the next big issue which is also a hindrance from an atmospheric perspective.
A quick glance at the Liverpool Ticket Prices shows me that the average price for a ticket is roughly £50. Not going to into how many hours one has to work to pay for the ticket because I am assuming that fans want to spend money for the tickets for the sake of this argument. Fans have been priced out of games in the modern era, especially in the Premier League. £50 would not actually get a Liverpool fan into a home game against a “Class A” opponent as those rise to almost £70. Pricing the local fans or the native fans encourages more abroad/foreign fans to come for a game. There is nothing wrong with that but when the fans are more interested in taking in the entire trip instead of just the match. the atmosphere becomes an issue.
Liverpool fans took an issue when the owners of the club were going to implement a £77 ticket for games which led to protests in the 77th min of games. This eventually led to the intended fee being dropped and the tickets being frozen at the price they were already at. As much as I have tried to ignore income in this matter, it does come into a play when the intended idea was to charge fans 11 times that of the minimum wage at the time. This becomes a huge problem for fans who want to go to games but are alienated due to them having to utilise this money on other necessities.
“I don’t care if you’re in the stadium – that’s good, I love it – but I want people having full energy at home, in front of the television, in front of the laptop, smart phone, whatever. If you are with us, push us.” – Jurgen Klopp. This is not an old quote. As of writing this piece, he stated this in the morning of the very same day (Friday 21st Jan) pre the Swansea game. Klopp is huge when it comes to fans and this is a point that he has driven home very well. It doesn’t matter where the support comes from as long as the support is there. Anything that can be used to motivate the players, makes you a good fan, a true supporter of the club and of those who represent the club that you are rooting for. There is no gauge to show how good of a fan you are. You may be more financially invested or emotionally invested but we are all the same fans of the same club. In our case, one of the best clubs in the world, Liverpool Football Club.
If Jurgen Klopp, manager and head coach of Liverpool Football Club, states that the support of the club can occur through any medium, who is “Dave from down the street” to tell you that you are not a good fan or that he’s a “better fan” than you?