|The recent game at Derby was
a prime example. Awaiting the teams arrival with keen anticipation
and then as they start to emerge onto the pitch we were hit with a
barrage of sound. Not any old noise, but crap music and shouting
from the announcer who was trying to gee up a crowd who had not had a
lot to cheer about this season ... up until now.
So, what makes club's crank up the volume
to get their fans into a frenzy. While the half-time music at
Spurs might be quite loud, there is no great fanfare on the entrance of
the teams either at the start or at the start of the second half.
Newcastle United do it and at Old Trafford the noise level is much
greater than during the rest of the match, when fans are sweeping the
crumbs from their prawn sandwiches off their laps with their
But is it necessary ??
My great fear as we head for Cardiff is
that we will be subjected to another mind-numbing display of
insensitivity from the powers that be. Wembley 1999 was the
same. Singing competitions between the fans before the game to
songs chosen by the organisers (probably to keep any naughty words out
of the equation). Then at the end, when we wanted to celebrate in
our own way, we were treated to a medley of Spurs songs from years gone
by. All well and good, but the fans want to pay their own tributes
and not be restricted to what CD's they have in the stadium studio.
From the fireworks as the teams come out
of the Millennium stadium tunnel to the final strains of "Ossie's
Dream (Spurs are Going To Wembley !!)" - should we win, they will
try to channel us in what we can do and think during our visit to a
major showpiece of the English game. No free thought is allowed
and no allowance for individual preference, just a homogenised
experience that is interchangeable for either team and one that projects
the right image for the sponsors. Luckily, they cannot control
what the fans sing during the 90 minutes of play and that allows the
development of chants like "We Only Had 10 men" at the
Leicester City fans in 1999. Cup Finals used to be an occasion for
fans and now they are just directed for the television audience, with
those attending there for atmosphere purposes only.
It is a shame that there is this strict
control on the pre and post-match singing, but then there are only so
many songs they can play. When they are over the winning teams
supporters will be singing their own songs in the ground, as they leave
and in their cars, coaches and trains on the journey back home.
It may not be Pop Idol, but it is greater
drama than such a programme as that can ever produce. So, come on
you stadium announcers ... and if Worthington is really a fan thing ...
Don't Pump Up The Volume.
The Funky Phantom