On Saturday, Birmingham City went ahead with a goal in the 5th minute of time added on to the first half. They held that lead until Sheffield Wednesday scored twice in the second half, on 77 minutes and 79 minutes. It was a disappointing end to the game but not the most dramatic collapse of the day.
Sunderland also scored two in the second half of their game at Anfield, in a sequence of events I’d have thought very contrived if I’d read it in a novel:
|Liverpool score to make it 1-0
|Liverpool score again to make it 2-0
|10,000 Liverpool fans walk out, protesting against the club’s plans to charge £77 for some tickets in the redeveloped Main Stand next season
|Sunderland score to make it 2-1
|Sunderland score again to draw the game 2-2
Nobody is claiming that Liverpool collapsed because some of their supporters left but it seemed symbolic. Fans are not just spectators at a game; their presence and support makes a difference to the atmosphere and can boost or deflate the players on the pitch. Professional football without fans is nothing. Before the Liverpool fans left they sang, “Enough is enough, you greedy bastards, enough is enough” – and were applauded by home and away fans on all sides of the ground. Chris Bascombe, in the Telegraph, wrote that football owners and executives are wrong to dismiss predictions that England’s football bubble will burst. The headline said, “enough is enough, English football should hang its head in shame”; I agree.
I can’t imagine a protest like that at St Andrew’s. Our fans only seem to walk out because they want to get away before the rush. I’m sure that some have good reasons for doing that but I find it hard to understand why so many leave early. I stay to the end of a film when I go to the cinema because I want to see what happens. I also like to see the end of football games.