Read on the web

A lot of the stuff I read on the web is depressing but I came across a few things that cheered me today.  Here are the links.

York mosque counters EDL protest with tea, biscuits and football

This Guardian article tells how a mosque reacted to a small group of English Defence League protesters by inviting them in for cups of tea and biscuits.  This seems such a delightfully English way to deal with the situation.  The refreshments were followed by an impromptu game of football, an illustration of how football can unite as well as divide.

A Message to Evertonians

The message that Everton FC gave to its fans is not the usual sort that clubs dish out to fans; they said, “We are sorry.”

The redesign of their badge has met with a negative response from their fans so they are apologising and saying they should have consulted more fans.  It’s too late for next season’s kit but they are promising to consult the fans before the 2014/15 season.

Just imagine that: a club apologising to its fans!

German Football – Recovering the Drama of Sport

This is a blog post written by someone who was fortunate enough to be at the Champions’ League Final between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Münich. Both clubs arranged their ticket sales so that the singers were grouped together which resulted in a lot of noise and a great atmosphere.  I don’t think British fans would ever want their support to be as organised as the Germans’, but I agree totally with what he wrote about the role of the crowd at football matches.

“Sitting to watch is what you do at the theatre, not a football match. At the theatre, you don’t interrupt, jeer, shout or sing – you just shut up and watch. And maybe this is the clue to it all. Football matches are meant to be a different kind of drama in which the fans are not just the audience, but get to play a part as well as the players. They are not mere passive spectators, but active participants who make a difference to the outcome of the game and the sense of occasion. Modern football, where clubs have been turned into businesses (as chronicled in David Conn’s excellent Richer Than God) and fans into spectators has often lost this element of the drama, diminished what was once a much more raw, alive, bristling experience into a sanitised, sedated performance, in which the fans’ vital part in the drama is excised. It is like a Greek tragedy with the ‘Chorus’ omitted, Hamlet without Horatio, King Lear without Cordelia. Fans are meant to be part of the play, playing a vital role in the event, and the Germans have found a way to bring them back onto the stage.”