Leaving early

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:

59 minutes Liverpool score to make it 1-0
70 minutes Liverpool score again to make it 2-0
77 minutes 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
82 minutes Sunderland score to make it 2-1
89 minutes 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.

Fans marching

Fans marching

3 thoughts on “Leaving early

  1. chris

    I see and understand the FSF and other groups support of another fan issue which is the away ticket protest trying to fix the price at a maximum £30.
    There’s a flaw in this though and we have even seen it at Blues to some extent.
    The fact is this could mean less fans go to home games and pay £40 plus as they do at some Prem clubs and just go to away games and if your a long distance home supporter the inclination to do this maybe even stronger.
    Also, the home fans may well become bitter that away fans including their own fans when they’re away from home are getting far cheaper tickets.
    This may well just create another form of protest from home fans.
    We just need all ticket prices reduced and i don’t think ring fencing the money would work as a club could just say we are raising our prices from £30 to £40 and the ring fenced money will reduce the price back to £30, so nothing is gained.
    How about so many games that are a maximum £10 or even free then we would know for certain that the price of those games were subsidised, it’s a hard one for sure.
    More of this tv money needs to help with ticket prices and not players wages and this should be the Leagues and even Government’s first job to limit club spending of wages and transfers to 60% of turnover, but both parties are weak and will do nothing unless fans stand together and maybe even boycott whole games, but very few people today undersatnd protest and standing together to fight for a cause, they only think about themselves which is why the country is a mess and controlled by the few.

  2. Steve

    I do not leave until the final whistle, but I can fully understand why fans do leave early. There are no reliable bus services to city or from city after the game. There are no significant official car parks anywhere near the ground. Street parking is hit and miss and the local scooter borne traffic enforcement mafia are always gunning for Bluenoses on match days, whilst ignoring attendees at local non footballing events. This situation is going to get much worse when the local residents win their battle to prevent supporters from parking anywhere near the ground. So I am sorry but I can not bring myself to aim any vitriol at the elderly, infirm or any other supporters for that matter who decide the only way they can ensure a reasonable home journey is to leave 10 minutes before the end. If we want to protest, protest to Birmingham City Council who always demonstrate disdain towards the plight of us Bluenoses.

  3. Peter

    I agree with both of the previous comments. The greed and arrogance of the Premier league continues unabated and should Leicester City continue to be successful I fear the Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool’s will only look to suck yet more money out of the fans to justify a £100,000,000 transfer fee and £300,000 a week salary. Therefore should we ever get back to the Premier League do I want to be part of that culture, I am not sure of my ambition for Blues to be in the premier league. Despite the disappointment of losing I enjoyed Saturday’s game especially in the atrocious conditions in which it was played. Fair play to Wednesday despite losing two players to injury they continued to play football and were rewarded with all three points.
    It has gone quiet on the parking restrictions front but should they be implemented I think they will impact our home attendances.

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