April 2009 Archives
Don't upset your Ultras!
That's the rule most clubs stick to, as they cautiously play down the influence of their most outspoken fans. In reality, certain sets of supporters can have more influence over the running of the club than is ever openly admitted. Barcelona know what I'm talking about.
Do my beloved Sky Blues have Ultras? In a way, yes. If you substitute the knives and criminal records for a lit cigarette and 3-month ban from Jumpin' Jacks. But they're just as passionate, mind, and, I'm told, mostly congregate in block 14 of the Ricoh.
Imagine the fuss when the club announced the closure of that block next season. And fuss has turned to a campaign as their mild vexation has seethingly foamed into anger. This has manifested itself in a Facebook group.
But that is it: they'll have to move seats, a few yards to the right. What on earth is all the fuss about? Am I missing something here? Is there more to this riddle than my naivety will allow me to see?
Now before I go any further, let's remember that this block generates a beautiful and inspiring atmosphere. Singing, dancing, the odd topless large-bellied hero, and some uncharacteristically witty banter with opposition fans. Block 14, we love you.
But now you're block 15, squeezed in with the others for a better atmosphere, and to save some money. Money, which is keeping this talented team together so that we can watch an FA Cup quarter final every now and then.
Look at Southampton. Long have they followed a similar path to ours, and now it looks like they're about to diverge into a black hole of doom. Oh, how that could have been us. Not only should we move seats when asked, if Mr Ranson requested that I shine his shoes one matchday, I'd give them a jolly good seeing to, then I'd crouch down in front of him and offer my back for their comfort over the next 90 minutes.
We don't own our seats. We merely rent them for an afternoon. Crikey, the football club doesn't even own those seats! Better pay our council tax or we could get turfed out altogether!