Running Down The Clock

But only a few hours remain of the first year of the third decade of the third millennium following the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. That was just a wanky way of saying that 2020 is about to end, but you already knew that. That may not be a bad thing; you also already knew that due to a certain microbiological topic that has filled global media, this year has been a tough one for anybody who does not own shares in major ecommerce sites and door-2-door courier service providers.

We at FBTG have had it lucky. While it has hardly been a year to celebrate, the most significant way in which this independent Football culture blog has been affected has been the inability to attend matches in new locations. We have been to a total of 6 live Football matches this year, the most prestigious of which was in Spain’s 3rd tier – and we therefore have no ground on which to complain and claim victimhood. We have respected the restrictions put in place and stayed away from large crowds when the public health authorities have advised us to do so, and in consequence, we have been unable to attend matches in weird and wonderful locations as we normally do. Our focus this year has therefore shifted from watching Football to writing more about it – conducting greater research and investigation into the fan cultures that we have had the pleasure of experiencing in the past.

In the spirit of a similar post published this time last year, we at FBTG would like to present our top 5 posts of 2020. All are posts published this year selected on the basis of our enjoyment writing them and our personal satisfaction in the outcome, rather than judging them by total traffic and/or likes received. Enjoy.

Football Away Weekend for Under 100€

Inspired by a challenge video published by a favourite Youtuber earlier that week, we tried something we had not done before; seeing if we could organise and execute a Football groundhopping trip for less than 100€ that had to meet the usual set of criteria that make a true FBTG away day experience.

Ultras badajoz

FC Start and the Ukrainian Death Match

Far from being a happy story, the legend of FC Start sits prominently at the heart of the Football fan culture of FC Dynamo Kyiv and possibly of Ukraine itself. The men selected to play against a team representing their country’s invaders at the time played for the honour of their city and their people – while knowing that victory would result in the ultimate price.

Dynamo kiev scarves

Football’s Most International National Cup

The future of Football is in Asia, but it is wrong to believe that the world’s most populous continent lacks any Football tradition. The story of one of the most prestigious trophies in Asian Football inspires a bizarre but fascinating passion among Football fans living in the nation next door to the country in which it is contested.

Football fans Singapore

Gresik Is United

This is the tale of the greatest giant slayer of Indonesian club Football. Gresik will never win awards for beauty and is not mentioned on travel guides of Southeast Asia, but the small port city has become a staple of first division club Football in the fourth most populous country on Earth. Its people have always had to fight for the pride of their town – but the past 5 years have been particularly rough for the boys and girls in yellow.

Gresik united fans

Chinese Football Chronicles | Sticking Your Neck Out

Football traditionalists and fanatics in Europe may scoff at the notion of a bunch of Chinese Football fans labelling themselves as “ultras” and trying to demonstrate their devotion to a club owned by big businesses. However, fans brave enough to go against the grain and push their club support to the next level in the People’s Republic expose themselves to risks that Europeans cannot even begin to comprehend.

Beijing Guoan Ultras

We hope you enjoy a few brief reads! As ever, we love hearing feedback and ideas about topics and teams to research and write about. Lastly, a lot of people have a solid belief that a change of year will immediately produce better luck and an end to the problems facing our civilisation right now. That is a pipe-dream, at least in the short term, and it certainly is no excuse for reckless behaviour. Please, take all precautions and avoid unnecessary risks. Doing so will help us get back into the stadia sooner.

Take care everybody.


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