Fighting Terrace Homogeneity

Brentford fans in Germany

Ultra lifestyle Social Media pages such as “Ultras World” share images and stories from fanatics around the world, the best tifos and pyro shows spreading globally. But when these Social Media pages share images or stories from games in England, they tend to result in lists of comments criticising the modern English stadium atmospheres. “RIP England” and the like. Followers from Casablanca to Java are simply not seeing choreos, pyrotechnic use, custom flags and in-stadium clashes, what they believe characterise good atmosphere, in England. The simple conclusion is that England doesn’t have fanatics and atmosphere any more. FBTG openly acknowledges that English Continue reading

We Are Canton | Guangzhou Pt 1

We Are Canton

Guangzhou Evergrande at home to Chongqing Lifan was next on our CSL itinerary. Evergrande, the current dominant force in Chinese Football, were massive favourites at the Tianhe Stadium in the modern city centre (and won 2-0). Tickets purchased and in we went to explore and take photographs prior to the ground filling. We were next to the Ultra block, so we took the liberty of going beneath it to photograph the banners and sector flags with little opposition to do so. One banner caught our eye quickly; “WE Continue reading

Go On Guoan

All the other bloggers writing about the rise of the Chinese Super League do it from afar. We wanted to check out the scene first hand. Welcome to your first primary research blog post about Football in China.

Walking around Beijing, there are no clues that there is a Football club at all. Nobody is wearing the jerseys, there is no colourful graffiti, no Continue reading

Pinocchio Club: BFC Dynamo

BFC Dynamo Berlin stadium

The Zionskirche bells chime through the still Berlin sky. 3 workmen take note of the time and finish their coffee, pausing to allow a mid-30s woman pushing a pram past before leaving. The Milanese café owner takes his time to wipe down the table, as a squirrel races across the road opposite him. It’s 8 am in Prenzlauer Berg.

The former residential Bezirk for East Berlin labourers has had something of a makeover in 26 years. Football anthropologist Simon Kuper described Prenzlauer Berg, his former manor, in strong detail back in 1994. In his book “Football Against Continue reading

The American Outlaws

USA tifo Costa Rica

“Come to an event”.

To cynical and subtle Europeans, nothing is a bigger cringe than American Sports culture. Cheerleaders, half-time shows, a sponsor for absolutely everything. And rows upon rows of adults festooned with a garish and nauseating array of stars and stripes. Flags, face paint, costumes…. the whole culture is so far from European Football tradition, it is easy to convince yourselves that Americans would never be able to “do” Football fanatic properly.

But Andy Leary is prepared with apt retort. “That’s the response. Come to an event and tell me about that after”.

This is the National Team fan group you really should know about.

The American Outlaws Continue reading

Why do Germans Hate RB Leipzig so much?

Nein zu RB Leipzig Aufkleber

You know the story. One of East Germany’s biggest “start-ups” now looks a challenger for the Bundesliga title, at time of writing. The story has drawn a different kind of foreign attention to the Bundesliga. Outsiders frequently acknowledge the excellency of the German Football experience, but now they are hearing more about the stark mainstream rejection of this story on behalf of fans. Why do Germans hate RB Leipzig so much? German society and culture play a big part. Continue reading

The ‘Other’ Arsenal

Arsenal Tula fans

You take your son down the Gunners. You wrap him up in 4 layers and the same red and yellow scarf you wore as a boy to protect him from the -10 degrees. Boris at the kiosk hands over the sunflower seeds, yesterday’s newspaper to sit on and vodka to suppress the bitter cold. Teenage gopniks catch your eye opposite the underpass, grimy faces squatting by a burnt out car. They spit in your direction, your hand tightens around your son’s.

This is Arsenal, but not as you know it Continue reading