Before the Fulham match I had seen various reports on ‘blogs and in the press about ‘bringing back the scarves’ to demonstrate to the new players the passion and dedication of the fans at St James’s Park.
So after a good 10 minutes in the cupboard under the stairs I found my three scarves. One for me, one for the missus and one for my sister, who we were dragging along for extra volume. Me being the chivalrous type, I kept the tatty one for myself, but no matter, it was a scarf and I was ready to twirl it.
So after the 215 mile drive, the picture in my mind as we walked from Westgate Road up to the Strawberry Corner of the Gallowgate was one of a sea of 1000s of billowing scarves ruffling around the ground. I couldn’t wait to hear the roar of the crowd together with this black and white spectacle.
As we approached the ground I dismissed the sight of people with no scarves as just the minority, but as I walked closer and stood in the queue for ticket collection (which was bloody long by the way) I realized that no-one other than the three of us had scarves on at all.
The missus and my sister didn’t want to wear them in the first place, so needless to say I got a bit of grief. Nonetheless we duly waved the scarves and fair play to the two old blokes in the East Stand who joined in with a nod of approval in our direction.
So, this scarves thing made me think…
Lots of people must have been aware of the movement to ‘bring back the scarves’ but no-one could actually be bothered to do it. On noticing my faded black and white scarf one bloke commented that he’d thought about bringing his scarf but couldn’t be bothered.
It’s a bit of a long stretch, but that pretty much sums up NUFC supporters really.
Lots of people are up in arms about the lack of a No.9, the latest question and answer session from the board or the letters coming down from the East Stand, but really … the vast majority are prepared to overlook every one of these off field calamities. Don’t get me wrong they will have a moan in the pub and on ‘blogs like this … but really they just want to watch football and have a good time for those all too brief 90 minutes.
This is why in my opinion the supporters movements are doomed to failure (is the infamous NUST still running?). Personally I do not think that any amount of objection or movement or gathering of supporters will make a jot of a difference to the hierarchy at the Club. In reality I think 99% of supporters think the same and are prepared to ignore Mr Ashley and simply watch the football.
The latest attempt to create a bridge between the supporters and the club is the well named ‘NUFC Fans United’ who I’m sure have the best interests of the club at heart. Everything which has stemmed from their first meetings has been positive and they will bring together great minds and suggest wonderful things to the Club.
However give it six months and with a lack of support and a ‘can’t be bothered attitude of the 99%’, they will give up, leave their scarf at home and just enjoy the match.
But that’s the thing … the ‘NUFC Fans United’ the ‘bring back the scarves’ brigade along with every other group are missing the point. We don’t need to galvanize the supporters, because it happens of its own accord every match in the stands. And this is where the 99% go to vent their anger/frustration/appreciation. They can’t see the point of joining a protest group (or bring a scarf to a game) because no-one listens. Its not that they can’t be bothered, they love the club no more or no less than you or I, but they know no-one will listen.
One day we will get a new owner, but that won’t be because of a protest group or a united group of supporters convinces Ashley to sell up. We will get a new owner when Ashley decides that his time is over.
We can only hope and pray that our next owner is a fan who is a businessman rather than a businessman who isn’t a fan.
Anyway I’ve got my Villa tickets … and I might take the scarf along … just in case.
Thanks to Shrews Mag for sending this in for you to read.