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The commodification of the football supporter/ links with hooliganism and terror  
Posted by Craig Journeaux on October 14 2007, 23:03 » Uploaded 15/10/07 07:01  
Sunday the 14th of October. Another day, another plot to blow us up, at least that's what the News of the World tells us. For whatever reason or whatever distorted and malignant political agenda, Al Qaeda would like to kill thousands of people living in the UK and (according to the News of the World) one of their targets will be a premiership football club.

They don't mention the origins of this source, or how reliable this source may be, they just imply the malignant intentions of the source. No doubt numerous social commentators with a penchant for subversive rhetoric will view this as a sign of an era of fear and will tell us that this fear is created by the very systems which exist to oppress us [.] meaning that regardless of the actual threat of terror, fearing the worse, we will consequently submit to the power of those who say they can protect us from this plastic threat. But what if this threat is real? What if some dickhead hates England so much that he is willing to kill thousands of people at a football ground [.] and what if his target is an English premiership football ground?

You see, that's what we, the public, the supporters, have no real way of determining. It's all good spouting anti authoritarian rants about fear and submission. But what if there is a real threat to the people who attend the grounds of premiership football? Does it not therefore make sense to prevent the terror by eradicating the risk, the possibility? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is certain, no matter what the decision, it will be us, the public, the supporters, who will suffer.

If you own a football stadium, a club or you are a well paid staff member on the English football association; or are somehow involved in the safety of a club then you will feel that the slightest possibility of terror needs to be eradicated before it becomes more than a possibility, before it becomes real. So, imagine the pressure of knowing that the safety of thousands of football supporters relies on your ability to protect them from this possible threat. You could be forgiven in your desire to implement numerous draconian measures to eradicate the possibility of threat.

This is already the mantra of the football association in their quest to reduce violence and hooliganism from football. In order to prevent hooliganism the threat of hooliganism is eradicated. What then occurs is a systematic cleansing of all things associated with the prejudice which drives this desire to eradicate violence. Thus, the likelihood of violence is reduced. Now, if you don't look like you might contribute to hooliganism then you are ok. However, if, by definition of another mans prejudice, you look like a threat (regardless of the actual threat you intend to cause) you risk being treated as the criminal they don't want you too be. In other words, if those with the power to eradicate violence or their low paid minions define you as a c*@t, you will be treated as, a c*@t. This is obviously open to the prejudice previously mentioned. If the authority, or the minion dislike black people, poor people, people who dress in a way they don't like; then they have the power to 'eradicate' this element from football under the veil of lies which associates them with threat and therefore labels them criminal.

The risk of violence feared by the authority is then exchanged with the fan for the risk of being seen as a risk, by the fan. In other words, the fan has to change their behaviour. But, as the behaviour is not the only issue but the possibility for the behaviour to occur; the fan has to become what it is that the authority or its minions do not discriminate against. This requires a transformation of self; a submission of the self to the demands of another, of the authority and its minions. In short, to act like certain sections of the wealthy middle class, the business elite, the dickheads who sit on the half way line at the new Wembley with their corporate associates at every game regardless of who plays, those without a real passion for the game, those without a heart that demands they roar when the team they love score; those who are not really supporters but are customers. Become the type of man that the X Factor moguls want their crowds to be. Become a commodity, become submissive; allow another man to mould you into whatever it is he needs you to become in order to drain you for every penny you have ever worked your last left bollock off to earn (or for your giro, whatever.). Become something you should not have to become; stop being a supporter and start to become a customer [.] otherwise risk becoming part of the disaffected, the banned, the unwanted; yesterday.

The terrorist is the new hooligan. Only he causes a much bigger threat than the hooligan ever did.

If you thought that it was hard to get an atmosphere going at the football after the crackdown of football hooliganism, just wait until the match day experience is taken over by the prophylaxis of terror. Everything that has just been mentioned previous, in this article, may only have touched a nerve if you were the type of person who is likely to be a victim of the prejudice of authority, or if you have a subversive outlook, a dislike for the misuse and abuse of authority or if you are just pissed off at being treated as [or seeing others treated as] a commodity. But now there is a new threat to our freedom to be football supporters, and a new excuse for authority to dominate. Yesterdays scally, discriminated against based on his appearance and the prejudice of others, is tomorrow's everyman. No matter who you are, what you look like, how much you earn, the social status that society has ascribed to you or whatever [.] you will be treated as a potential terrorist and your match day experience will become one which is affected by rules, regulations and legislation which masquerade as protection.

These new rules, regulations and legislation will happen, no doubt. But are these rules, regulations and legislation there to protect you from a real threat, the threat of terror? Just as with the previous ones which were apparently there to protect you from hooliganism and violence. Or are they a smokescreen, a veil, to cover something more sinister and more authoritarian; the comodification of the football supporter, the comodification of you?

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