Footballers, pundits, their wives, children, teachers, students – everyone supports a football club. Whether it’s your local team or a family-induced faith, football is a religion. But are you a true supporter, or are you what shuddering sports fans call a ‘glory supporter’? As the Urban Dictionary puts quite eloquently, a glory supporter is:
“Someone who supports a team (especially a football team) that is neither based in or near the town of their birth nor is even anywhere near where the ‘supporter’ resides. Although family connection is often cited as a reason for said support, essentially, glory supporters’ only reason for supporting a team is them having a history, and future chance, of winning trophies. Typically, a glory supporter knows little about football and has rarely, if ever, been to watch ‘their’ team play.”
A recent example of this abominable act stemmed from Leicester City’s Premier League win in 2016, where their fan base that previously sat on a respectable 736,554 people increased by an estimated 518.61% to a huge 4,556,411. This was sickening for the real fans who sat through the years of pain in the Championship before promotion.
But the more appropriate question is, are you a true football fan? Many people these days are open to admit some kind of breakup in relationship or switch in broadband type, similar to changing in and out of different professions, but you would have to get up fairly early in order to discover someone open to admitting that the football team they support has not been the same club throughout their whole life. If you were to find someone (or indeed yourself) who falls under this category, the first question to ask is whether you have supported the club since your knowledge of football came about – many of those exposed for switching between clubs give the excuse: ‘I was young’. This is by no means a rational justification for the violation of every football fan’s ideology. Immaturity is not the only excuse for club switching. A more recent discovery is the argument that ‘the players switch clubs so why can’t I?’. The fastest response to anyone with the nerve to come out with this abhorrent reasoning would be to never let their name grace your lips again. In short, this belief shows an acute lack of interest in the sport.
Many boys around the primary school age tend to support the team their father supports, which usually is justifiable, but this is clearly dependent on this sole reason, and lack of alternative. If it comes across that your old man supports a team due to it being his local club then fair enough; however, if he has no clear-cut motive for his choice, unfortunately, the question pushed towards you could be one that invalidates your own support for the club. However harsh it may seem; this is the brutal reality of being a real football fan.
Are there any justifiable reasons for supporting a team that has no emotional connection to yourself or your family? Well, many would argue that you can support any team, as long as it’s just the one team and you don’t support every team on the Premier League table and then claim to have years of support under your belt as Wolverhampton Wanderers suddenly become the best football club. On the contrary, I do come across many people who decide to gloat about an unprecedented win for their club, but when questioned on how or why they came across this football team their hands become clammy, and legs start to shake. So, my advice to anyone with this severe case of football fan shakes would be to try and refrain from digging your own grave and be quiet after Chelsea makes the Champions League final.
To conclude, I hope that, as you sit reading this, you do not fall under any of these categories and if by the off chance you feel as though you have succumbed to being, ‘that guy’, then the next time you’re watching Manchester City win yet another league title, look at yourself in the oil-stained chair and try and remember any tough times you had with the club and if you struggle to remember any, the chances are you are a glory supporter.