15 Apr 2013

Half And Half Scarves, A Sad Symbolisation Of Modern Day Football

Half and half scarf seller at the Manchester derby
 Astonished, ashamed and disappointed, these are just a few clean words I can conjure up to decribe my feelings about the growing popularity of the Premier League half and half scarf, it's a sad symbolisation of how football, and supporters in general, have changed over the last twenty years or so.

Half and half scarf sellers are now reaping the rewards of travelling supporters who attend their teams home fixtures, the scarf is purchased as some kind of medal of honour to symbolise their day out, I'm sure the words 'Day-Tripper' will sound very familiar to any supporter who attends home games of the elite clubs in the Premier League.

Look up the definition of 'Day-Tripper' in the dictionary and it will tell you that: 'A day-tripper is a person who visits a tourist destination or visitor attraction from his/her home and returns home on the same day', sound familiar?

Attending Manchester United home games over the last 18 years, I have spotted my fare share of these characters, not surprisingly it's something that has become more popular as the club have become more successful. 

The Hillsborough disaster in 1989 changed our match day football experience as a supporter, the introduction of all seater stadiums had a knock on effect, some will argue for the better, some will say for the worse, the argument for safe standing sections has recently gathered momentum with many voting in favour of the idea that has proved successful and popular in Germany. 

"Get your half United half Liverpool scarf"
All seater stadiums limited how many supporters teams could have in a stadium, this affected the price of tickets that has gradually risen each year pricing your average local man, woman, or family, out of attending games on a regular basis.

The top teams in the Premier League, in particular Manchester United, also tapped into the corporate market, making certain areas in the stadium business meeting areas where company's wine and dine clients hoping to clinch or maintain business deals and contracts, this has had a huge effect on the Old Trafford atmosphere. 

Success on the field will always attract new support from people in other country's, Manchester United's success over the last 20 years has attracted support from all over the world, Manchester United is no longer a football club, it is a brand that has tapped into a global market making it the most profitable sports team in the world. Forbes estimates Manchester United is now worth $2.23 billion, 19% more than No. 2 Real Madrid, which is worth $1.88 billion.

Football has changed incredibly over the years, there are lots of factors that have contributed to a change in our overall home match day atmosphere, 10 or 20 years ago, half and half scarf sellers would have been laughed at and probably kicked off the forecourt outside Old Trafford! It's the sellers of these repulsive items that are laughing all the way to the bank, as travelling day trippers snap them up.

Half and half scarves have always been a popular item on the continent, in particular when your team is playing in a European competition, I can certainly except a person buying a scarf that is half, for arguments sake, Barcelona and half Manchester United, it's something to look back on in years to come, but a Premier League one is wrong in my opinion.

At Old Trafford this season, I've witnessed people purchasing half and half United/Liverpool scarves, and half and half United/Manchester City scarves, something I consider to be a crime as passionate Mancunian United supporter, why would you want a rival teams name and crest around your neck?

It's simple really isn't it? The clientele that the half and half scarf sellers have exploited, are the thousands of supporters who attend Old Trafford for a day out, supporters who turn up expecting to be entertained, they view football as some kind of show, they're probably attracted by the Old Trafford 'Theatre of Dreams' slogan!

Man City day-trippers photograph Rooney celebration
I can hear the laughter of Manchester City supporters who will probably think this is hilarious, you're not immune from the half and half scarf debate! My sources tell me that there is an ever growing army of overseas support attending the Etihad these days, and they love the half and half scarf accessory too!

This was probably most evident in this seasons Manchester Derby when Wayne Rooney scored and slid on his knees to celebrate in front of the City home supporters, the proper hardcore support were suggesting via a visual wrist action that one masturbates, a few v-signs were also aimed in Rooney's direction too, but the far eastern men on the front row with half and half scarves on scrambled for their cameras to take a picture of the Manchester United players goal celebration! These supporters were clearly not regulars at the Etihad, this was a day out for them.

As much as the majority of us detest Premier League half and half scarves, we can only painfully accept that they are a sad symbolisation of how football has changed, this is our modern day game of football, we adore our team and worship the players, but don't you just hate certain elements of our match day experience?


(Whats six foot long and keeps a dick warm?   ........................................... A half and half scarf!!)