Why I’m Giving Up My Season Ticket
The season ticket renewal forms are out. You can view the brochure here. But at a time when demand for tickets is as high as its ever been, when there’s over a thousand people on a season ticket waiting list, and after watching Norwich take to the Premier League better than anyone expected, I’m not renewing mine.
The reasons? A bit selfish, and a bit not. I’m not alone in gradually feeling priced out of football, but it’s not something I hold any resentment for. I want the club to be competitive and the game has changed over the years. Money talks and fans are asked to stump up a large amount to see the team in action. This is just the way football has gone, and the size of the season ticket waiting list shows there will always be a number of fans willing to pay, even if some of us aren’t. Ultimately, if you want league two prices you’ll get a league two football team, and that extends from tickets to parking to the club shop to a coffee in the bar. It becomes excessive when your life requires other plans than football. It’s ultimately disposable, like all hobbies. And with a price commitment comes a time commitment. You become timetabled into a schedule and, having already paid, there’s no question of not making the most of it. The amount of times I have had to pass up trips, meetings with friends who don’t live in Norwich and other things over the last few years, because it clashes with a home game, takes its toll. Football is a massive interest of mine (as shown by this site), but it’s not the only one, and I feel it’s about time to have a bit of a rest and enjoy the other things while I’m still young.
So those are the selfish reasons. Beyond that, I have a general, growing weariness with football & especially the fan culture that surrounds it. I’m not like some fans who like to go to Carrow Road as much for the atmosphere as the match itself. I love the sport because I love the sport, not the badly spun attempts at ‘banter’, the abuse dished out on a weekly basis or the undercurrent of tribalist nonsense that seems to get stronger each year. I go to Carrow Road because I understand the game better for seeing it in person than on a TV screen, but as time has gone on I’ve grown more and more disillusioned with fellow fans, and I don’t mean just at Carrow Road though there have been incidents.
So let me go into just two. Firstly, at a home game last year, a man who sits on the row behind me and several seats across spent the entire pre match warmup screaming ‘faggot’ at David Nugent. Over and over, he screamed and shouted and abused with homophobic taunts. Not five minutes after Nugent finished his warm-up, Stephen Fry was introduced onto the pitch and this fan, his tiny brain completely unaware, happily applauded the Norwich director onto the pitch. Secondly, at the home QPR game this year, the man who sits next to me was happy to shout ‘there’s only one John Terry’ at Anton Ferdinand who was stood about 10 feet in front of us. This was followed not long after with a rendition of the same chant coming from the Snakepit.
Many grown men, and lets face it, it is almost entirely men, become entirely different people when they walk through a turnstile. And it’s a large number. It isn’t everyone. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a great deal of pleasant, decent football fans at every stadium I’ve been to, but these aren’t the fans who make me embarrassed to be a football supporter, and they belong to every club. The incidents with Terry and Fedinand, and Suarez and Evra, highlight the depressing amount of tribalism in terraces and the ridiculous reaction of LFC in particular legitimised a culture of victimisation, and gave voice to the disgusting taunts that were thrown at Tom Adeyemi. Football fans haven’t been trusted for years to sit together, and it only feels like it’s getting worse. There has always been abuse and vitriol from idiots, and twitter has given them an even bigger platform to act like the neanderthals they are. Just look at the abuse our own James Vaughan got. Look at the abuse Stan Collymore gets on an almost daily basis. And at a recent Fulham game, Danny Murphy’s wife and one year old child were screamed at and called cunts while sat watching the game.
For some, it’s easy to ignore. It’s easy to say that this stuff has always gone on, and it’s just passion. Just banter. But personally, I can’t deal with it in that way. All I want to do is watch the game, and my enjoyment of the game is being limited by idiots. So it’s made my decision easier. It’s not that I’m not renewing because of these mindless tools, but when you add all these things up, the money, the time, and the tribalism, it blends into something that I don’t feel happy with right now. There is more to life than sitting next to a bloke who looks like he’s about to have an aneurysm because Morison keeps pulling out wide.
So where does this leave Holtamania? Well, I had intended to just hang it up when the season comes to an end. My match reports will continue for the rest of this season and any other articles that I feel a need to write, or others want to contribute. But it seems that there is still a place for the blog, even if I’m not the one going to matches. The response of some on twitter yesterday makes me proud of the work I’ve done on here over the last 9 months or so and that people would like it to stay around, so I will endeavour to make that happen. I am looking to speak to a couple of people about making regular contributions, but if anyone would like to write for HM they are more than welcome to. I am happy to continue hosting and generally managing the site if there is regular content coming in to it.
There are still several months until this would happen, so if anyone is interested in helping and writing for HM then either hit me up on twitter, leave a comment here or email me at [email protected]
I’ve always liked that people have taken to this site well, and I think it’s generally because the Norwich fans on twitter are a good bunch. I’ve never had to deal with the abuse or insults that come the way of many bloggers, and if some of you have had differences of opinion, it’s always been just that. I was proud that people nominated me for a NOPA and that people come in pretty decent numbers to read the site. If people want it to stick around, then stick around it will.