Go Support A Small Football Club – It’s Way More Fun

Ollie Irish

22nd, December 2010


By Alexander Netherton

I support Manchester United and I am more likely than you to commit suicide. Big Four football has given me depression. Sympathy please!

In 1995, the Samaritans announced that the demographic most likely to kill themselves was the young man aged 16-24. This happened only years after Sky had bought broadcast rights to the Premier League, and just as the Champions League group stages entrenched riches at the top of the game, turning success into a cartel. It’s not overstating the case that these events are indelibly linked. The unavoidable obsession with the Big Four has come at the expense of anybody but the moronic follower enjoying their successes.

Symptom one of depression: the inability to feel joy. A supporter of Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United watches his team trounce opponents on an almost weekly basis. Four-nil up at half time, coasting for the remainder, their one task to avoid injury. In a decent world, a fan should enjoy their team running away with a game, but it’s just not possible if rank bullying is all your team hands out.

Worse still is how this complacency relates to the three or four upsets a season. Losing to Bolton away, overcome by a strange impotent lethargy, where expensive talent cannot compensate for a short loss of form, is a severe blow to morale. By nature, a fan raised on success is pathologically vulnerable to a loss. There is no good reason for a Champions League team to lose to mid-table side. Now, depression is often described as rage turned inwards. After an upset like this, there’s no logic to raging at your team of untouchables, removed from the real world, and so here comes depression symptom number two: self-disgust – there’s only one place left for that hate to go, after all.

Tears in rain: Supporting Chelsea is rarely fun

As Biggie Smalls says, Mo Money Mo Problem. The more you pay your players, the bigger the scumbags they become. Carlos Tevez declared his relationship with Manchester City executives over and irreparable. Carlos Tevez is about to get a healthy image rights raise. Wayne Rooney wanted out of Manchester United in August, a desperate, sincere victim of broken promises. Wayne Rooney more or less doubled his money a week later. John Terry, a die-hard Chelsea man in his head, only remembered he wanted a similar public image when he was offered new contract. Nicky Barmby, on the other hand, took a pay cut to move to Hull. If depression means you don’t think that anybody could ever love you, then how about having it proved by paying for narky clowns just to turn up at training?

Number three on the depression chart is low self-esteem. How on Earth does supporting a successful football team give you low self-esteem? Easily. A Rotherham supporter friend can watch his side whenever he wants, without the prawn-sandwich brigade and the extortionate prices. He genuinely enjoys match days. The smaller crowd logically means there are fewer idiots. A smaller club needs every one of their fans, whereas Liverpool and Manchester United can sell their soul and it makes no noticeable difference to their income. Liverpool fans can walk from one pub to another in protest all they want.  A few thousands Mancunians can watch FC United. Too late. The average Big Four fan matters less than one at a smaller club. If you support a Big Four team, deep down, you know you’ve been had. The best thing we can with the silverware in the trophy cabinet is melt it down, fashion a few thousands silver bullets, and use them to blow our brains out.

Posted in Featured, Opinion

Share this article: Email


  1. Purple Aki says:

    Support your local team and nothing else.

  2. pooky says:

    Must be a thousand times worse if you support Barça or Real though, because there’s literally only 2 league matches a season you might possibly lose (or draw)…

    Or Celtic/Rangers, natch.

  3. Lynz says:

    People are still calling Liverpool big four? That’s uplifting.

  4. goonerdan says:

    i agree, support your local team – im from haringey north london n4 hehehe

    i dislike glory hunters

  5. argyle_matt says:

    Mate come on! You want to be depressed try supporting Crystal Palace, Sheff Weds or my team Plymouth in the last three or four years or any other team that has been on the verge of extinction. Try supporting Hearts with thier crazy Russian-Lithuanian in charge. Id gladly trade you your place in the top four because with that comes the guarantee that id have a club to go and watch the week after next. Watching Risdale come in and take over your club is real depression. Not losing to Burnley, Bolton or some other grim Northen Shit hole! Your example of Rotherham supporters being able to enjoy thier match days doesnt add up either. Two relegations, points deductions, possible extinction and last minute saviours, not to mention the chuckle brothers doesnt sound like great fun does it? Especially when you have won five titles, a champions league and an Fa cup in that time! The differance is the fans at lower league clubs go because of a sense of loyalty. The knowledge that the money the club get from your ticket and programme means something to them and is essential to ensure the future of the club for my children and thier children. We are not treated any differantly to you, its just you know someone will take your place in row ZZ seat 768, whereas at Plymouth I know if i dont go the club is a step closer to extinction! So whilst your crying into your cornflakes about getting knocked out of the Champions League in the Semi Finals and only beating Blackpool 2-0 ill be out with the begging bucket trying to ensure the future of my club!

  6. […] Go Support A Small Football Club – It's Way More Fun » Who Ate all … […]

  7. Simone says:

    For us Americans it is definitely possible to support a smaller side now thanks to increasing television coverage of matches. When I was a kid though we really only got a handful of matches which is probably some what of an explanation for my support of Manchester United. Though I love my club and wouldn’t swap it for anything else.

  8. Fat Nakago says:

    I’m a Chelsea fan, true blue all the way.

    But I’ve got my bases covered. I ardently root for both the Norwich City Canaries, and, the Berwick Rangers.

    I wish I lived in England so I could see my teams play live. To be honest, if I did, I’d more likely be watching at Carrow Road than at Stamford Bridge. Or if I lived in the north, I’d be watching at Shielfield Park.

  9. Joe says:

    Yeah, 3 championships in a row would really bring out the tears for me too… Maybe you should support Portsmouth, the complete firesale of quality and constant threat of bankrupcy should really lift your spirits. As a Fulham fan, I much prefer being 17th and shit than stuffing Juve on the way to the EL final. Oh, no actually, that’s the wrong way round…

  10. stevepafc says:

    I can understand the logic behind the reasoning but do agree it’s not particularly fun (or cheap) supporting the smaller teams.
    However years of struggle and mediocrity do make you really appreciate the (relative)highs!
    Argyle Til I Die!

  11. Ruperto says:

    MAN U 4 LIFE

  12. glennon247 says:

    I am a Chelsea fan from the States and I do agree with this article. The only reason I became a Chelsea fan (started to watch during the ranieri era) is because it was easy to follow a team that was consistently at the top of the table. Easier to follow meaning easier to have access to games on tv etc…but if I had to chose a team to support today I would probably chose an Everton, Fulham, Villa, Newcastle (god help me). Too late to change allegiances though, its now chelsea through the thick and thin

  13. Mr. Volatile says:

    you support man u because you are a glory hunting idiot!

  14. Dartfan says:

    I lost faith in the Premier League (and national side) a few years ago. All my life I’ve loved football but after about 2006 I loathed it. I hated the players and their ridiculously selfish wages, I hated the new kits that were launched every year to exploit fans andI hated the managers for their excuses when they lost.
    But, luckily, I was saved by a little non-league team sitting in the Ryman North – Dartford. Since then I have fallen back in love with football (a second chance, if you will) and especially non-league football. The fans, players and matches are far more genuine than any premiership club. Yes, on a saturday afternoon I know my team won’t thrash someone four nil but that doesn’t matter. I follow my local team, the place where i live and the place where i was born and shall probably die and i only wish i had discovered it earlier.

    Yes i still watch the premiership on tv but now I don’t care who wins anymore. And it’s not only me, many of my friends who once hunted glory have now seen the light and I believe many others around the country feel the same.

    Bring on the Tuesday night in February away to Western-Super-Mare.

  15. Tom Jones says:

    You only have one team and you never change your team.

  16. Montesquieu says:

    Perhaps you shouldn’t base your life or happiness on football.

    Shit, who am I kidding?

  17. Anonymous says:

    i will always support chelsea fc,coz i know soon they are going placeses,

  18. Johnnyboy says:

    Been watching and supporting my hometown club Doncaster Rovers since 1950 when I was 3. The only time I’ll stop is if they ever get in the Premier League ‘cos that’s business not footy!

  19. Abdulrhman Al Ali says:

    I am from Kuwait and I love Portsmouth..

  20. Brit says:

    Man, you guys don’t know how lucky you are! The Premier League, while as money-craving and everything as you say, is still infinitely better at paying attention to its fans than most American sports ‘franchises’!

    I have no doubt it’s more fun with the smaller clubs, but Big 4 environments still spank the hell out of American sports stadia!

  21. MackMac says:

    A lifelong supporter of my local team, Blackburn Rovers.
    Even though, I support a humble East-Lancs Premier League team. There’s more of a community spirit from fans of clubs with a smaller size and stature like Rovers. You can say the same for the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic, West Ham and Everton.

    Unlike those from Glory Hunters at the Manchester and London clubs (Man United, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal). Which a lot follow these teams based on their silverware.

  22. MCFC says:

    “Unlike those from Glory Hunters at the Manchester and London clubs (… Man City …). Which a lot follow these teams based on their silverware.”


    And take the chip off your shoulder – how do you know there’s more of a “community spirit” at one club than another?

    Changing/stopping supporting your team because they’re “too big” is just as bad as doing it because they’re not very good. Both show a lack of dedication to your team.

  23. John says:

    I support Chelsea and much prefer it these days as I remember us losing to the likes of Coventry and Oldham at home which was rubbish. Who wouldn’t want to see players like Drogba and Essien rather than Neil Shipperley and Andy Myers?

    And the people saying all supporters of one of the big clubs are glory hunters are utter idiots. Plenty of people have been attending matches at these clubs for years….yet if you support a poor side, you seem entitled to claim some sort of moral high ground.

  24. phyrephly says:

    One thing that will never change is the fact that a large number of “big four” supporters know nothing about football. I am a Man-U fan but I hate going to watch the games at my local pub, because a large amount of the other Man-U supporters are idiots.

    I feel rewarded for watchnig Man-U play a good game of football and win. I feel angry when they underperform (and they have been). I read an article a couple of months back about the range of emotions experienced during a footbal match. Joy, Anger, Happiness, Hatred, Joy, Hatred, Happiness, Sadness. You feel ALIVE when you watch and support football, no matter which team, but if it’s a big four the happiness and sadness is more.

Leave a Reply