The stadium is a besieged city

 The stadium is a besieged city

Over the past decade, the shrimp sandwich team has grown in size, but it has also spawned a variety of new team names, such as caviar pancakes team or cheese and chips team.

To see how the crowd has changed over the past decade, watch the food in their hands. Just like strawberry with cream is a Wimbledon snack, meat pie, beer and hamburger were also standard match for English football match. But now, like the greasy middle-aged labor fans, these greasy junk food in the traditional sense is gradually disappearing on the sidelines of the UKs top football league.

Instead, in addition to fresh shrimp, caviar and cheese, there are also red wine team or silver cod white wine team in the executive room, which enjoy delicious food while watching the game through the glass window.

The British, who are keen to continue the tradition, have not completely let beer and meat pie disappear. Tottenham Hotspur moved into the new White Hart Lane stadium in April - the highest single pitch in Europe. There is a micro brewery on the court that can produce 10000 pints of fresh draft beer per minute. By the way, these beers are still free. Of course, dont be too happy too early, because although the wine can be drunk freely, the price of ball tickets and meat pies has increased a lot.

Football back to ancient times

After 30 years of middle-class development, top football in England is increasingly catering to the needs of the rich. In the past 10 years, the region of this group has been gradually broken. Take myself for example: a Shanghai man, working in Sheffield, holds season tickets for Arsenal.

Arsenal tickets are expensive

British football writer Tom Watt called this phenomenon: football back to ancient times. The Premier League of the past decade is bringing football back to the 19th century: football was a privileged game for a few. At present, Arsenals cheapest season ticket (season ticket is only the league, including the League Cup, FA Cup, etc.) is up to 891 pounds, eight times that of Barcelona and 10 times that of Bayern. In the competitions of teams of Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool, there have always been foreign tourists who have bought high price tickets from ticket sellers (or ticket websites) in the stands. This means that the increasing ticket prices of the club year by year will not reduce the demand from the global market.

Some clubs are acutely aware of the problem of ticket price, so they begin to write plans and try to restore station tickets. Doing so is extremely flattering at the marketing level. Because despite the fact that football has become more and more middle-class, the selling point of football is still nostalgia for the tradition and culture of the labor stage. Considering the global influence of the Premier League now, even if the station ticket is launched, it will be fried to a certain high price and finally fall into the hands of the middle class.

Over the past decade, capital has accelerated the transformation of high-level competitive football. And let football, a sport that used to be defined as violent, dirty and working-class, become safe, clean and middle-class. In other words, the change is in line with the expectations of leaders at the beginning of the Premier League: cheerleaders, TV contracts and clean toilets.

The pitch is alienating the working class, but on the contrary, the best players come from the working class. The reason is not hard to explain: in order to achieve in football or other sports, in addition to the innate talent, but also need to pour a lot of time and energy from childhood. And the middle class and the elite, most of them are busy playing the piano, going to cram schools and participating in various social activities when they are young, how can they focus on an irrelevant sport?

Its reminiscent of an interview with Pogba, reminiscent of his childhood environment, he said: on the outskirts of the city, we only have football. Everyone plays football at school and in the community. Those idle children will have something to do because of playing football, and will not be bored at home to do stupid things

Over the past decade, the working class has been a shrinking group in both developed and high-speed developing countries. The traditional local working class is now being replaced by immigrants and marginalized groups. In Western European countries, most of these people live in the suburbs of big cities. This partly explains why the French team that won the World Cup last year mostly came from the suburbs or had immigrant backgrounds.

Nearly half of the French players in Russias World Cup finals are from the outskirts of Paris and Lyon. Mbape, Pogba, Cantor and Matuidi are all Parisian suburbanites; the main central defender, umtiti, and the substitutes, fakir and toriso, grew up in the outskirts of Lyon.

The three bogba brothers recently appeared in France to participate in a charity competition to raise money for childrens drinking water in Guinea

Their parents, who have few other ways to improve their lives, are focused on making their sons professional players. Bogbas father, a Guinean immigrant, has filled the football as hard as a stone every time because he believes it will help children improve their shooting ability - three sons have become professional players in the future.

I dont want to see this group of donkeys play any more in my life

In 2014, I watched a match between Manchester United U19 youth team and Loughborough school team at my alma mater. The right winger and captain of Manchester Uniteds team is very eye-catching. Several times of speeding up to get rid of him has made the school teams health irresistible. Not long later, we saw the winger in the Premier League. His name is Marcus Rushford. Rush Forde grew up in the Wilson District, a famous gathering place in Manchester. In todays United Youth Team and academy, there are many players with similar origins to Rushford.

The reason why I can remember the obscure and hard to remember regional name of wesenshaw is that in 2016, the year when Rushford became famous, I met a neighbor who grew up watching Rushford outside the Old Trafford stadium. He said a sad confession: I have watched him since he was 6 years old. I am his fan, but I cant afford his ticket now.

So in the past decade, a group of fans, like this Rushford neighbor, have chosen to go out while others are scrambling to come in.

This mornings FA Cup clash with Manchester City saw Rushford save fire for Uniteds goal

Tom Watt, the British football writer mentioned above, is one of the fans who choose to go out. As a bone ash fan who has paid attention to Arsenal since the mid-1960s and once held a small stake in Arsenal, he has watched his hometown team Cheltenham live more frequently than Arsenal in the past two years.

Cheltenham Town Football Club are currently playing in Englands fourth division and are seventh in the League after losing to Plymouth on Christmas day. But it doesnt matter, because every weekends game day is a small town meeting of acquaintances. Neighbors, grocery store cashiers, restaurant waiters and bakery owners gather in the stadium to cheer for the home team. It is this close social relationship that made watt fall in love with football 50 years ago.

In 2017, I met Brian Slater, a hopeless weak team fan, in a small town in southern England. It was Friday night, and his home team, Torquay united, had lost five games in a row, with 30 minutes to go and six straight defeats in sight.

Many fans are unfamiliar with the name torquin. Its not surprising because its in the English National League, in the fifth level. Compared with football, fish and chips here are more famous.

Damn it, its rotten! I dont want to see this group of donkeys play any more in my life! Blaine cursed angrily. I kindly advised: man, its just a game. Maybe well win back next time. Who expected that this words inflamed, he quickly pulled the club scarf off his neck and threw it into the garbage can.

The magic reversal came, and four days later he appeared in the South grandstand of pranmore, shouting for an unimportant FA Cup match. As you can see, they lost again, and then lost three games in a row. But Brian, who vowed never to watch donkey football again, was not only down, but seemed to enjoy it.

This reminds me of a story written by Woody Allen, the film director: two old women travel to the mountains and eat in a restaurant at noon. One of them complained, well, the food in this place is terrible! Another responded, isnt it, and its so small!!

As a typical weak team fan, Brian often falls into loneliness, pain and even despair, but feels that everything passes too fast.

The most wonderful professional competition

One evening in May 2016, I went to see the most wonderful professional football match in the past decade. Its not only the teams name thats unheard of by the British, but its more difficult than you think to go to their stadium to watch the ball. I remember that I just managed to get to the station after changing four trains. When I got off, I found that there was neither bus nor taxi. At last, I took a ride to the stadium of the club staff.

The name of this team is acrington Stanley. That night, I was invited to watch their most important game in decades: the second leg of the British B playoff semi-final.

Their opponent is AFC Wimbledon, 2-2 at the end, but thats not the point. In the second half of the match, there was a sudden blackout and the lights went out for 10 minutes. At this time, the clubs Royal electrician, a volunteer and on-site fan, killed from the crowd and started to rush towards the accident with a flashlight in his hand. After a rush repair, the stadium was restored to light, and the cause also surfaced: a substitute was replaced and went to the dressing room for a shower, but the water pipe leaked and touched the wire.

In fact, our stadium has changed significantly this year, at least the equipment can be used normally. Andy Holt, the chairman of the club sitting next to me, continued to refresh my vision. You see, players can also take a hot bath after they leave the field. In the past few years, fans are not allowed to wash their hands or flush the toilet after going to the toilet. Speaking, he pointed to the only bathroom in the stadium, thats it. In the past, as long as the fire truck came, no one could smoke the toilet at half-time.

Accrington Stanley is the smallest and lowest budget team among the 92 members of the English professional football league. How low is it? The clubs weekly operating budget is only u00a3 15000, which is equivalent to the salary of Manchester United midfielder borgba every 11 hours. You know, they need to not only support the team with this money, but also maintain a self owned stadium.

So Stanleys biggest wish is to live.. In line with that, the slogan of the club is the club that will never die.

Ive watched a lot in England in the past decade, so much so that I cant remember the scores of most of the games. As for the major competitions that are portrayed as historic by the media, I sometimes even mix the years. On the contrary, I still remember those small teams that were in decline and in decline, as well as the fans who were not so conspicuous on the sidelines and dressing up.

The stadium is a besieged city, people outside the city want to come in, people inside the city want to go out. Between the countless in and out, I gradually realized that, although some things have been changing, some more valuable things never change.

Football, like most of the worlds history, is ultimately filled with stories rather than numbers.

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Source: Football Conference Author: Zhu Yuan editor in charge: Liu Yun ns4812