The month of October in the complete of Europe comes with action packed stadia with football fans thronging to have a piece of the drama. With the needs of Champions league, domestic leagues and other cups, one can be sure to have a stay match every three days. The English Premier League (EPL) is considered via many as having the largest following in the entire world. Millions of fans global prepare in advance to catch their favored teams go head to head. The few that are lucky to have the means of getting access to the stadia get ready with their hotdogs, beer and other snacks as they excitedly swarm into the stadia hours before the official matches begin. It does not take you long to learn how the game of football can be an opportunity to observe the best and worst of the behaviour of EPL fans. A careful study of the fans of each club reveals that there is a core of passionate fans, glory hunter fans and the casual fans. While the defining characteristics of the passionate, casual, and glory hunter fans are quite different, their love for the and subsequent contribution to football is crucial to the enhancement of the standard of the game.
The first category, the passionate fans, reveal the characteristics of a majority of people who when they love something, they devote all their synergy to that thing. The passionate fan dedicates his time and resources to the game of football and will rarely miss a game. These are the type of fans that attach their emotions to the game and whichever result, a win or a loss, will in some way affect their mood. The camera men capturing the moments in a football match have shown fans in the stands physically broken, others crying especially after a loss and quite ecstatic after a win. In addition to their emotional attachment to the game, the fans in this category have some attachment to some players of the clubs they support. It is not uncommon to find fans ranting and expressing their feelings in social media platforms when rumours of especially the transfer window linking their favourite players to another club hit the internet and tabloids. Indeed, watching the fan TV of various clubs where the supporters give their opinions regarding the performance of the club, one will notice that some fans do not fail to appear and contribute emotionally. Some supporters grieve with the players when a close member to the family of any players is passes on. The actions of a passionate fan indicate that, far from the love of the game, the drive is derived from the soul and the heart.
The casual fan group describes the kind of fans that evidently have little knowledge of the game but continue conducting themselves in a manner to suggest that they are serious and passionate fans. These are the type of supporters that can only tailgate to understand the happenings in any given football match and not the game itself. Such fans can be identified easily by their poor use of terminology, mispronouncing the players’ names and lack of basic football ideas. Besides, the casual fan does not understand the rules of the game and can be heard inquiring about some of the decisions of the match officials. For instance, they can be heard shouting ‘offside’ when clearly it is not. Some can be heard asking the meaning of handball.This does not, however, imply that the casual fan does not enjoy the game of football; on the contrary they do but do not care so much about the sport to the point of getting emotionally attached. Another characteristic of a causal fan is that they do not care, and are not affected by a team winning or losing. These supporters are seen socializing more with their friends as opposed to paying close attention to the game and the scoreboard. Casual fans usually bandwagon and support a team because of the pressure from their friends, or because of the popularity of the team as opposed to an emotional attachment to the club or the hometown effect. It is highly unlikely to see a casual supporter picking up an argument or a fight as they are more laid back, choosing to stay cool, calm and collected.
The last type of fan seen in the football stadia across England is the glory-hunter. This category of fans is the most detestable in the crowd. These are the supporters that do not show emotion or stay collected, instead they are easy to pick a fight and provoke the opposing supporters. The glory hunter fan is only interested with the team they support winning. As a result, they are the most disgusting and annoying as they tend to take pleasure in the thrill of the glory as opposed to the excitement of the game. This type of fan can be seen glorifying and cheering the team because of the successes and winnings the team has enjoyed in the recent past. They can be seen basking in the magnificence that comes along the winning team and taking the full pleasure that come with such successes. The supporters under this group will have the motivation of glorifying the team, even when it loses as long as the team has enjoyed some successes in the past. The fan will continue to adore the team days after the game has ended. It is also common for this type of fan to switch to a team that has become successful if the team they supported earlier has faded. These are the fans for instance that once supported Arsenal but moved on to support Chelsea FC after the latter enjoyed some sustained success.These fans do not have much connection to one club and tend to overuse the club motto to compensate for their poor understanding of the club culture and traditions.
The English Premier League is one sport that is loved throughout the world and the fans show different characteristics in experiencing the joy that comes with the competition. Occasionally the passionate fans have gone to extremes of committing suicide in the name of expressing emotions when their teams lose some matches. However, what cannot be disputed is the fact that the supporters are a critical mass in any sport and in particular in the EPL. The three categories of fans discussed above are essential in not only making the game enjoyable, but participate in the collection of millions of pounds for football clubs. Without the excitement that is brought by the passionate, casual and the glory hunter fans, the state of the EPL would be quite different and a less thrilling experience. Indeed, the league enjoys the status of the most watched and competitive league in the world partly because of the devoted fans that contribute to the atmosphere in the stadia and other joints where they watch on the screens.
The history of the EPL is long, filled with various developments, but one thing that has remained constant is the attraction and following that it has continued to enjoy in different continents with the fans staying late, or waking up early to watch a live action of the match. The fan, as a stakeholder of a club, has become significant in the management of the clubs as some boards have representation from the supporters. These representations are responsible for articulating the concerns of the fans to the management boards to improve their experience. Whichever type of a fan one is, it is evident that their contribution to the beautiful game is immense.