In the month of October, football fans from all over Europe flock to action-packed stadiums to catch a glimpse of the action. With the demands of the Champions League, domestic competitions, and other cups, a live match can be expected every three days. Most people say that the English Premier League (EPL) has the world’s biggest fan base. Millions of fans around the world plan ahead of time to see their favorite teams compete. The few that are lucky to have the means of accessing 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 all fans are important to the sport, accompanying a passionate fan to a game of football is far more enjoyable than doing it with both the casual and glory hunter fan.
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. Besides, the passionate fans have a vast understanding of the game of football and it is undoubtedly the best thing that can happen to a new fan attending the game as they will readily learn more about the sport compared to accompanying the other categories. These fans understand such aspects like technical formation, attributed of their rivals and how to best counter them.
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. 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. Accompanying such a fan to a football match will not bring the hype and emotion to a new fan. Their lack of emotion and poor knowledge make potential fans to hate the game altogether.
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 winning of the team they support and not the emotional and enjoyment of the match. 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. These fans are not loyal to a given club. It is uncommon 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 in the last decade. 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. Clearly these types of fans are not the most pleasant people to accompany to a football match.
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. There are different types of fans with unique qualities in expressing their joy to the sport; passionate, casual and glory-hunter. The three types of fans bring different forms of support to the league. The passionate fan brings on emotion, vast knowledge of the game and a close relationship to the club, players and the staff. Besides, the dedication of a passionate fan in terms of the time, money and resources cannot be compared to the casual or glory hunters’. The casual fans, on the other hand, do not attach or show emotions during games in addition to lacking a sufficient understanding of the game. These fans are not affected by any of the results and readily forget abuot the team until they are reminded of another game. The glory hunter fan is the most annoying as he/she loves to argue aggressively. These fans can readily pick up a fight with rival fans. Besides, the lack of loyalty from these fans mean that they can shift from one team to a direct rival quite easily. While all these types of fans contribute to the beauty of the sport, it is enjoyable to accompany a passionate fan to a game of football.