Why you shouldn’t label us “Euro snobs”

Gus McManus Roar Rookie

By Gus McManus, Gus McManus is a Roar Rookie

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    I’m a big football fan. I rarely miss a game of my beloved Arsenal, despite our seeming decline into mid-table mediocrity and transfer inertia.

    I wake up at 3am to watch the games on dodgy internet streams; I read daily news and several daily blogs about the club as a part of my day’s schedule.

    And yet, I’ve never been to an A-League game and I could count on one hand the number of games I’ve seen on television. But please don’t call me a Euro snob.

    It’s not that I turn my nose up to a league of lesser quality as people have recently suggested to me; I really don’t care about the quality very much.

    The sad truth is that it is the A-League that is foreign to me, more so than a competition played on the other side of the world.

    You see, I’m from Canberra so I don’t have a local side, I don’t own Foxtel so I can’t watch games, my local paper, The Canberra Times, doesn’t print much on the league and the A-League doesn’t have a very good internet presence.

    I’m simply not exposed to it; I don’t know about it, it is seriously vague and alien to me. In all seriousness, the only exposure I get to Australia’s premier football league is from SBS’ The World Game, and from right here on The Roar.

    From a young age I was introduced to Arsenal and I developed an emotional connection. I feel that as a Foxtel-less, Canberran, I have more access to the Premier League than I do to my local league.

    I would estimate that there is near to 100 blogs on Arsenal alone, there is a plethora of podcasts and forums and news sites, a greater presence in Australian newspapers than our local league and a greater presence on FTA television, which shows Champions League and Europa League games as well as Arsenal and Liverpool replays, and old classic games (not to mention Bundesliga and La Liga games).

    I love the beautiful game but I am neither A-League fan or Euro snob. I watch suburban football dreaming about standing on a terrace and singing my heart out for 90 minutes surrounded by mates, and I have already shown a propensity for fandom, to being irrationally addicted to the travails of 11-men on a grass field.

    I am a potential fan, a potential diehard that as of yet, the FFA has simply failed to tap into. I’m sure there are many like me.

    But this is the good news, recently, I have sensed change. The vague and alien A-League has actually entered into consciousness, onto my computer screen in blogs and forums and Twitter, and on my TV and my newspapers.

    I’ve seen the amazing Wanderers fans and I’ve witnessed the exploits of the great Del Pierro in the news and on Youtube. I still don’t watch games (I can’t), but I’ve noticed that SBS will be playing Friday night games next season.

    After eight seasons, I’ve finally been exposed to the A-League. The ingredients for me to become a casual armchair fan are finally falling into place next season, I’ve began engaging with league and other fans in the cyber-world and I have been very seriously considering taking the three-hour drive up the Hume Highway to watch a game at Alianze or Parammata Stadium.

    Surely an honest football fan without Foxtel or a local club could, up to this point, be excused from not engaging with the League.

    But it seems to me that good administration, a new TV rights deal, an exciting black and red team in Sydney’s west and certain Italian man have, for me at least, blown away the facade of ambiguity.

    In the immortal words of Bob Dylan, the times they are a-changing.

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    The Crowd Says (79)

    • January 29th 2013 @ 5:28am
      Adrian said | January 29th 2013 @ 5:28am | ! Report

      i live in Europe, and watch A-league over internet streams ..j

      • January 31st 2013 @ 9:56am
        Erico77 said | January 31st 2013 @ 9:56am | ! Report

        I’m European as well and started this season to watch A-league games over internet streams as my Weekends Breakfast. Although Barcelona is since the 90s and a Trip to the Camp Nou my absolute favourite Club I began to appreciate especially the “Derbies” in Down Under. Because here there are just “old” clubs with a lot of tradition I find it fascinating to see the birth of a new Club like the WSW. How they evolved in just a few months!!! They’re my team and I’m sure the passion of the RBB will help to drive the whole A-League and fan culture forward. Keep going!

    • January 29th 2013 @ 5:53am
      gormon kinchley said | January 29th 2013 @ 5:53am | ! Report

      ‘our descent into mid table mediocrity’ – you mean the team you’ve chosen to support. Despite how important it is to you, the team itself will never consider you as one of ‘our players’ – stop being so possessive, then you won’t be labelled a snob, Euro or otherwise.

    • Roar Guru

      January 29th 2013 @ 8:55am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:55am | ! Report

      Fair points, Gus.

      It took me 35 years to embrace domestic club football in AUS, so I understand it takes time.

      I think you’ll find A-League fans reserve the term “Euro snob” to describe people … who have NEVER watched an A-League match, yet they feel qualified to comment about the quality of the A-League.

      Just a general question: If Arsenal were relegated to Div. 4, would you still get up at 3 a.m. to watch them on some dodgy internet stream, or is your passion for Arsenal conditional upon involvement in the EPL & UCL?

      You’ll find there are numerous dodgy internet streams, daily news websites & a multitude of daily blogs about every club in the A-League. Hope you continue to keep an open mind & watch some games on SBS later this year.

    • January 29th 2013 @ 10:44am
      mahonjt said | January 29th 2013 @ 10:44am | ! Report

      I am quick to the EuroSnob retort – but you my friend are no EuroSnob.

      For me the term is not appropriately directed at fans of other leagues in Europe – that is simply “choice”.

      I think this term should be reserved for those who seem to take a great deal of time out of their sleep deprived lives to degrade and deride the local game and for whom a clear sense of superiority/self-identity is derived from supporting Liverpool or FC Artmedia Bratislava ahead of, for example, Melbourne Victory FC – regardless of the facts of their access or the various qualities of the two leagues.

      To my mind, you are the sort of football supporter who is precisely that – a FOOTBALL supporter. If you had greater access to the A-League in Canberra on TV and/or through a local team to support – I suspect you would. Even if you didn’t – I also suspect that you would not spend your time deriding our domestic football league in order to make yourself feel superior.

      We all know a real EuroSnob when you meet one. It is painful. Many of them know little about football as well. Their comments on the games a often poorly infoprmed or represent a very shallow reading of game tactics and strategy. But you can bet on them having a tremendous shirt collection.

      To my mind you represent the next A-League fan demographic. I hope you get the opportunity to fall in love with it the way I have – even if it is predominantly from the arm chair for a few years untill Canberra get up in the APL aor A-League. My lifelong love of Liverpool (and sleepless nights) remains – but I am afraid I am cheating on her with a new love. The Melbourne Victory Football Club.

      • January 29th 2013 @ 11:53am
        Garcia said | January 29th 2013 @ 11:53am | ! Report

        Knowledge of the atypical EuroSnob

        • January 31st 2013 @ 10:08pm
          mahonjt said | January 31st 2013 @ 10:08pm | ! Report

          THAT IS @$@% TREMENDOUS!!!!

    • January 29th 2013 @ 12:17pm
      Bondy said | January 29th 2013 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

      I’ve supported the gunners for 15 years and only started to get into the HAL roughly three years ago and the past two as a season ticket holder so your not alone there.

      You make some valid points although reading your peice in my eye the sport is commercially shut out in this country “it doesnt exist ” domestically,have you ever thought to yourself your being bombarded by afl and nrl and cricket? why couldnt the local media inform you of A League results its only up the road remember the local media inform you of what happens abroad but never domestically why?.

      You make valid points of no market exposure for the sport but what if it was intended by local tv and print companies ?. Deos it seriously make sense to you that its best that the local media inform you of an Arsenal or Liverpool result over a local domestic A League result ?.

      Who comes up with the mentality that its best to give epl results over our domestic comp,some will say that the epl has agreater presence than the HAL but whos’ delivering your feed tv companies with a vested financial interst in other sports and part of that agreement betwen these sports is to make sure the ALeague look s%t and second rate.

      Up the Arsenal and keep on shooting.

    • January 29th 2013 @ 12:42pm
      Moss said | January 29th 2013 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

      Don’t mean to sound harsh, but I think you need your perspective adjusted.

      You might not be a typical “Euro Snob”, but in my eyes you might be guilty of a greater sin when it comes to the beautiful game: being a mere consumer.
      You need to stop thinking of a football club as a collection of players, staff, facilities and branding, and start thinking of it as a community where the most important stakeholder and contributor is the fan. Sounds like you are half way there with your acknowledgement of the blogosphere, but what do you realistically contribute to the Arsenal Football Club?
      Canberra hasn’t got an ALeague club yet. Maybe you should stop waiting around for it to happen like a consumer waiting for the latest department store to open and start taking ownership of the process to ensure you get your own club up and running. New A League clubs certainly need football-knowledgeable people in at the ground level.
      Its interesting to observe the whole consumer/contributor dynamic in the local game across aspects like active support, corporate understanding of the roles of fans, and even the coach’s emphasis. We are lucky at MVFC that we finally have a coach who understands that the fans are paramount to the success of the club, not just as numbers through the turn-styles, but as active contributors to the game day experience and the culture of the club. This thought is also reflected in the staunch independence of the dozens of supporter groups on the terrace from the corporate wing of the club itself.

      So, fine, you’re not a Euro Snob. But stop consuming and start contributing.

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