I wish I was writing about the on-field battle that will take place between Perth Glory and Sydney FC this Sunday, but this constant talk about how Optus Stadium will be full of 45,000 ‘bandwagoners’ is really bugging me.
As soon as I left HBF Park on Friday night, I immediately heard, “It’s got to be here, we don’t want a stadium full of bandwagoners”.
And when I went home and looked on Twitter, I saw chat about, “We may fit 40,000 event-goers in, but why would we want that?”.
The decider had already been booked at Optus Stadium, so I don’t know why they were still talking about it.
The reason this upsets me is that I am one of those people they are talking about – but if these people met me, they definitely wouldn’t put me in that category.
I only attend five games a season, and I’ve only been doing that for a few seasons. I can’t afford to attend more.
But I watch every game, I watch most women’s matches, check the club website every day, check the club Twitter feed every day… but apparently I’m a bandwagoner who only cares about the ‘sokkah’ on grand final day, and deserves to miss out on attending the big match.
What’s even sadder is that most of these comments are from Perth Glory fans. People are attacking. They want to lock out their fellow supporters from the grand final.
It’s this sort of stuff that doesn’t make me feel welcome as a Perth Glory fan.
The supporters want me and a lot of other people locked out of the game because they haven’t been with the club through thick and thin.
I’m starting to lose patience. What’s funny is that the smart comments are not from Perth Glory fans.
They point out that not all fans are members and that people have other priorities in life and can only attend one match per season.
Family, distance, money and time are all factors.
And even if there are a lot of bandwagoners in the stadium, so what? They can attend a football match if they want to.
The belief is that if the match was played at HBF Park, all the bandwagoners like me can miss out, and will then be encouraged to get a full membership for next season.
I don’t see it that way.
Out of the 20,000 or so bandwagoners in the stadium, most of them are probably our great friends known as Eurosnobs.
We’ve all heard their lame excuses. “Oh, the quality is poor. It’s like watching paint dry. There’s no atmosphere”.
Well, this is the perfect match to show them the possibilities of Australian football, and then maybe they will consider buying a membership for next season.
The football community needs to open up.
We need to open up to everyone and show them what the world game can do in Australia.
Eurosnobs, Cross-coders, people that don’t have much interest in sport. A grand final with 60,000 in the stadium is the perfect way to do that.
According to reports, more than 53,000 tickets have been sold, with only tickets in the upper tier left.
I’ll be there to cheer on Perth Glory. Good luck to both teams and let’s hope for a full house to show what this game can do.