The problem with fans

Football supporters principally wear balaclavas to protect their faces against frostbite. And identification. Sorry, sorry, just frostbite. Anyway, these supporters - who all have tickets - are waiting patiently for the game to begin so that they can cheer on their team. Go team!

Football supporters principally wear balaclavas to protect their faces against frostbite. And identification. Sorry, sorry, just frostbite. Anyway, these supporters – who all have tickets, we hasten to add – are waiting patiently for the game to begin so that they can cheer on their team. Go team!

Football fans. They’re just too much trouble.

One minute they’re letting off flares, the next they’re making monkey noises. You give them seats, but they just stand on them or rip them out. They do crazy things like head butting security guards’ fists.

Some fans don’t even buy any food or drink at the stadium. And the ones that do complain about the prices! There’s just no satisfying some people.

Fans have this sense of entitlement. Damned libertarians.

They don’t seem to be able to focus on the product. They don’t understand the need to convert tickets into memberships.

Well, the answer is at hand.

No more do authorities need to fear football fans!

South Korean baseball team Hanwha Eagles has introduced the FANBOT. These are not saucy robots programmed by Dr Evil to kill Austin Powers. Rather, these are automatons that sit in the stands and behave themselves.

No racist epithets. No beer farts. Just good, wholesome trouble-free fan engagement.

Once again, South Korean professional baseball is showing us the way. (Wasn’t it during the 1988 Seoul Olympics that the government bussed in cheersquads to fill the stands for hockey games or somesuch?)

Fanbots are the future; capos, bow down before your new mechanical overlords!

In an interview with SEN radio a few weeks ago, A-League supremo Damian De Bohun said that the A-League’s new measures to strangle the life out of deal with active support (a loathsome term) are “in line with best practice internationally”. He said that the league had “met with Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City, and they see it as a way to grow membership numbers.” He said that the league is “creating the best atmosphere we can”. Let’s start the countdown to the future time when the league introduces dedicated singing sections.

Or perhaps we could embrace another part of the Hanwha Eagles’ game day experience:

Hanwha-cheer

THE HAPPINESS VIRUS!

Recommended reading: Martin Cloake’s excellent book Sound of the Crowd discusses in depth the new supporter movement in England and the push for supporters to have a voice – in more senses than one.  Available through Amazon or Ganxy as an e-book. Martin has also written an extended article for Issue 2 of Thin White Line.