I never understand people who support more than one football club. One local club but one in the Premier League perhaps… my Football League side and then the one I follow in the big games! Not for me. Anyone who tells me that gets short shrift.
Having said that, one of my best pals claims to support both Arsenal and Burnley… never thinking they’d be playing each other in the Premier League one day. Never thinking Burnley would be higher than the club for whom he owns a season ticket, as they were in October.
That said, the vast majority of us have one team and one team only. Mine is Norwich City, where I was born. The ultimate yo-yo club, up and down between Championship and Premier League, some glory days beating Bayern Munich, coming third in the Premier League, winning the Milk Cup in ’85. And most of you will be the same in having total loyalty to one club only.
But is there any occasion when you would say you are disowning your club? Such is the mismanagement of the club you love, you are walking away. I think there were probably some Man Utd fans who did that after the Glazer takeover. And only yesterday, a work colleague admitted that’s how they felt about Hull City right now. But will he never watch a game again, never feel the fellowship of wearing the colours, never enjoy that unity with like-minded people on match day.
There have been dark days at Norwich, nearly going out of business in the early noughties… relegated to League One and losing 7-1 on the opening day. There have been some dire appointments, millions paid for players and not put back into team strengthening, some chairmen who made my blood boil. But the bad times and events are always outweighed by the good.
I think of Wigan, who’ve had a torrid time and gone down to League One after winning the FA Cup, but they are now one of only 3 sides to beat Man City this season after a wonderful night at the DW Stadium. I think of Rochdale, seemingly destined for relegation to League Two and yet going to Wembley for an FA Cup replay with Spurs after their dramatic equaliser at home.
I cannot think of ever disowning my team. I am always optimistic about the next match. There will be memorable moments that will stay with me forever. I can remember the best times like they were yesterday.
So I believe we should all stick with our team through thick and thin, even though we all know in football – it’s the hope that kills us all.