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FOOTBALL'S CARDINAL SINS

I’ve never been to see my team play and to be honest I don’t even want to

There's nothing better than sitting down in front of the TV to watch your team, not even going to watch them in real life

“Why would you want to be at a freezing stadium on a Monday night when you could be listening to the sweet tones of Gary Neville’s analysis sat on your sofa?”

These are the sorts of arguments I have with my mates who follow their team around the country religiously.

If I’m completely honest I’ve never even been to see my beloved team play… and I don’t even want to.


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You couldn’t pay me to go and watch football in these conditions

Getty - Contributor
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You couldn’t pay me to go and watch football in these conditions

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got massive respect for the fans that trail the length of the country on a schedule devised by the TV companies to support their team through thick and thin.

They’re the salt of the football-supporting earth and they are a huge factor in many clubs staying afloat.

But, I’m not even sorry when I say this, you cannot beat the experience of watching your team at home on TV.

This man’s a modern day poet

Getty - Contributor
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This man’s a modern day poet

It doesn’t just come down to watching your team on your sofa at home, think of all the possibilities.

You could be sitting in a lovely country pub with a load of mates watching a game with a constant flow of cold beer.

You could set up a projector screen in your back garden and supersize your viewing experience while relaxing in the comfort of your own home.

Or you could be sitting in the rain at the Emirates while Younes Kaboul and Troy Deeney run rings round your team.

You wouldn’t want to pay to watch this guy score against you, would you?

Reuters
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You wouldn’t want to pay to watch this guy score against you, would you?

So, let’s start with the biggest factor in why I have never been to see my team play – the cost.

A Premier League ticket in London will set you back at least £40 for a half-decent seat and if it’s any game between September-March you’re pretty much guaranteed to be absolutely freezing.

It doesn’t just stop at the cost of the ticket either, you’re going to have a couple of pints before the game, get a programme, a pie at half-time and your travel there and back.

You’re looking at £80 minimum and that’s far too much for a fortnightly expense.


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Theatre of Dream? More like Theatre of spending all your money, am I right?

PA:Press Association
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Theatre of Dream? More like Theatre of spending all your money, am I right?

For a fraction of that price you can subscribe to Sky Sports and BT Sport and enjoy some of the best football-related analysis you will see on planet earth.

The merry cast of players past and present that dissect the action is led by Neville in terms of depth and breadth of comment.

Listening to Neville on Monday Night Football will leave you sounding like a football guru for the rest of the week at the pub.

The deepest level of tactical breakdown you get in football stadiums is Big Terry screaming at your centre-back to get rid when he’s anywhere in his own half.

I think we can safely say you’re not looking at the next Jamie Carragher here

Getty Images - Getty
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I think we can safely say you’re not looking at the next Jamie Carragher here

Next up, sitting at home with a couple of mates round watching the football just cannot be beaten.

You’re in comfortable chairs instead plastic folding things, you’ve got the heating up on full blast so you’re toasty, you get every angle and replay you can imagine, you can pause and rewind if you miss anything, you can make yourself a full English to enjoy in front of the game, you’re allowed to drink beer in sight of the grass and to top it off you can watch two games back-to-back on glorious Sunday afternoons.

I’m just going to leave that list there.

TV has changed the way all football fans consume the game

AFP
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TV has changed the way all football fans consume the game

Yes you don’t get the roar of the crowd and the surge of excitement with a break up-field, but conversely you don’t have to leave a match early to beat the traffic.

You don’t get the sounds and smells that will fill you with nostalgia in years to come but again you save a packet by watching at home instead.

I feel just as strongly connected to my team by watching them whenever the TV gods deem them screen-worthy and I will never apologise for it.

Only the lord can judge me.


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