Why Pompey fans are wrong to complain about lack of entertainment this season - OPINION

IT is a popular misconception about the beautiful game, that people watch their local team in order to have fun. Football is many things to many people, but what it shouldn’t be is an arm of the entertainment industry.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 6:08 pm
Ben Close in action during the recent 0-0 bore draw with Gillingham.

Pompey fans have been guilty of falling into that trap as Kenny Jackett’s tactics and results come under increasing criticism. Only this week, on social media, Colin Stevens wrote: ‘If this (Pompey games) was a theatre play it would have closed weeks ago. It’s so boring and nowhere near entertainment.’ Another fan, Alan Valler, voiced a similar thought. ‘As my 8-year-old son said at his second ever game at FP, ‘I came here to have fun, not be bored’. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but Alan’s son will one day find out his childlike innocence was badly misplaced. I have watched football for 40 years, standing on the terraces rain and shine from Plymouth to Carlisle and most points in between. I have done this for numerous reasons, but ‘fun’ has never been one of them. I repeat, football is not an entertainment industry. It is a results industry. We don’t go to see our team lose every week, do we? A football match is not the same as going to the cinema, the theatre or a music concert. If you go to the Guildhall or the Kings Theatre there is a very high chance you will have a great night. With football, there is a very good chance the game will be highly forgettable. But it’s the ones that aren’t, the ones that live in the memory, that give meaning to the 0-0 home draws with Gillingham or 1-0 losses at Wycombe. It’s an obvious question forever asked of football fans - do you want dull wins or entertaining defeats? Unless you support Liverpool or Man City, you can’t live off a yearly diet of entertaining wins and goal-fests. Football doesn’t work like that.  ‘If you want entertainment, you could go out and get a bunch of clowns,’ Stoke boss Alan Durban (in)famously said in 1980 when questioned about his team’s negative tactics at Arsenal. He was right then, and almost 40 years on he’s still right. And once you understand where Durban was coming from, it’s easier to marry passion with reality when it comes to debating football …


GOOD to see the Spinnaker Tower could be repainted again next summer. Another chance to spray it red, therefore.

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Ok, Fratton Park faithful, I hear your abuse. In reply, I give you two words - Smeaton’s Tower. Taking pride of place on Plymouth Hoe, it’s a former lighthouse which is one of the most well-known landmarks in the west country. And it’s painted in the red and white stripes of Plymouth’s arch football rivals Exeter.  To my knowledge, the locals have never demanded a change.  I’m jesting (a bit). As a football fan, I take Pompey supporters’ viewpoint. I don’t think the Spinnaker should be red. But apart from football fans, does anybody really care?


ARE you on Twitter, or do you have a life which doesn’t revolve around being angry to people you don’t know?

I follow ‘Quite Interesting’ and now and again they post something which is, well, you know ... However, the other day they posted this: ‘Listening to Coldplay can make you a safer driver.’ That is categorically not interesting, or even true. It makes me a less safer driver, actually, as I have to take one hand off the steering wheel to change the station THE ACTUAL SECOND a Coldplay song comes on. Also, did you know Ronald McDonald’s official job title within McDonald’s is ‘Chief Happiness Officer’?  Or that refitism is a fetish for shoes? Quite Interesting, for sure.