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Death of the Matchday Experience

I went to Tottenham vs Crystal Palace last Sunday for my first visit to White Hart Lane this season and it was great to come away with 3 points but the big question I have to ask is “Where has all the noise gone?”

It was always easy to say that The Emirates was a library but I don’t think it’s just symptomatic of Arsenal’s ground anymore, I think it’s something that is sweeping all top level Football grounds across the country we seem to be seeing the rise of the “Day Tripper”

Now with the global reach of which the Premier League has this is probably nothing new but I’ve never really noticed first hand until now, to give some context I was sitting in the North Stand of White Hart Lane which admittedly isn’t the loudest of the 4 stands in the ground but I don’t even think I heard one chant started during the 90 minutes. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it was soulless but it seemed so devoid of atmosphere. I must add a caveat that I was a bit hungover so wasn’t necessarily in the mood to start lighting flares and orchestrating choreographed chanting but I’ve never been to a football ground that was so quiet but with so many people.

I don’t think technology has helped this at all due to the fact that everyone is now glued to a mobile. Case in point I had what must have been a Junior Football side’s outing in front of me and all throughout the game they were glued to their phones. I mean why would you spend £50 to watch a Premier League game and then not even bother to actually watch the game?…kids these days. Oh and by the way don’t even get me started with people taking Go-Pro’s to the game.

On the flip side you can say that going to Football is a safe and welcoming place where everyone is welcome but with that safeness, Football has lost some of it’s soul. It would be easy to use buzzwords such as “Gentrification” and the like but it’s all a bit middle of the road now and lacking that spark that got you into Football in the first place. Obviously I’m not advocating a return to hooliganism and the like but it’s just become so corporate these days, that you’re not a fan you’re just a customer. But I guess with Premier League clubs especially in the Capital demand will always out weight supply so my issues are not their concerns but there were hardly kids in the stand so you have to wonder will the next generation of fans just be armchair viewers as the middle class grip on Premier League Football gets even tighter.

I’ll still go to Spurs when I can as a season ticket is something I can’t afford right now so it’s not something I’m going to lose sleep over every fortnight but it’s just another step of Football as you knew it eroding away into Football that you’ll never get to have. Thanks for reading.

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