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If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso 17:23 - Apr 24 with 1242 viewsYorkRanger

For those who aren't familiar with him, Matt Dickinson is an excellent football Journalist who has a Season Ticket with his sons at QPR.

This is a great article that will resonate with many.
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If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso on 17:25 - Apr 24 with 1233 viewsYorkRanger

He is with The Times by the way, article follows:

Loyalty, at least in football terms, was not a moral choice like bravery or kindness; it was more like a wart or a hump, something you were stuck with.”
One of many quotable lines from Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch, that classic of football obsession, has been stuck in my head in recent days, along with the constant reminders from Queens Park Rangers that the “Loyalty Window” is about to close on season ticket renewals.
At many of the 92 English league clubs, these are surely the worst days to be a fan as a season of mediocrity dribbles to its end, yet already the demand comes for the next campaign. Sign up for more frustration! Give us more of your cash to pay off the debts! (As they don’t say on the emails/adverts/tweets).
But what are you going to do? Slice off that wart? Can’t be done. Inoperable. Walk away and never return?
Well, a decrease in QPR attendances of more than 20 per cent since relegation from the Premier League in 2015 suggests plenty have managed to find alternative life at weekends.
But, heck, maybe it is in the blood. Maybe it is the one thing that keeps family and friends together on a Saturday afternoon, sharing precious time and experiences.
Perhaps those Oxford University anthropologists were right a little while back when they explained how even misery binds fans to each other, and to a club. Relegation, humiliation, heavy defeat were just as important as euphoria in causing “identity fusion”, according to the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology.
They were right, of course. Football’s enduring and remarkable mass popularity proves it; as do so many self-mocking chants revelling in hopelessness and notoriety.
This bonding is an extraordinary process, because it even extends to an utterly perverse affinity with where you sit. For us at Loftus Road, that is a few yards in front of a man with alarming similarities to Harry Enfield’s most intensely irritating character, with his catchphrases of “You didn’t want to be doing it like that!” and “Only Me!”
The infuriating torrent of know-it-all remarks — “you don’t want to be passing straight to the opposition!” or “you didn’t want to be letting the ball fly over your head, goalie!” — manages to be painfully infuriating and yet such a familiar part of the experience that we cannot bear to move away.
It makes little sense — but that’s football for you. And that’s certainly QPR. This is the club where, in August 2011, Tony Fernandes led a takeover of a team heading into the top-flight. A cool £258 million of losses later, and counting, they are somehow much worse than when they started. It is an extraordinary achievement.
Occasionally I like to imagine piling £258,000,000 of notes in a big heap and setting fire to it just to try to grasp how it must feel.
All that incontinent spending without even getting round to building the new training ground that was being discussed when they took over. Or the new stadium. Or the upwardly mobile team.
As for next season, well with parachute payments about to end (instantly reducing revenue by around £13 million) and more necessary cuts in the wage bill and losing the loan players who saved the team from relegation — just about — the future is not exactly encouraging, especially as fans fear that any half-decent bid will prove irresistible for assets like Massimo Luongo and Luke Freeman.
Did I mention there is no manager? Steve McClaren was sacked as season ticket renewals began — coincidence? — and the club are trying to get someone on the cheap who can work with young players.
Mark Warburton, formerly at Brentford and Rangers, would appear to make sense of those in the frame but it is a big decision. The reality is that the wrong appointment now by Les Ferdinand, the director of football who has been overseeing this decline (or reflection and rebuilding, as the club prefer to call it), and Sky Bet League One could beckon.
All this and yet of course we will be back. We will be signing up again. It’s what we do, so many hundreds of thousands of us throughout the divisions drawn back season after season even as we wonder how and why.
Hornby was right that this loyalty is not really a badge of honour, much as fans love to make that claim. It is grown-up choice. There must be pleasure in the pain.
There are those tantalising glimpses of joy and hope — a Freeman run, an Eze turn — that suck you in and, as those Oxford researchers discovered, even the anguished days provide memories and high emotion and the sense of being part of something. It is evolutionary. Or, as Hornby wrote: “What else can we do when we’re so weak?”
Just so long as Tim Sherwood is not appointed manager under any circumstances. Astonishingly (or perhaps not), QPR were thinking about it. There are some things that would test any fan to the limit.
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If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso on 18:05 - Apr 24 with 1133 viewsJAPRANGERS

If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso on 17:25 - Apr 24 by YorkRanger

He is with The Times by the way, article follows:

Loyalty, at least in football terms, was not a moral choice like bravery or kindness; it was more like a wart or a hump, something you were stuck with.”
One of many quotable lines from Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch, that classic of football obsession, has been stuck in my head in recent days, along with the constant reminders from Queens Park Rangers that the “Loyalty Window” is about to close on season ticket renewals.
At many of the 92 English league clubs, these are surely the worst days to be a fan as a season of mediocrity dribbles to its end, yet already the demand comes for the next campaign. Sign up for more frustration! Give us more of your cash to pay off the debts! (As they don’t say on the emails/adverts/tweets).
But what are you going to do? Slice off that wart? Can’t be done. Inoperable. Walk away and never return?
Well, a decrease in QPR attendances of more than 20 per cent since relegation from the Premier League in 2015 suggests plenty have managed to find alternative life at weekends.
But, heck, maybe it is in the blood. Maybe it is the one thing that keeps family and friends together on a Saturday afternoon, sharing precious time and experiences.
Perhaps those Oxford University anthropologists were right a little while back when they explained how even misery binds fans to each other, and to a club. Relegation, humiliation, heavy defeat were just as important as euphoria in causing “identity fusion”, according to the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology.
They were right, of course. Football’s enduring and remarkable mass popularity proves it; as do so many self-mocking chants revelling in hopelessness and notoriety.
This bonding is an extraordinary process, because it even extends to an utterly perverse affinity with where you sit. For us at Loftus Road, that is a few yards in front of a man with alarming similarities to Harry Enfield’s most intensely irritating character, with his catchphrases of “You didn’t want to be doing it like that!” and “Only Me!”
The infuriating torrent of know-it-all remarks — “you don’t want to be passing straight to the opposition!” or “you didn’t want to be letting the ball fly over your head, goalie!” — manages to be painfully infuriating and yet such a familiar part of the experience that we cannot bear to move away.
It makes little sense — but that’s football for you. And that’s certainly QPR. This is the club where, in August 2011, Tony Fernandes led a takeover of a team heading into the top-flight. A cool £258 million of losses later, and counting, they are somehow much worse than when they started. It is an extraordinary achievement.
Occasionally I like to imagine piling £258,000,000 of notes in a big heap and setting fire to it just to try to grasp how it must feel.
All that incontinent spending without even getting round to building the new training ground that was being discussed when they took over. Or the new stadium. Or the upwardly mobile team.
As for next season, well with parachute payments about to end (instantly reducing revenue by around £13 million) and more necessary cuts in the wage bill and losing the loan players who saved the team from relegation — just about — the future is not exactly encouraging, especially as fans fear that any half-decent bid will prove irresistible for assets like Massimo Luongo and Luke Freeman.
Did I mention there is no manager? Steve McClaren was sacked as season ticket renewals began — coincidence? — and the club are trying to get someone on the cheap who can work with young players.
Mark Warburton, formerly at Brentford and Rangers, would appear to make sense of those in the frame but it is a big decision. The reality is that the wrong appointment now by Les Ferdinand, the director of football who has been overseeing this decline (or reflection and rebuilding, as the club prefer to call it), and Sky Bet League One could beckon.
All this and yet of course we will be back. We will be signing up again. It’s what we do, so many hundreds of thousands of us throughout the divisions drawn back season after season even as we wonder how and why.
Hornby was right that this loyalty is not really a badge of honour, much as fans love to make that claim. It is grown-up choice. There must be pleasure in the pain.
There are those tantalising glimpses of joy and hope — a Freeman run, an Eze turn — that suck you in and, as those Oxford researchers discovered, even the anguished days provide memories and high emotion and the sense of being part of something. It is evolutionary. Or, as Hornby wrote: “What else can we do when we’re so weak?”
Just so long as Tim Sherwood is not appointed manager under any circumstances. Astonishingly (or perhaps not), QPR were thinking about it. There are some things that would test any fan to the limit.


Thanks for posting this York. Great read, great article!
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If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso on 22:32 - Apr 24 with 957 viewssmegma

The average fan has nothing in common with Nick Hornby. On one of the biggest night in Arsenals history for 18 years, he sat at home watching the game at Anfield live on ITV. Well that's what his book said. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't even tune in but just wrote a fictional account.

Great article still.
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If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso on 23:34 - Apr 24 with 892 viewsHadders

If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso on 22:32 - Apr 24 by smegma

The average fan has nothing in common with Nick Hornby. On one of the biggest night in Arsenals history for 18 years, he sat at home watching the game at Anfield live on ITV. Well that's what his book said. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't even tune in but just wrote a fictional account.

Great article still.


I may not be an average fan either, but I love Fever Pitch (the book much more than the film), and as for Nick Hornby, he's a genuine fan all right.
[Post edited 24 Apr 2019 23:36]
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If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso on 06:55 - Apr 25 with 763 viewsKonk

I know loads of Arsenal regulars who watched it at home. I watched it in my mate's front room with 7 or 8 Gooners, and my mate had been to every home game and about 2/3rds of the aways. If he couldn't get a ticket for the away end at Anfield, where was he supposed to watch it?

Fulham FC: It's the taking part that counts

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If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso on 09:07 - Apr 25 with 646 viewsSpanishranger

If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso on 23:34 - Apr 24 by Hadders

I may not be an average fan either, but I love Fever Pitch (the book much more than the film), and as for Nick Hornby, he's a genuine fan all right.
[Post edited 24 Apr 2019 23:36]


Sorry to go off topic, but if you like Fever Pitch, try High Fidelity - surely one of the best novels ever written about music (again the book, not the film which tried to Americanise something quintessentially English )
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If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso on 09:33 - Apr 25 with 622 viewsBrianMcCarthy

If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso on 09:07 - Apr 25 by Spanishranger

Sorry to go off topic, but if you like Fever Pitch, try High Fidelity - surely one of the best novels ever written about music (again the book, not the film which tried to Americanise something quintessentially English )


Great book.

"The opposite of love, after all, is not hate, but indifference."
Poll: Player of the Year (so far)

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If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso on 12:06 - Apr 25 with 545 viewsrunningman75

I respect those people who travel around the country regularly to see the R's. I live in east London but Loftus Road is easy to get to. I struggled to get motivated and spend money to leave London especially after going to Milton Keynes a few years ago for an FA Cup game when some of the fans that day decided to have a go at the players and Warnock.
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If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso on 12:24 - Apr 25 with 512 viewsYorkRanger

If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso on 12:06 - Apr 25 by runningman75

I respect those people who travel around the country regularly to see the R's. I live in east London but Loftus Road is easy to get to. I struggled to get motivated and spend money to leave London especially after going to Milton Keynes a few years ago for an FA Cup game when some of the fans that day decided to have a go at the players and Warnock.


To be honest given our atrocious away form over recent years you could forgive anyone for thinking its not worth the effort travelling away.

The football itself rarely contributes to the good days out
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If even misery increases our loyalty then it is no wonder fans return each seaso on 12:30 - Apr 25 with 498 viewsrsonist

"Steve McClaren was sacked as season ticket renewals began — coincidence?"

Probably an underappreciated factor, this.
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