Man About Town: A Wembley day out tinged with anxiety
While the money coming in goes up, so does the sum fans have to pay
While much fuss was made last weekend about one London club winning their first trophy in just under a decade, I was thinking about how it has taken me a lifetime to see my team at Wembley.
On Saturday morning I am planning to join fellow Queen’s Park Rangers fans at our home ground, Loftus Road, and walk the five and a half miles to the nation’s home stadium for the Championship play-off finals.
It’s a game I’ve looked forward to more than almost any I’ve seen since my dad first took me as a four-year-old in 1987.
Should we beat Derby County (and that’s quite a big ask given their form), we will find ourselves in the Premier League, with all the hype, media coverage and global interest that comes with it. Then, of course, there is the money.
Much of the build-up in the press has focused on the fact that this is “a £120m match”– in other words on how much more money the club will receive. But, of course, while the money coming in goes up, so too does the amount each fan is expected to pay to see the team.
It’s an uneasy situation to find yourself in as a supporter. You naturally want to see your team play in the very best league possible.
But each time you see them take on one of the “big” clubs, you are reminded just how big business they really are. The ever-increasing focus on wealth and money makes supporting the big football clubs seem more and more like cheering on a massive brand every time their stock rises in the markets.
To focus on that is to take away what a special day it is for most fans: those unemotional-looking chaps who were in tears when an extra-time winner took the team through to the final; those who spend much of their time, money and energy following the side’s fortunes; those who remember the last trips to Wembley (in 1967, 1982 and 1986, and the walks there); and those of us who are seeing QPR there for the first time in our lives.
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for? The Independent quiz matches best political party for undecided voters ahead of the general election
First-time buyers in London 'need to earn at least £77,000'
General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down - including new picture of David Cameron in his finery
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...