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Bolton Wanderers: Why Bother?

Bolton Wanderers: Why Bother?
Let's be frank - supporting Bolton Wanderers is a pretty thankless task. We're not glamorous, we're not known for playing attractive tiki-taka style football and we don't have the best players in the world. We struggle to attract large crowds, we haven't won a trophy in donkeys years and we have a huge orange blob in the middle of our shirts that looks like an Oompa Loompa used it for toilet roll. Our stadium isn't in Bolton, we're currently in a slump that has lasted for two years and we are in debt.

So why bother?

Some might term it as a duty - with family 'forcing' new generations to don the shirt and head down to the matches.

Masochism - the reasons in the opening paragraph can often be reason enough. An old saying that I often heard whilst growing up was 'Bolton folk are never happier than when they've missed a bus'. Revelling in the misery of supporting someone like the club surely falls under some form of mental illness. We don't half like a good old moan.

Obsession - Football is the national game, and we're now used to having it shoved down our throats 24/7 by television, newspapers and the internet.

Mental illness - It really makes no sense. Fork out a ton of money to watch a load of rich boys boot around an inflated pigskin on grass for 90mins whilst sat in the rain and cold whilst not having an especially pleasant time.

Yet season after season approximately 20,000 of us turn up at the Reebok every other week to sit through the football. However all the above is immediately forgotten when we score a goal. That feeling of elation and happiness is incomparable no matter the context of the game. To celebrate and to hug the nearest stranger in a wild fashion would probably earn you a custodial sentence in any other walk of life.

To see your club rise from the depths of Division Four to the heights of the Allianz Arena, from your first game at home to Darlington to games against the giants of European football and your little club doing themselves proud in the process makes everything worthwhile. It makes the hours spent travelling worthwhile, it makes every pound spent worthwhile and it makes every single defeat worthwhile. It's a unique sport, and it provokes unique emotions in everybody and I wouldn't swap it for the world.

After all - what else are we going to do on a Saturday? Shopping with the wife? D.I.Y.? No chance.
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Writer:Chris Manning
Date:Tuesday January 22 2013
Time: 9:49AM


I felt that way about football from about 1992-2002. Then Abramovich bought Chelsea, and it all turned to *****.
22/01/2013 13:42:00
It's disgraceful for Arsenal to charge 63 for away fans, but they do it because they know they'll pay it. Football is the modern day religion. Like Christians give money blindly to the church on the faith their generosity will be rewarded, us football fans give money blindly that our football team will give us the high BWFC gave me away at Liverpool in the cup, or Hull away in the league. Nice article.
22/01/2013 14:58:00
Sod what I was going to say. What are all these blo*dy adverts that keep popping up? And why have I just spent the best part of an hour writing my thoughts for the whole lot to be wiped out by a malfunction? Not happy. Off to pour a large glass of red. Boll*cks.
22/01/2013 19:09:00
tribal, our basic instinct minus Sharon Stone crossing her thighs, looks like our Fred is under pressure again, these poor teachers have it tough - 16 weeks paid holiday, 35 hours a week, days off when it sprinkles snowdrops, enough to turn you into a BWFC supporter
aussie mike
22/01/2013 19:34:00
I think it was always likely that the European glory days were as good as it was going to get. We don't have fanbase for much more unfortunately, I must admit to losing perspective though and thinking why do fans of teams who never seem to win anything or get promotion etc. bother? Well now I remember, as you say every goal is great and every time we concede is like punch in the guts.
22/01/2013 20:07:00
I think it was always likely that the European glory days were as good as it was going to get. We don't have fanbase for much more unfortunately, I must admit to losing perspective though and thinking why do fans of teams who never seem to win anything or get promotion etc. bother? Well now I remember, as you say every goal is great and every time we concede is like punch in the guts.
22/01/2013 22:55:00
Good article man. Sometimes I wonder why I bother but like you said, every win makes it worthwhile!
23/01/2013 02:40:00
Annette Dodd is a slag
23/01/2013 09:44:00
many years ago, such as when Big Sam played centre back alongside the talented Paul Jones we had a team always difficult to beat, especialy at burnden park. With 15,000 supporters stood shoulder to shoulder on the terraces there was a true atmosphere and common tribal cause, every move good or bad was collectively embraced by roars of support or derision, supporters readily chatted and laughed with one another, comedians where born on the terraces, everyone would be caught up in anticipation of the battle out on the pitch. Today the game is sanitised, atmosphere is lost, fans and players alike are detached from each other, there is no common purpose, how can supporters relate with players who have no afiliation with the club who join for the huge money offered, unable or unwilling to perform at 100% or bust a gut in games, simply going through the motions. Supporters are really taken for a ride, the urge for instant success and the millions thrown into the game have been a blight. Whether the Bosman ruling kick started the decline ? I have my suspicions. We are circa 130 million in debt after a decade in which 300 million was given to us for free, it beggars belief, utterly perverse. Do supporters realise if 15 was reduced from the admission charge, making it much cheaper and affordable for every fan to attend games at the Reebok, it would cost the club about 5 million a year, or 12% of the Sky premiership revenue, that is what I call handing back something to the fans. Of course the club would rather give that money away on a single player that we have never heard off, I use that as an example of how club directors have lost touch with the supporters, choosing instead to line their own nests, protect their own financial interests, saddling the club with a millstone of debt, applying the same financial bad practice that brought our banks to ruin
aussie mike
23/01/2013 10:41:00
Well put aussie mike I totally agree. Unfortunately ours like every other club is chasing that elusive success and only a handful have the resources to do so on a regular basis. I have to say that I am encouraged by the signings df seems to be looking at or has made for that reason. We would all love to be signing bug name players but it isn't going to do the club any long term good. Similarly I am glad to hear he is worried about the academy not producing, something many of us have thought for a while.
23/01/2013 11:05:00
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