‘Traditional’ Fandom: ‘Signs’, Identities and Disillusionment

  • Peter Millward
Part of the Global Culture and Sport book series (GCS)


‘Traditional’ football supporters are often local to the club that they support, and if not, will often find their own biographical or cultural links to that town or city in order to justify their loyalty. Such supporters will not be perceived as ‘new’ consumers of football and will also usually be male (Fawbert 2005; King 2000; 2003). As Crowther’s F.C. United-based fan-diary entry — cited above — illustrated, traditional supporters will almost certainly only support one club, although, as Giulianotti (2002) argued, they may ‘follow’ the results of a second team.1 Traditional fandom developed through the ‘standing’ terrace culture, which was the site for the development for the working classes to support their team colourfully and vociferously (M. Taylor 2008: 95). Today, many traditional fans long to consume matches in the ways of bygone ages — including a return to the standing culture of the terraces — and hold a widespread disillusionment with some manifestations of the sport’s commercialisation. King (2000; 2003) posited that many traditional Manchester United supporters ceased to attend matches at Old Trafford in the 1990s, arguing that the atmosphere had been sanitised by both the perceived increase in non-traditional ‘tourist’ fans and loss of the terraces (see also Brown 2007; 2008). Still, he pointed out that they continued to travel to ‘away’ matches in the EPL and, particularly, in European competitions.


Football Club Ticket Price Participatory Democracy Football Match Traditional Supporter 
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Copyright information

© Peter Millward 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Millward
    • 1
  1. 1.Durham UniversityUK

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