Wednesday, 26 August 2009


Like most West Ham fans and indeed a fair few from other clubs, I was appalled at the violence at yesterday's League Cup game.

I hope that the club manages to find all those who pitch invaded and ban them for life and that the police manage to find the thugs outside the ground.

But I don't think it will be that easy. The Irons did a £15 deal for the game which meant a lot of people just went along for the first and probably only time. Secondly, from what myself and other supporters are hearing, the violence outside was orchestrated a few weeks ago and may actually include other clubs' thugs.

Leaving aside my anger at the twats and Bermondsey bollocks there is one thing I am curious about -

Is English football violence an economic side effect?

Think about it. The worst violence I can remember was in the late 70s and early 80s which culmanated in the terrible Heysel deaths and the banning of English clubs from Europe.

Is it to do with unemployment? The jobless total was going up all this time and docks were being closed. Coinciding with the ban was economic growth and a reduction in unemployment levels...

We are now at around 6m unemployed.

Is it possible that the thugs, now unemployed, are either a) taking their frustration out using football as the focal point, b) Using violence to prove themselves or even c) Because they don't have jobs there is no risk of losing them if caught and shamed?

Now I know this is a broad brush and am sure there were plenty of employed people in the violence and more particularly in the pitch invasions but I was wondering whether all the talk of all-seater stadia and the growth of the rave culture being responsible wasn't more guff and that job=money=respect turns into finding respect by other means?

Another coda is that a lot of the footage seems to show 40/50-year-olds so either it's "old fashioned" values or they were on a nostalgia, erm, kick.

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