04/07/2013

Stand AMF Take 2

After my most recent blog post, discussing Stand AMF and the way AMF supporters have used the campaign as an identity whilst still injecting money into the villains they're fighting, I felt it necessary to write a follow up post. This blog explores my opinion further and discusses a potential plan for a boycott, should Stand AMF choose that route (which I would deem the only route capable of initiating sufficient change).
Still standing?
In a nutshell, Stand AMF are campaigning for more affordable ticket prices, less police and steward interference and for club owners to care for the clubs fans more. Primarily, at the moment, the focus is on making tickets more affordable. Given the current economic climate this is completely justified. However, there is one thing, and one thing only, that will change ticket prices. Unfortunately, that would be a boycott.
It sounds brutal, but the probability of a boycott initiating change is far higher in comparison to petitions or campaign work. The Premier League revolves around money. Fact. That is because we live in a capitalist country based on private ownership and free trade. Therefore, the common denominator of both development and progressive change is money. While Germany also is a capitalist country, the Bundesliga is very different to our Premier League. The German league is completely fan orientated, it puts its fans first, and money second. Our League, however, has delved into a world of corporations, business and broadcast. 
Ideally, our clubs should want to lower ticket prices for the benefit of the fans, however due to added revenue from sponsorships, TV deals and global expansion, what is a few hundred fans who are being priced out of the game? The only way clubs will lower prices is if there is a mass boycott, this is because money talks. 
Understandably fans do not want to boycott their clubs for various reasons, first and foremost the love of football is overwhelming, it is a huge sacrifice to make. Second, a huge loss could see clubs spiral into liquidation and administration. Therefore it would need to be a boycott against the industry. Not individual clubs. To make change, the masses must direct protest at Sky, the FA, Premier League and ultimately the system.
However, Stand AMF only has just under 11,000 followers on twitter. This number is smaller than the capacity of the Stretford End, Old Trafford. A boycott of 11,000 would achieve naught. Especially considering these 11,000 are divided amongst 92 clubs. Therefore, Stand AMF's primary focus (which I believe it currently is trying to achieve) is to reach out to more and more fans - some fans need convincing though. Numbers need to be reaching millions before a boycott capable of achieving change could be possible. If Stand AMF and its supporters are deadly serious about creating change then this is phase one; reach out to the masses and convince them the cause is justified.
Phase two is to boycott. A counter argument often presented is "there is no need to boycott, we can reach change without boycotting". Now is the time to present the evidence that boycotting which creates a negative economic impact works. 1955, Montgomery, Alabama, USA. The fight for civil rights. Rosa Parkes refuses to give her seat up for a white citizen at the front of a bus. This sparks a boycott. The majority of bus users were black so if enough people boycotted, the bus service would suffer. Martin Luther King alongside Jo Ann Robinson and Ralph Abernathy initiated phase one - they spread the word. Flyers were distributed, word of mouth was relied upon and rallies aided. The boycott lasted 381 days and after the economic consequences the boycott had caused the city authorised black bus passengers to sit wherever they liked on the bus. Proof of succeeding in change through manipulating the economy.
A boycott is a huge sacrifice to make and it is understandable should fans not wish to participate. However, I believe it is the only plausible way to assert change. Clubs, and Sky do not care if you claim to be against modern football, you're still paying for tickets and paying your sky subscription so who cares if you're unhappy. It's wrong but it's the way it is. A boycott is the only way to cause economic harm to corporations as large as those existing in football in order to provoke change. 
The core message of Stand AMF is a very just message, however the way the message has been manipulated to suit AMF supporters, in some cases, to intimidate other fans and persecute others because they do not claim to be "AMF" is an injustice. This is not true of all AMF supporters, but it is certainly true of some. This is where the deterioration of the seriousness of the cause occurs, it has been used by some as a means of intimidation to secure social power in the hierarchical system of fans, "you're not AMF so I'm a better football fan than you." Unfortunately, for some people, the works of a few mindless souls has cost Stand AMF their reputation. In order to retrieve this, the campaign needs to up the ante. 
If Stand AMF and its supporters are serious about revolutionising ticket prices, then the preparations and planning's of a boycott need to begin. Like plenty of previous failures, it is possible that a boycott wouldn't work, but at the moment there are three options; 1. To reach out to the masses and plan a boycott. 2. To continue claiming you are AMF whilst continuing to inject money into Sky and football clubs which in actuality will only increase ticket prices. 3. Accept that unfortunately at the moment there is little scope for change so reduce the intensity of the AMF identity and just enjoy football like every other football fan in the country wishes to do. 
It's an unfortunate situation but it's time to evaluate it realistically.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Anna,

    Another excellent post thankfully at our club Blackburn Rovers prices are very competitive but I agree away ticket prices need to be reduced I would have loved to go to the Emirates for Rovers win recently but due to the high price of tickets I missed out. I urge you to sign the petition below:

    http://www.fsf.org.uk/petitions/20plenty/#signatures

    I like you believe ticket prices esp away tickets are far too expensive. I think it is totally right in our case owners need to care more for clubs fans esp after the shambles venkys have run rovers both on and off the field at least we should be grateful they have kept the prices at ewood low.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Anna,

    Another excellent post thankfully at our club Blackburn Rovers prices are very competitive but I agree away ticket prices need to be reduced I would have loved to go to the Emirates for Rovers win recently but due to the high price of tickets I missed out. I urge you to sign the petition below:

    http://www.fsf.org.uk/petitions/20plenty/#signatures

    I like you believe ticket prices esp away tickets are far too expensive. I think it is totally right in our case owners need to care more for clubs fans esp after the shambles venkys have run rovers both on and off the field at least we should be grateful they have kept the prices at ewood low.

    ReplyDelete