While acknowledging that things are not great, one fan wants to take a different angle and look at some of the positive elements of supporting the Valiants.
A long-serving Vale fan writes…
OK. So things aren’t great at the moment. I accept that and agree with many of the criticisms being pointed at the club and owner Norman Smurthwaite. However, despite the current crisis, there are still positives about being a Vale fan.
We can support anyone that we want to, but we choose to follow a lower-league club with little history of success, a small fan base and all with no real expectation of winning anything. We get tattoos of the club crest, buy the merchandise, read the stories on sites like this and often get very angry when things aren’t going our way. Why? Because we are Vale through and through and once it’s in there, you can’t get it out!
So what are the positives of being a Vale fan?
We have much more of an involvement and knowledge of what is happening in our club than if we chose to support, for example, Arsenal…
Well, for starters, you get to support your local club through thick and very thin and have a real understanding of what is happening. I know it’s not a great thing sometimes, but it’s still our club, we are involved and have a great understanding of what is happening! We have much more of an involvement and knowledge of what is happening in our club than if we chose to support, for example, Arsenal.
Then there is the opportunity to actually get involved and communicate directly with the main people at the club. I can’t imagine that a Premier League chairman would have local phone-ins and discussions with fans online. Again, you may not like what he says or agree with what is happening, but we do have access both on Twitter and very often face-to-face.
And the team? Well, the players really aren’t so different from us. The recent leaking of salary information shows that, while some are very well paid (especially for the contributions that some have made) they aren’t massively overpaid, especially in comparisons to the Premier league stars. All I really want is for them to turn up on a match day and give 100% just like any overweight, aged and untalented supporter would. We would surely all run and give everything that we have for the ten minutes that we could run for. Personally, I realise the players’ limitations and expect nothing more from them but to have the same passion and enthusiasm for the club that have.
Of course there is more to being a professional player and there is lots of good work that goes into the local community does go unnoticed with visits to hospitals, schools and other places. I know that happens at all levels, but everyone I speak to anyone who has requested help from the club for a charity event, I have never heard of it being turned down.
It must surely get a bit boring being a Chelsea fan watching a game KNOWING that you are going to batter the Burnley, Hulls and Stokes of this world…
Finally there is the thrill of it all. No one really knows what is going to happen on a Saturday. While some success would be nice, it must surely get a bit boring being a Chelsea fan watching a game KNOWING that you are going to batter the Burnley, Hulls and Stokes of this world. It would be nice to go into more games knowing that we have a fighting chance, but is it more fun “enjoying” the fighting point at Southend when you probably went there expecting to loose! Somehow,
I’m sure that to me, the thrill and surprise of a hard earned away win that must be better that of a Spurs fan watching an easy 4-0 battering of a poor North Staffordshire team.
All in all, I know that it’s a bit pants being a Vale fan at the moment. But compared to the supporters of the vast majority of other clubs it could actually be worse!
Up the Vale!