How and why do people get in to football hooliganism Watch

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bennies4life
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Not criticising, just wanna know why...
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Zerforax
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People are thugs, mob mentality and just idiots.
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IanDangerously
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(Original post by bennies4life)
Not criticising, just wanna know why...
In my experience people normally become involved through two ways, either through friends or family. Mostly it's the first, people start hanging around with lads at the games who are involved in that kind of thing and as time goes on and they become mates those people become immersed in football violence themselves. You do get a few second generation lads though, like where their dads were involved in the 70s/80s. Generally a lot of those people carried on the culture after they stopped being active and the whole mentality is drummed into the kids.

As far as why people get involved? Well, it's a lifestyle choice. A lot of people indulge in football casual culture without necessarily going down the violence route - which kinda blurs the lines of what a "hooligan" actually is. I hate that term, it's so antequated. People have a lot of negative stereotypes about the people that engage in football violence that for the most part, is complete crap. But the main reason people do it is because it's just fun when it kicks off. It's an adrenaline thing, you can't get that kind of buzz doing anything else. But half the time it's not even about fighting, it's just about being around your mates having a laugh on a matchday and knowing that whatever happens you'll deal with it.

Everyone that tries to understand how hooliganism works focuses on the fighting and hating the enemy when the majority of it is just about close friendships, trusting your mates and backing each other up no matter what happens.

Hopefully that makes some sense, I'm tired but I figured I'd try and post an answer with some actual insight rather than being judgmental and dismissive like the other guy.
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WreckingBall
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Before I start, I'm not condoning violence or anything but groups like casuals or firms are widely misunderstood.

I don't indulge in football violence or anything like that however I go to games with a group of mates and if we go for a drink and sing a few songs then walk to the ground more often than not we do because we want to have a good time and make our support for our club noticed. The thing that I notice is that football fans who are vocally supportive are often just seen as troublemakers to people outside football and are frowned upon by other members of the public and by the police who will use any excuse to break up a group or make arrests with or without force. That is often what causes the violence with police. The treatment of football fans is shocking and we get treated like second class citizens. Obviously fighting with other groups o fans is different and is pretty mindless but for some it is about honour and standing up for one another.
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Zürich
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Went to school with some idiots who considered themselves QPR hooligans. Most came from dodgy families and genuinely just wanted a fight and to 'belong'. If you're from a council estate and have no interests whatsoever in anything meaningful then heading to the football on Saturday, drinking yourself silly and then pushing around some non-hooligan rival fans is probably the highlight of the week. But hooliganism these days doesn't really go much farther than smashing up pubs and throwing bottles of piss at rival fans in the Premiership though.
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IanDangerously
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(Original post by WreckingBall)
Before I start, I'm not condoning violence or anything but groups like casuals or firms are widely misunderstood.

I don't indulge in football violence or anything like that however I go to games with a group of mates and if we go for a drink and sing a few songs then walk to the ground more often than not we do because we want to have a good time and make our support for our club noticed. The thing that I notice is that football fans who are vocally supportive are often just seen as troublemakers to people outside football and are frowned upon by other members of the public and by the police who will use any excuse to break up a group or make arrests with or without force. That is often what causes the violence with police. The treatment of football fans is shocking and we get treated like second class citizens. Obviously fighting with other groups o fans is different and is pretty mindless but for some it is about honour and standing up for one another.
Well said!

Nice username too btw assuming it's a reference to the brilliant Bruce Springsteen album?


(Original post by Zürich)
Went to school with some idiots who considered themselves QPR hooligans. Most came from dodgy families and genuinely just wanted a fight and to 'belong'. If you're from a council estate and have no interests whatsoever in anything meaningful then heading to the football on Saturday, drinking yourself silly and then pushing around some non-hooligan rival fans is probably the highlight of the week. But hooliganism these days doesn't really go much farther than smashing up pubs and throwing bottles of piss at rival fans in the Premiership though.
1. Who doesn't want to feel like they belong in some way?
2. What's wrong with being from a council estate anyway?
3. Football is very meaningful to those who are part of the matchgoing community surrounding their clubs
4. Non-hooligans don't get pushed around if they don't want to be involved
5. Yes it does go a lot further than throwing bottles, it's just not widely reported by the media
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Zürich
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(Original post by IanDangerously)
1. Who doesn't want to feel like they belong in some way?
2. What's wrong with being from a council estate anyway?
3. Football is very meaningful to those who are part of the matchgoing community surrounding their clubs
4. Non-hooligans don't get pushed around if they don't want to be involved
5. Yes it does go a lot further than throwing bottles, it's just not widely reported by the media
1. I feel like I belong when I go to watch Arsenal, I dont need to become a hooligan to experience that.
2.Nothing, but it implies alot about the opportunities people will have in life to develop constructive, meaningful interests outside of hooliganism
3.I know. But is hooliganism?
4.Know from experience that this is bull****. Remember meeting rival fans in London pubs after matches and wondering if I was going to have my teeth knocked out
5.Maybe in the 2nd division. Know that QPR hooliganism is dying a death now that they're in the Prem. And it hasnt existed at Arsenal for decades.
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doggyfizzel
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IMO, its people who need the tribal mentality that football provides. They aren't football fans, they are just fans of having a colour, a family, and association.

If you are caught by the police you are looking at a stadium ban, not something any football fan would want. Let alone someone with a proper job, ie one you are going to lose with anything like that you need to declare.

I think there is a difference between hardcore fans and hooligans.
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Sol1dShot
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Well when you only have 5 brain cells, and you get 4 of them pissed on Stella...
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IanDangerously
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(Original post by Zürich)
1. I feel like I belong when I go to watch Arsenal, I dont need to become a hooligan to experience that.
2.Nothing, but it implies alot about the opportunities people will have in life to develop constructive, meaningful interests outside of hooliganism
3.I know. But is hooliganism?
4.Know from experience that this is bull****. Remember meeting rival fans in London pubs after matches and wondering if I was going to have my teeth knocked out
5.Maybe in the 2nd division. Know that QPR hooliganism is dying a death now that they're in the Prem. And it hasnt existed at Arsenal for decades.
1. Belong to what? Going to a top Premier League club isn't belonging to anything other than buying into a sanitized, overly polished, corporate modern football experience. Fair enough if you're going to away games and travelling with a group of lads you're close to and all that, then it's different.

2. To an extent yes, although again I know people from that kind of background with meaningful interests. I also know people from middle class stable families who have very little going on in their lives and are as dull as dishwater. It's largely dependant on the individual.

3. No, hooliganism itself isn't meaningful to anyone. That's a byproduct of the passion for the club mixed with the bond people have with their mates at the match. Most people don't set out to be "hooligans" however you define that, it just ends up that way.

4. Why were you worried about having your teeth knocked out? If you stay quiet and don't provoke anyone you'll be perfectly safe, these people don't target those who don't want to know. Obviously there's rare exceptions, but the average fan doesn't get pulled into these things unless they're out looking for trouble.

5. 2nd division? It happens in the Premier League on a regular basis with certain clubs, at least a handful of times a season with Manchester United alone at away games. It happened with United and City two weeks ago, the biggest clubs in England at the moment, it's certainly not a lower league thing. Just because it's not happening in or around the stadiums in big numbers like the 80s doesn't mean it isn't happening. In fact, 90% of Premier League fans could go to every home game and not see it - but it is happening whether you want to acknowledge it or not.



(Original post by doggyfizzel)
IMO, its people who need the tribal mentality that football provides. They aren't football fans, they are just fans of having a colour, a family, and association.

If you are caught by the police you are looking at a stadium ban, not something any football fan would want. Let alone someone with a proper job, ie one you are going to lose with anything like that you need to declare.

I think there is a difference between hardcore fans and hooligans.
They are absolutely football fans, a lot of them are some of the most passionate fans out there. The tribal mentality comes about from growing up around the clubs and the other lads that go, being part of the community, and family history with the team. A lot of the "hooligans" are brought up with football from birth and it becomes an obsession.

You can be a hardcore fan and be non-violent or violent, hooligans are just a subset of hardcore support. The two groups tend to interact well too based on the passion for the team. Personally I think there's a potential hooligan in a lot of ordinarily non-violent hardcore fans. This is why the football intelligence people use three categories to classify fans rather than two.

Category A are your normal, perfectly safe supporters that wouldn't under any circumstances be moved to violence; and Category C are the "hooligans" the people that go and actively seek trouble. It's the Cat B that are the interesting ones - hardcore fans with the possibility of violence. The ones who don't set out to kick off, but get so worked up and emotional that they burst into fits of rage and anger that they can't control. I'm a Cat B fan personally, but I've got good mates in all the categories.

Never thought this much about it before really trying to explain it or that, just take it for granted and don't think about it normally tbh!
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WelshBluebird
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(Original post by WreckingBall)
Before I start, I'm not condoning violence or anything but groups like casuals or firms are widely misunderstood.

I don't indulge in football violence or anything like that however I go to games with a group of mates and if we go for a drink and sing a few songs then walk to the ground more often than not we do because we want to have a good time and make our support for our club noticed. The thing that I notice is that football fans who are vocally supportive are often just seen as troublemakers to people outside football and are frowned upon by other members of the public and by the police who will use any excuse to break up a group or make arrests with or without force. That is often what causes the violence with police. The treatment of football fans is shocking and we get treated like second class citizens. Obviously fighting with other groups o fans is different and is pretty mindless but for some it is about honour and standing up for one another.
Basically this.
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Try Rekorderlig
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Glorification of violence, a hooligan father, need to belong to a group (Social Solidarity), angst, racism, class struggle. And a twisted view on the world that lets your brain think it's okay to attack a person due to them hailing from a different town or supporting a different team. You might as well ask 'why do chavs do the things they do?', simply because they are evil.
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doggyfizzel
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(Original post by IanDangerously)
They are absolutely football fans, a lot of them are some of the most passionate fans out there. The tribal mentality comes about from growing up around the clubs and the other lads that go, being part of the community, and family history with the team. A lot of the "hooligans" are brought up with football from birth and it becomes an obsession.
I agree but I don't think any of these mean someone becomes a hooligan.

You can be a hardcore fan and be non-violent or violent, hooligans are just a subset of hardcore support. The two groups tend to interact well too based on the passion for the team. Personally I think there's a potential hooligan in a lot of ordinarily non-violent hardcore fans. This is why the football intelligence people use three categories to classify fans rather than two.
I think a hooligan is separate from even a hardcore fan who has been involved in violence. Any fan get get caught up in violence, a hooligan is usually defined as someone who who looks for or instigated violence. The people who try to break though the separation fences. These, Cat C from the other bit of your post fans are the ones the authorities try to remove to keep the rest of the fans either safe or out of trouble.

I wouldn't label them as absolute fans though. In the same way as you become a fan of football at any age you gravitate to being more and more a fan of the surrounding culture/social side, the ideal is to encompass both sides. The point at which a fan progresses from hardcore to hooligans, IMO, are those which the football, the game being played has become secondary.
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IanDangerously
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(Original post by doggyfizzel)
I agree but I don't think any of these mean someone becomes a hooligan.

I think a hooligan is separate from even a hardcore fan who has been involved in violence. Any fan get get caught up in violence, a hooligan is usually defined as someone who who looks for or instigated violence. The people who try to break though the separation fences. These, Cat C from the other bit of your post fans are the ones the authorities try to remove to keep the rest of the fans either safe or out of trouble.

I wouldn't label them as absolute fans though. In the same way as you become a fan of football at any age you gravitate to being more and more a fan of the surrounding culture/social side, the ideal is to encompass both sides. The point at which a fan progresses from hardcore to hooligans, IMO, are those which the football, the game being played has become secondary.
I don't think the game ever becomes secondary, that's somewhat of an idealistic notion that regular fans use to try and distance themselves from the hooligans. Any time something major happens you get the police, the media and the clubs themselves coming out and saying that these people aren't "real fans". Just because somebody looks for trouble and sets out with the idea they might engage in violent disorder during the day doesn't make them any less of a fan.

Maybe I notice it more at United because of the huge split in terms of types of fans we have. I can sit down for hours in the pub before/after the game chatting to people that would be described as "hooligans". These are smart, passionate fans clued up to every aspect of the club. They know all the squad, the management, the entire history, take interest in the reserve and youth teams, and understand the inner workings and problems of modern football. But they happen to like to have a scrap after the game. Then I go into the ground and get forced to sit in silence next to a bunch of tourists with cameras who wouldn't know a crossbar from a crowbar. I know which one I have more in common with!

In 2012, the desire to fill all these modern sanitized football stadia with the new breed of happy-clappy, merchandise wearing consumers has pushed your everyday hardcore fan closer to the mentality of the hooligan than the average person in the seat next to them.
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doggyfizzel
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(Original post by IanDangerously)
I don't think the game ever becomes secondary, that's somewhat of an idealistic notion that regular fans use to try and distance themselves from the hooligans. Any time something major happens you get the police, the media and the clubs themselves coming out and saying that these people aren't "real fans". Just because somebody looks for trouble and sets out with the idea they might engage in violent disorder during the day doesn't make them any less of a fan.

Maybe I notice it more at United because of the huge split in terms of types of fans we have. I can sit down for hours in the pub before/after the game chatting to people that would be described as "hooligans". These are smart, passionate fans clued up to every aspect of the club. They know all the squad, the management, the entire history, take interest in the reserve and youth teams, and understand the inner workings and problems of modern football. But they happen to like to have a scrap after the game. Then I go into the ground and get forced to sit in silence next to a bunch of tourists with cameras who wouldn't know a crossbar from a crowbar. I know which one I have more in common with!

In 2012, the desire to fill all these modern sanitized football stadia with the new breed of happy-clappy, merchandise wearing consumers has pushed your everyday hardcore fan closer to the mentality of the hooligan than the average person in the seat next to them.
I still don't think you are describing hooligans. Perhaps the closest thing we see widespread in the English game today, but not hooligans as were around in the 70/80's and are still in many of the Eastern Leagues. That level of hooliganism where people died, people got seriously injured with people bringing knives and such to games and before/after. Examples like the kind of trouble seen at the Italty-Serbia game. The game didn't start till 40mins after then got called off 7 mins in. The Serbia fans were warned by their own players the game was at risk. Its still got called off, I can't see how you could claim they game is not secondary for them, bearing in mind these people had travelled to a different country for this event. Their actions mean they didn't even see the team play.

Perhaps the game has become to commercialised, its certainly become less working class. Part of that has been the measures taken to reduce the levels of hooliganism. All seater stadiums, marshals and excessive policing all reduce the atmosphere at games and drive prices up. The "sanitisation" of the game has been brought about and justified because of the violence. The more that happens the more the game is going to cater to Hong Kong types and the pacification of passion is going to be seen as a positive thing as it correlated with decrease in violence. Clubs that want to attract investment know negative press isn't good, and will happily sell out if it means better sponsors.
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WreckingBall
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(Original post by IanDangerously)
Well said!

Nice username too btw assuming it's a reference to the brilliant Bruce Springsteen album?




1. Who doesn't want to feel like they belong in some way?
2. What's wrong with being from a council estate anyway?
3. Football is very meaningful to those who are part of the matchgoing community surrounding their clubs
4. Non-hooligans don't get pushed around if they don't want to be involved
5. Yes it does go a lot further than throwing bottles, it's just not widely reported by the media
The one and only
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WreckingBall
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(Original post by IanDangerously)
I don't think the game ever becomes secondary, that's somewhat of an idealistic notion that regular fans use to try and distance themselves from the hooligans. Any time something major happens you get the police, the media and the clubs themselves coming out and saying that these people aren't "real fans". Just because somebody looks for trouble and sets out with the idea they might engage in violent disorder during the day doesn't make them any less of a fan.

Maybe I notice it more at United because of the huge split in terms of types of fans we have. I can sit down for hours in the pub before/after the game chatting to people that would be described as "hooligans". These are smart, passionate fans clued up to every aspect of the club. They know all the squad, the management, the entire history, take interest in the reserve and youth teams, and understand the inner workings and problems of modern football. But they happen to like to have a scrap after the game. Then I go into the ground and get forced to sit in silence next to a bunch of tourists with cameras who wouldn't know a crossbar from a crowbar. I know which one I have more in common with!

In 2012, the desire to fill all these modern sanitized football stadia with the new breed of happy-clappy, merchandise wearing consumers has pushed your everyday hardcore fan closer to the mentality of the hooligan than the average person in the seat next to them.
Another well put point. This is part of the reason I no longer go down South to watch Liverpool. The game becomes a tourist attraction rather than a passionate sport. For example, today I went to watch my team Falkirk play away to Airdrie. Freezing cold and barely 1000 people there however everyone who was there was a die hard fan. Compare that to Liverpool vs Fulham that my brother and Dad are at where there are 1000s of foreigners clicking there cameras every few seconds and don't give a monkeys about the final scoreline. I know what one I would rather watch.
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JG1233
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Plenty of reasons.
To begin with its a lifestyle choice, the casual type lifestyle. That appeals to many people, especially if they grew up around it and gives them a sense of identity and essentially gets them into a tight knit group which makes them feel important. Also when fighting you are essentially putting your life in your friends there with you in that they dont run off and leave you, i guess when you are fighting with your friends you would create extremely close bonds, which is probably attractive to those with little family or just those who want that.
Then there are some guys who do just genuinely like a good scrap, and football hooliganism is a easy way to do this whilst only really affecting those who feel the same.

But i would guess the biggest reason is the 'buzz' you get, every interview i've seen they have mentioned the adrenaline rush you get and how it is very addicting. Makes sense i guess considering many soldiers back this up saying the adrenaline when fighting on the front-line can be addicting, and some soldiers do end up becoming hooligans to try and re-live this buzz. Saw one interview where one bloke was able to give up cocaine but was not able to give up hooliganism, and another where a guy said if he was offered a gorgeous girl or a good football fight he would go with the football fight. I suppose its in a way just a extreme sport, people can get addicted the the adrenaline rush it gives.
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Yanis_AFC
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(Original post by Zürich)
Went to school with some idiots who considered themselves QPR hooligans. Most came from dodgy families and genuinely just wanted a fight and to 'belong'. If you're from a council estate and have no interests whatsoever in anything meaningful then heading to the football on Saturday, drinking yourself silly and then pushing around some non-hooligan rival fans is probably the highlight of the week. But hooliganism these days doesn't really go much farther than smashing up pubs and throwing bottles of piss at rival fans in the Premiership though.
Agreed.
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joe whitehead
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away then thinking your hard on the internet
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