Football was the sport of the working class...
People who worked in factories, down the mines, on the docks gathered every single Saturday to watch their team, spending the money they sweated like a dog for to watch their team and be with their mates.
Football is community. Ask any football fan and they'll tell you that watching football in a stadium is the best moment of their week, win or lose, rain or shine, it doesn't matter. Football is communal, a gathering of people of all walks of life who form bonds around a shared identity and love for a game that has spanned generations, passed down from father to son, father to daughter, grandparents to grandkids..
Even in the past 20 years as football has become increasingly commercialised and inaccessible to the average joe, the working class have made herculean efforts to travel the length and breadth of the country and beyond to support their clubs, spending thousands and thousands of pounds a season, getting up at 4am for a long away trip and standing in the rain. It has gotten harder and harder financially, but they have done it because football is the only thing they are living for, a bright spark in an otherwise miserable week, a refuge from the problems of the outside world.
The stadium is a barrier from all the problems outside. For a couple of hours a week, you can sing your heart out, talk to your mates that you can't see any other day of the week because you're wage slaves to the very hypercapitalist society that is dragging the game you love out of your hands.
Football is love. I'm not sure non football fans can understand. It's where life long bonds of friendship are formed, where you feel every single emotion: The euphoria of a last minute winner, the devastation of relegation, a sense of pride and community that isn't allowed to exist anywhere else in an ever more divided society.
For 90 minutes every week, religious, political and financial differences go out of the window. You are all together trying to shout and cheer your team to victory. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes the referees are awful but you wouldn't change it for the world.
It's a travesty that the parasites who are destroying our game don't understand this. To them, football is a business, an ATM. They barely attend the games of the clubs they own and their thinly veiled attempts to reassure the fans that they care are pathetic.
I love football. Football is my life. I've met so many people because of football. I've befriended random strangers on trains because of football. I've dragged friends and girlfriends to bars because I can't miss the football. I've laughed about football, argued about football, called random strangers things I would never call them outside of a stadium because of football.
Florentino Perez, Joel Glazer, Stan Kroenke, FSG, City Football group: You will never understand. To you football is a corpse for you to pick the meat off, for us it's everything, a constant in an ever changing world and for some, the only thing they have, the only thing keeping them going.
I hate you. I hate what you've done but I pity you more. You can count your money all you want but you will never feel the emotions that fans feel, you will never feel the same joy at the last minute winner, the desolation of relegation and the sense of belonging that us fans feel, the sense of refuge from having to survive in an unforgiving world run by [...] like you.
Sincerely, Every single football fan.