Understanding a Football Club

“Més que un club”

A phrase made popular by F.C Barcelona in Spain, it translates to: “More than a club”. The philosophy behind the saying comes from a history built on 114 years of success and failure, triumph and heartache.

What does it truly mean though? More than a club? Barcelona, like many other footballing clubs around the world, is an institution. A religion, founded by lovers of football, cast in the homes and hearts of locals and foreigners alike. This sentiment still holds true, 41,796 days later.

The idea for this article came watching Monday Night Football at Selhurst Park where Liverpool saw their title hopes punched square in the chest in the most unlikely of ways. I will not get into the details as I’m sure you’ve all the seen them and there is no need to be reminded of it. What struck me as truly amazing that night was not the magnitude of the score, or the manner of which it happened, but the people who were there. When Crystal Palace pulled one back to make the score 3-1, the home support erupted. For the next eight minutes what happened was not luck, it was not a collapse, it was will.

The Holmesdale Road End willed the ball in to the net, as if they could literally use their collective voices to suck the ball behind Simon Mignolet. I sat there, thousands of miles away, shocked like the rest of us. Why did they scream so loud? It felt like a Cup final, it felt like they needed one point to avoid relegation. To be brutally honest, it felt like Istanbul for a few brief moments. The third goal was never in doubt, it was always coming.

I was so astonished, how did they do this? Why did they do this?

But it’s so clear, for the people who have the club in their blood, who grow up and grow old in the confines of Liverpool or London or wherever your local club may be, you feel it. The results are always second, its not about whether you win or lose. You have bad times, you have good times.

A football club is a family, it’s about the name on the crest above your heart. It’s about your City or town. You cheer because it’s a small piece of you that goes and does battle every night, that is what it means. Win or lose, you come home and you dust off and you go again. We always go again.

I will probably never feel this way or truly understand it. I don’t mean to start a petty war of words, because where you are from doesn’t really matter. Whether you’re an Arsenal fan from Los Angeles, a Chelsea fan from Bangkok, a United fan from Cape Town, it doesn’t matter. It’s just different.

I’m not sure exactly why I wrote this, perhaps for my North American comrades who have become so emotionally enthralled in this season, and perhaps for some of the older fans who can be reminded of the meaning of a club.

The Palace fans were truly phenomenal, a game which had no statistical meaning for them, will now be remembered for years and years to come.

So I ask you to remember what you are part of, not just Liverpool fans but to whoever reads this. You’re part of the wonderful ride now, whether you’re a fresh faced supporter or a veteran of heartache. Football, more than any other sport in the world, is about the moments. The moments that make you run around the house, rip off your jersey and knee slide across the floor, and the moments that make you sit in the shower and cry.

Just remember, don’t be afraid of the dark.



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About The Author

Michael Blundell

was born in Vancouver, Canada to a Canadian mother and American Father. His father played University Soccer in New York and raised Michael a Liverpool supporter. Though only being a University student himself, he has experienced both the highs and lows at the club. Naivety may be a blessing and curse in this case, but it is well for the heart to be naive and the mind not to be.

One Response

  1. regan

    Just wanted to say i’ve really enjoyed 2 of the blogs u’ve written. Engaging stuff. Keep it up! YNWA

    Reply

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