The power of supporters was realized Monday as Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan appeared to soften his stance towards Bluebirds manager Malky Mackay. From South Wales to the banks of the Humber Estuary in Kingston-Upon-Hull, supporters strong stand has forced the FA and Premier League to consider their feelings instead of simply rubber stamping the wishes of Hull City AFC owner Assem Allam.
On Friday, The Guardian’s David Conn lamented that as Mackay, Allam and other foreign owners “wreaked havoc” on the sport, English football has stood still. To an extent this is true, but the increased power and voice of supporters has forced the owners and the sport of English football itself to back down.
The power of supporters is something that fans have spoken about for years but in two vivid examples this past week we have seen owners or officials stall on impending decisions thanks to the vocal protests of those who love the game.
Perhaps these decisions have simply been delayed and the undesirable judgments are yet to come. But during this festive period, the influence of those who love their clubs and have toiled as supporters in the lower tiers of English football have made a mark on the proceedings.
This is something everyone who truly loves soccer can take pride in. As the New Year approaches, countless opportunities will come for fans to stand strong for soccer against those seek to profit from the sport and whose ownership of clubs may simply be vanity projects. It is critical supporters stand strong against the excesses of those in football who do not respect the history, the tradition and the soul of the English game.