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Do fans have the right to protest?

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Do football fans have a right to protest?

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Inspired by the public events at the Emirates this season. Do football fans have the right to protest? Should they sit and appreciate that they have nothing to do with the club that they follow or are their voices there to be heard? There's quite a few interesting opinions around the internet if you look into this (such as the one below) and I'm interested to see what you lot think...

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Why do fans have a right to protest?
Why do fans have the right to protest? Were they promised something when they started supporting their team? Did I miss out? Should I have been promised something all those years ago?

I support Arsenal. I watch our matches and during the matches I support the team. That’s what I thought we were supposed to do. That’s all I thought we were supposed to do. Doesn’t matter who we’re playing, what players are playing or who’s managing. I sit and I support. When things don’t go our way, well, that’s just how she goes, that’s football. When things really don’t go our way, well, that’s still just how she goes. When I chose arsenal to be my team there were no promises made. Nobody said “support us and we’ll win X number of trophies and we’ll sign this player and that player”. I decided. Me. For better or for worse it was entirely my decision. What right do I have to protest that things aren’t going very well? They never said it would go well.

We are spectators, we are not supposed to be this involved. In football sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down and sometimes you stay at the same level. Can this be unpleasant? Yes. If you can’t stomach it then maybe find something else.

There are actual things worth protesting in this world, the football manager of a football team is not one of them. I really hope that the current fan behavior doesn’t put off future managers, it certainly won’t entice them.
Mooreman (AFC, any place, any time)

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we put money in to the club so of course we do. Especially if the team is not performing well and the same mistakes keep being made at the club. 

It's not a case of 'we are spectators, we are not supposed to be this involved'. That's not the point. We are fans who, in some cases, have invested a lot of time and money in to something we love. We ARE allowed and CAN be 'this' involved. Yes there's highs and lows and most fans can accept that. It's when there's things going wrong at the club and clubs that don't take heed or listen to fans is when there's a downhill spiral. Spectator sports are things like tennis/golf where you can appreciate various talents individually. Football is slightly different where you can be a bit more territorial and tribal to an extent and there's clear support of one team. 

'they never said it would go well'. That doesn't mean the club should be let off lightly for not doing well. They can't get away for making mistakes just like anyone else in business won't. 

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Maybe the Arsenal bloke mentioned in the OP isn't the best person to ask, why not ask Brighton fans who nearly lost their club in the mid-90's, the AFC Wimbledon fans who's club was stolen from under their noses or the fans of Leyton Orient who've seen huge problems in three years at our club?

Protesting so heavily, as Arsenal fans have done, is a bit pointless, mind. 

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Fans aren't spectators they are customers.

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Yes. A football club without fans is nothing.

Protesting G&H and online campaigns targeting banks the club used to secure loans, and telling these banks not to back G&H or face boycotts, stopped G&H from securing loans and eventually forced the fuckers to sell the club rather than have us enter administration.

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When it comes to "having the right to protest" it always comes down to if you're being wronged or not, that's how you seperate just cause from just being over entitled.

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Yes as we live in a country of free speech. However, the sad truth is that the owners are the owners and they run the football club so fans shouldn't necessarily expect to be listened to. 

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The problem with protesting because of the actual football is that when the reason to protest has been removed an emotional void remains in a percentage of the protesters. A habit was formed from the buzz of a protest, a moaning irritable habit, some people cannot shake it off. It is as if the only reason they go to the game is to have a moan. The result of that is a fan who cries over every little thing regardless.

 

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Who is going to say they haven't?

The fans have a right to protest. Absolutely. That doesn't necessarily have to be over what happens on the pitch. It can be ticket prices, bad owners etc...

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I believe that in any country football fans have a say about their club, so i say yes they have the right. You pay to watch your team, purchase merchandise and get money into the club.

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The fact the question is being asked "Do fans have a right to protest" shows where we are.

I've actually gone down that route in the FC Barcelona Discussion thread:

But in today's football we now have a different set of rules, real rules, not made up ones.

I'll take for example my football club Arsenal.

Do I have a genuine right to protest?  You're damned right I do because it's a free country and in this country I am permitted to be vocal about my sentiments on any given subject just so long as I play within the rules of respect and don't incite violence or hatred.

The proper question being...  Should I as a fan expect something to be done about the reasons I'm protesting for?

At Arsenal, NO!  No, simply because it's a PLC.  It's a company!!!  What would people say to me if I want outside the Ford plant with placards protesting that FIAT were now producing better quality vehicles than Ford and that the designs were also more appealing which meant that FIAT was now the most popular economical family vehicle.  People would think I am totally MENTAL unless I was a shareholder and only then would me vested interest in the form of investment and subsequent dividends be a sane reason to protest.

So at Arsenal we have this...  a PLC.  It doesn't belong to the fans at all, not in reality.  But under a romantic way of seeing football for the ideals is was created on, we still go to the games and are extremely happy when we win and very sad when we lose.  The more of us there are also makes the shareholders happier and then we have some sort of a family association.  The exact family Capitalism adores and is set on stone upon.

On the other hand you still have football clubs that are owned by the fans and have a democratic system of functioning.   Those clubs make as much if not more money than the PLCs (putting that capitalist system where it belongs) and actually adhere to the fans because the fans can censure and force elections.  Also major decisions a board in tenure wants to make has to be put to a vote...  This type of club I've mentioned in this final paragraph is THE ONLY TYPE OF CLUB WHERE THE FANS DO HAVE A GENUINE RIGHT TO PROTEST.

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Arsenal really are stuck in the middle aren't they. It's not gotten bad enough to have a serious protest yet it's not good enough either.

I think if I was an Arsenal fan I'd have given up a long time ago.

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