A huge appeal for football fans and groundhoppers are the trips to the more obscure parts of the country, and to the grounds that have long made up the English game. In a previous post I’ve looked at the biggest football stadiums in Europe, but there’s so much interesting history about some of the oldest football grounds in England.
Whilst there some clear favourites in my round up of the best retro Manchester United shirts, it was hard to keep the list to just 10. Even in the days when new shirts, for the most part, lasted two full seasons, there are plenty to pick from United’s red, white & black (and the odd blue!)
It’s approaching the end of 2020 and I haven’t been to see United since March – 8 months devoid of trips to Old Trafford, around the country or across Europe. The 2020/21 Champions League group stage has started without away fans and neither that nor the domestic competitions seem likely to be allowing supporters in any time soon.
Nostalgia is very prevalent in popular culture, from remakes of classic films and music group revivals to celebration of a brand’s history. Football is no different, with fans constantly looking back at the “glory years” or a period that they remember fondly.
England’s largest club stadium, Old Trafford, is home to the most successful team in the country, Manchester United. The 75,000 capacity ground, which is up there with Europe’s largest football stadiums, has been witness to countless triumphs over the decades. Millions of supporters travel to Old Trafford each season and there are plenty of reasons to visit.
Europe is home to some of the most famous world football stadiums and teams. A mix of modern and newly built stadia, and historic grounds which have evolved over the years. Football stadiums are now designed to meet the needs of a diverse crowd, with safe standing areas just as important to clubs as the concourse and facilities. For fans and the teams themselves, the atmosphere is the most important factor, to help performances and generally show support.
With the 2016/17 Europa League victory, United became the fifth team to win the UEFA ‘European Treble’ after Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Ajax and Juventus. It’s a feat that comprises of the Champions League, Europa League and Cup Winners Cup, and one that few teams can still achieve due to the latter competition being defunct.
One of the bigger debates relating to football fans currently is the topic of Safe Standing. With fans wanting to improve atmospheres in grounds, as well as allow for safer conditions, there’s a lot of momentum behind the campaign. It’s been debated in Parliament and more clubs are taking note of the clear advantages of introducing safe standing areas in stadiums.
For many English football fans there’s little chance to see their team play in European competition; it’s why the supporters at England away games are often from lower league teams. We’re lucky to be able to do that with United, seeing them play in so many countries whether in competitive matches or preseason friendlies.
Whilst there is much focus on the most expensive football tickets, there is little commentary on the other end of the scale, the cheapest tickets. There is a growing focus and efforts to fight the inflation of football tickets both domestically and in Europe, with the FSF’s Twenty’s Plenty campaign one clear success, leading to the £30 cap on Premier League away matches.