Going to a match in England is very different to how it was 30 years ago. In some ways, that’s a good thing. Ever since the Taylor Report and the dawn of the Premier League, stadiums have got better, safer and less violent. Despite recent flare ups, overt racism, sexism and homophobia are less overt than they used to be. Women now attend the game in greater numbers than before and English football generally has a much more family-friendly vibe about it. If you can afford it that is. Because the price of that change has been high. Literally.
Ticket prices have rocketed, stadiums are now all seater which have impacted on the atmosphere, the demographic of football fans in England has got older with each passing year as young people are priced out of the game. Football fans are policed as if each one might be a terrorist threat, alcohol is so tightly controlled that you can’t drink a pint within eyesight of the pitch and pretty much anyone can buy or sell a football club and do pretty much what they want regardless of what the supporters think. The future of football as an entertainment product cut loose from its working class, community roots is all but assured. Right?