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A dilemma about loyalty, modern football and modern kids.

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  • #6814
    Maxilon 5
    • Total Posts 2432

    Hi all,

    Last night I had a massive row with my son. It is our first and I’m very upset about it. He is ten and we are very close. It didn’t help that his Mother got involved. It was all very messy and damaging.

    The subject? Football. I follow a famous, very old, but currently crap lower division football team who lose most of their matches, flirt with relegation each season, lose a thousand fans each year and have no money. With the venal Premiership teams collecting (extorting?) most of the money available to the game as a whole, there is little prospect of any success in the near future.

    I follow them home and away and have done since childhood. My Dad did so and his Dad did so. I have encouraged my son to do so and to be fair, he has embraced the misery with gusto thus far.

    Yesterday, he and his friends were offered free Premium tickets to see Man Utd.

    He rang me to ask what I thought. Our team are playing that day and I said that I wasn’t happy. That was an understatement. He said he wanted to go and next thing you know, I accused him of being disloyal and if he went, that was it for the football Saturdays.

    He had to make a choice. He burst into tears and put the phone down.

    His Mother rang me up and went mad. We argued. She said that its an opportunity to watch a great team. I retorted that I would rather shave the meniscus from my eyeballs with a joiner’s plane than watch a team from a league of evil people which, essentially, destroyed traditional football in this country – and that in any case, my son should learn loyalty.

    She called me a spoilt a **** and put the phone down.

    I rang my Brother who also said I was out of order and that it is a different world to the one we were brought up in. I’m not so sure.

    I am confused and upset by the whole thing. Anyone else had anything similar to contend with? How did you deal with it? Am I out of order?
    I remember reading a story about Man City uberfan Daft Donald attempting suicide when his only son came back wearing a Man Utd shirt. I can empathise. Cheers in advance, Max

    • Total Posts 1801

    sounds like a bit of an over-reaction to me max, it won’t hurt if he misses one of the footy saturdays will it ? maybe in 8 years time that would have been a fair answer but at 10 ?

    ring any bells : ?

    had you just got stiffed on a bet or something ? i’m sure an apology, explanation one had a headache and an offer to kit him out in a red and white woolly hat for the big game would resolve the issue

    it doesn’t surprise me the city fan only attempted suicide, his team miss all the time too

    • Total Posts 7922

    Sorry, have to agree with your ex wife on this, you should let him go to see Man Utd and then decide for himself;personally I think that people should support their local team [Derby County me] but it’s up to him to make his mind up…however, I’ve just had a row with my daughter who left home years ago and has told me I’ve got to clear the rubbish out of my house [ most of it being my daughters, sons, sons girlfriends, ex husbands exhusbands fathers etc etc]….so I’m upset as well. they f..k you up your mum and dad, or so the saying goes..maybe your kids do as well….we never get it right, do we? juggling, juggling……phone him up, say your sorry, at least he’s interested in football….and cheer up

    • Total Posts 3777

    We cannot and should not force our will upon our children – certainly not in these modern thinking times. I know where you’re coming from and I do have a certain amount of sympathy ; I’ve been there, and though all my children have followed suit and supported my team, and my father’s team… and his father’s team, one child (my daughter ), and this will come as music to Jim JTS’s ears, chose to buy a season ticket for Rangers ( just to be different, she argued ).

    Though I tried in vain to persuade her not to, using the excuse that she was ill and was not thinking staright ( :lol: ), nevertheless she sided with "the forces of darkness" and has grown to love them. Therefore, even allowing for the fact that I’m not fully appreciative of her choice ( to say the least :wink: ), I am nevertheless easy with it – being of the mind that if she is happy, then I am happy. I do live in hope that she will in due course get "better" and eventually come to realise the error of her ways.

    What I am really saying is that by denying your son the chance to do something he really wants to do ( in this case, see Man Utd play ), you are only leaving yourself open to hurt and possibly resentment, and something which will rankle with him for a long time.

    Swallow your pride and let him go.

    Gambling Only Pays When You're Winning

    • Total Posts 3420

    Should have let him go

    Lower division teams have been increasing their gates nicely on average over the past few seasons. he may well quickly learn that the sterile enviroment oif Old Trafford, Anfield (cdont believe the hype….its a dead ground 90% of the time) and the emirates, is no substitute for a real match with atmosphere

    I talk as a Chelsea fan. the whole premiership experience is geared towards wannabe fans and tourists now. Yes, theres a hard core that still go but its shrining i believe. I went for many years and it feels like the club has drifted away from me

    • Total Posts 3777

    Oh, one more thing –

    do remember to pack his prawn sandwiches. :wink:

    Gambling Only Pays When You're Winning

    • Total Posts 1453

    Tough one Max. Although I sympathise with your sentiments and devotion to your team, maybe a one-off trip to Old Trafford for your lad was not quite the act of high-treason your response suggested. Apologise.
    However, if he ever wants to go and watch Wrexham play, then kick him out.

    • Total Posts 789

    Think of the pressure he would be under. He is only 10 and much of the fun would have been to be with his mates. I have to agree with much of what others have said but don’t beat yourself over it. He won’t stop loving you cos he couldn’t go to the football. You could even tell him (if you believeit) that you made a mistake and that you are sorry. Even little people can learn to accept an apology and carry on he’ll admire you for it. Good luck.

    Jim JTS
    • Total Posts 841

    I’m with you on this Max but I agree it’s a difficult one, I also feel there are too many people wanting to watch Man Utd, I call them glory hunters, when teams are doing well and winning trophies it’s common for youngsters to want to follow that team but I’m like you Max.

    You probably should have bitten your lip, let him go to the game (hoping it was the first and last) but you’d have probably lost him to Man Utd after that and I feel this is what would’ve annoyed you most.

    Everyone throughout my whole family are Rangers men (even though some not as strong on it as others) and thats the only way I would want it.

    Only those that are passionate about football can understand it all.

    • Total Posts 2316

    Jeezus Max. Who is your team – Barnstoneworth United?? :mrgreen:

    This seems pretty small-minded of you, I have to say. Apologise, and wish the lad a bon voyage on the day is what I would do.

    • Total Posts 8966

    A trip to Old Trafford aged 10 will probably be a day the lad will remember for the rest of his life. He’ll regale his grand-children with the tale of how he saw the great Portugese Ronaldo score a hat-trick. But, once he’s been, there will be no turning back. The Devil (or rather the Red Devils) will have his soul for all time.

    On the other hand, I glory-hunted Hibs around the time when they were a match for Celtic and more than a match for Rangers in the 1970’s and look where it got me. :(

    • Total Posts 5407

    It’s only a game…poor lad

    Prior to growing up and losing interest in the ugly game I was the only teenager in Sheffield who attended both Hillsborough and Bramall Lane with equal relish.

    Tribalism…fk it

    • Total Posts 703

    I can’t speak as a parent and whilst I appreciate your dedication as a fan, I think you over reacted. He’s ten, for crying out loud.

    And it is only a football game. Which his friends are going to. So to be torn between being loyal to his father and growing up and enjoying a special day out with his friends is never going to be easy.

    Frankly I’m not surprised his mother was angry…wouldn’t be surprised if the boy was bouncing all over the place, on top of the world before making the call and then in tears afterwards.

    Sounds to me like your son has already got a good grasp on the concept of loyalty if he took your reaction so badly!

    I agree with all who have posted that an apology is the best way forwards. Kids grow up, and they will make their own way.

    Maxilon 5
    • Total Posts 2432

    Thanks for reading ladies and gents and taking the time to respond. I needed to get some perspective and you’ve offered me some. I did overreact and then some.

    For those of you who suggest an apology, when I pick him up tomorrow, I’m taking round an X-Box 360 game on top of a humbling apology – and a bunch of flowers for his mother.

    It’s clearly my issue. I’m the type of fellow who would go down with a sinking ship even if there was plenty of space left in the lifeboats and the Petty Officers were dragging me aboard them kicking and screaming.

    What I did also shows a complete lack of faith in my son’s existing characteristics; I’m assuming (perhaps correctly) that after watching football at the top, he won’t be all that interested in watching the dreadful stuff we watch together at the bottom.

    Yet he’s seen thirty grounds already and never misses. I hope he’s just curious – but there are stories you hear.

    Can I just respond to the august Drone? While it is tribalism (I can’t deny it) it’s more about tradition and the way it was; Dads and sons, 2d at the gate, the local lad in the number nine scoring a hat trick, rain lashing down, fish and chips on the way home, Dr Who on the box.

    That type of thing. Silly really; cheap weekend entertainment for the working man. Good family bonding stuff.

    Today, Arsenal reported £20 million half year profits. Their Managing Director Keith Edelman referred to the "football family" in the press conference. The bitter irony inherent in this nearly made me vomit.

    • Total Posts 2316

    For those of you who suggest an apology, when I pick him up tomorrow, I’m taking round an X-Box 360 game on top of a humbling apology…………

    Good man yourself, Max.

    They say "My Old Man’s A **** 3" is really good on the X-Box.


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