Is English football heading back to its darker days?

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It seems that every week some sort of disgraceful story will grip the headlines. It started last year with the Luis Suarez and John Terry cases and now it just seems to be getting worse. Sebastian Bassong was subject to racist gestures during Norwich’s win against Swansea City, becoming the latest in what has been a spate of disgraceful incidents. Danny Welbeck and Romelu Lukaku have also been subject to this sort of behaviour.

Regular readers of my articles will know that I’ve had my say on this before, with my last piece condemning the tasteless taunts that many fans indulge in on a weekly basis, often forgetting standard morality that is expected of every human being. I’ve had my say on racism before: it needs to stop and derogatory chants also need to be cut-out of the modern footballing game. However, these are not the only issues which are plaguing our nations modern day football.

Missles being launched onto the pitch is also becoming increasingly common. There’s been incidents of it for years, but now it seems to be becoming increasingly common in football matches and has taken the public eye much more. Rio Ferdinand was left injured by a 2p coin after Robin Van Persie’s late free-kick in the Manchester Derby, with television cameras showing the United star covered in blood.

Although Rio seemed unfazed by the incident, stating on Twitter that ‘it could have at least been a£1 coin’, the occurrence of such nasty behaviour should be wiped clean. Earlier this year in a game between United and Chelsea, a steward required treatment after a number of objects were launched onto the pitch- including the back of a chair.

It must be pointed out that these events are not just unique to the English game, it happens all over the world. In an Asian Champions League quarter-final, a grenade was launched onto the pitch before being tossed away by a player, then exploding by the corner flag. Just because the missiles thrown are not as severe as those we have seen elsewhere, does not mean they are not an issue. The Premier League is a idolised league across the globe, we’re not sending the right message.

The PFA have called for netting behind the goals and around the corner flags in order to stop such obstacles from reaching the pitch, as seen in other European countries such as Germany. However, I don’t think this sends the right message either. That would be a backwards step, fencing in the fans like animals and perhaps obscuring the view of supporters.

I’d like to say I have a solution but I don’t. We need to be more observant, discourage our fellow fans from such behaviour and condemn those that decide to take this action. Are we surprised that we didn’t win the rights to stage the World Cup? After witnessing such events, I’m not at all surprised.

English football has come a long way since its dark days, something that we should be proud from getting away from. Netting would punish the majority, rather than the minority it is that is guilty of wrong doing. However, if such incidents continue we will be left with no alternative.

Follow me on Twitter: @Challies11.

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18 year old Multimedia Journalism student at Teesside Univrsity. Avid Arsenal and Athletic Bilbao fan.

Follow me on Twitter: @challies11