Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

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Brum Royal
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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by Brum Royal » 05 Sep 2018 16:59

A lot of the problems ultimately feed back to the team on the pitch. As others have pointed out, we need to see them care, to want it, to give their all, to go for the win or (figuratively) die trying. Whilst I don't accept the notion that these players don't care, there aren't enough moments that excite in a game these days. We've had 18 months of Stamball and whilst we tolerated when we were winning it was never really enjoyable to watch. We've had a long period of confused ideas and mixed messages from the club. Look back at our (or any club's) most successful periods - a united front between club and fans, a style of play that we can all identify and that excites and is effective.

You only have to look at how the England team regalvanised the nation over the summer to see how this can be achieved, but obviously from a Reading perspective the two title winning sides were prime examples of the whole club being united, from the very top in John Madejski, to the manager, to the players, to the fans. We had the "Reading way" that we were all so proud of and indentified with. Currently, we have fan suspicion over the succession of (silent) owners, a fan mouthpiece in Gourlay who again doesn't really say much, a lot of questionable signinings, loanees and players who we don't or can't relate to. This is backed up by stories from players like Noel Hunt and his recent article about the Russian owner. We're not alone in this of course, the much maligned teams of the north east have been decimated in recent years by owners, West Ham (much as we love to mock them for it) had the "West Ham way" that we still hear so much about - that identity with the academy.

I agree to an extent about the stadium being problematic and "new" and out of the town location doesn't help, whereas Elm Park was our lovely old dump but it was by a few pubs and close to town. But this isn't really a new issue now either. We've been at the Mad Stad for 20 years now, we've made the ground shake (Wigan play off semi), we've had the stadium rocking on many occasions during our successful spells. We (as a fan base) can do it. But we need to be excited by what's going on on the pitch, that's what draws the crowds, that's what builds the atmosphere, and that's what unites the fanbase with the club. Clement has a tough job on his hands, he may (or may not) achieve a reunion of team and fans, but we need something to rebuild that player/fan relationship again, and a few wins will help that along.

Personally, I'm in that 30-40 year old category that people mentioned earlier in the thread. I went to my first game at Elm Park in 1990. I've had a season ticket from 2000. I've done all that having never lived in Reading, and having a father who got me into it and would drive me everywhere. But my circumstances have changed. My best run of matches was only missing 5 games in 5 years home and away through late uni and early working life - luckily coinciding with the end of Pardew/early Coppell years through to second relegation from the Prem. I was single, my mates were single and we could all go to games together, despite the distance. Now 5 out of the 6 of us who used to go are married, 5 out of 6 still live 100+ miles from Reading (but not all in Birmingham as we used to be), 4 have kids, and I've just joined that with now having a 3 month old lad. A round trip for a home game from Brum is 200+ miles and 8 hours on average. I (and my group of mates) have to pick and choose my/our games now. And whilst this situation is something I'm sure most can relate to in some form or other, I've always felt that connection to the club, even from a distance. That was always the motivation to keep doing the miles to get to games. Currently, the general feeling of a lack of identity coming from the club makes it harder to justify the effort. It will come back again, at some point, at some level, I'm sure, but right now it's difficult to see where from given the current state of the club.

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by Dick Habbin's hairdo » 05 Sep 2018 17:17

under the tin **Pedant mode**
Arsenal (H). F A Cup 1972. I was in the South Bank. Official Attendance 27,600.


I was there, too. On the wall in front of the gantry on the SB.

For me, there has only ever been one club. Since 1967 watching the likes of Southport and Workington from the Town End, progressing to the SB via the Tilehurst End, I really don't care if we are *consistently* average and have aspirations to be a Premiership team.

Footy is about the experience, identifying with something which one cares about, great away days and having a few pints in the R&T or, heaven forbid, that bloomin' anodyne hotel bar, catching up with old mates - many of whom one might not have seen for years or decades even - but unified around a common sense of belonging.

We always were - and always will be - "little old Reading." Let's not get ideas above our station. And let's marvel at the opportunity to have a bit of fun going to parts of the country one is never, ever likely to visit out of choice - and enjoy those fleeting moments of success and irony ... like a dodgy 3rd minute of added pen at Villa Park.

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by Green » 05 Sep 2018 17:22

Maneki Neko
I don't see how offering a free pint with every pie and £5 off your ticket price is going to entice anyone to come and watch shit boring losing football.


id defo consider going more often if they did that

Never understood people who can't go 90 minutes without shoveling pie and chips down their gullet autopost.

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by BR0B0T » 05 Sep 2018 18:11

Green
Maneki Neko
I don't see how offering a free pint with every pie and £5 off your ticket price is going to entice anyone to come and watch shit boring losing football.


id defo consider going more often if they did that

Never understood people who can't go 90 minutes without shoveling pie and chips down their gullet autopost.


free pint tho

#LADS

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by download » 05 Sep 2018 20:23

Its been almost therapeutic reading the posts. Most sum up my views and in a way its comforting to know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

When McDermott was sacked the second time, I didn't renew my season ticket and thought I would struggle to find a seat in the area I wanted. I've never had a problem since and nearly had an entire row to myself on Saturday, which up to a few years ago was completely taken up by season ticket holders. I now pick and choose which games I attend. After Saturday I'm not sure when that will be.

Clement did say on Saturday he thought that the crowd had the right to be unhappy and it did make me wonder if things don't improve whether fans could do any worse but start to give the players a hard time. Perhaps life is just a bit too cushy for them on their 3 year contracts picking up £10K a week or more.

A few home truths from people who have to work hard and put with a lot more, for far less money might be a kick up the backside that some of the players need.


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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by Pepe the Horseman » 05 Sep 2018 22:10

Brum Royal A lot of the problems ultimately feed back to the team on the pitch. As others have pointed out, we need to see them care, to want it, to give their all, to go for the win or (figuratively) die trying. Whilst I don't accept the notion that these players don't care, there aren't enough moments that excite in a game these days. We've had 18 months of Stamball and whilst we tolerated when we were winning it was never really enjoyable to watch. We've had a long period of confused ideas and mixed messages from the club. Look back at our (or any club's) most successful periods - a united front between club and fans, a style of play that we can all identify and that excites and is effective.

You only have to look at how the England team regalvanised the nation over the summer to see how this can be achieved, but obviously from a Reading perspective the two title winning sides were prime examples of the whole club being united, from the very top in John Madejski, to the manager, to the players, to the fans. We had the "Reading way" that we were all so proud of and indentified with. Currently, we have fan suspicion over the succession of (silent) owners, a fan mouthpiece in Gourlay who again doesn't really say much, a lot of questionable signinings, loanees and players who we don't or can't relate to. This is backed up by stories from players like Noel Hunt and his recent article about the Russian owner. We're not alone in this of course, the much maligned teams of the north east have been decimated in recent years by owners, West Ham (much as we love to mock them for it) had the "West Ham way" that we still hear so much about - that identity with the academy.

I agree to an extent about the stadium being problematic and "new" and out of the town location doesn't help, whereas Elm Park was our lovely old dump but it was by a few pubs and close to town. But this isn't really a new issue now either. We've been at the Mad Stad for 20 years now, we've made the ground shake (Wigan play off semi), we've had the stadium rocking on many occasions during our successful spells. We (as a fan base) can do it. But we need to be excited by what's going on on the pitch, that's what draws the crowds, that's what builds the atmosphere, and that's what unites the fanbase with the club. Clement has a tough job on his hands, he may (or may not) achieve a reunion of team and fans, but we need something to rebuild that player/fan relationship again, and a few wins will help that along.

Personally, I'm in that 30-40 year old category that people mentioned earlier in the thread. I went to my first game at Elm Park in 1990. I've had a season ticket from 2000. I've done all that having never lived in Reading, and having a father who got me into it and would drive me everywhere. But my circumstances have changed. My best run of matches was only missing 5 games in 5 years home and away through late uni and early working life - luckily coinciding with the end of Pardew/early Coppell years through to second relegation from the Prem. I was single, my mates were single and we could all go to games together, despite the distance. Now 5 out of the 6 of us who used to go are married, 5 out of 6 still live 100+ miles from Reading (but not all in Birmingham as we used to be), 4 have kids, and I've just joined that with now having a 3 month old lad. A round trip for a home game from Brum is 200+ miles and 8 hours on average. I (and my group of mates) have to pick and choose my/our games now. And whilst this situation is something I'm sure most can relate to in some form or other, I've always felt that connection to the club, even from a distance. That was always the motivation to keep doing the miles to get to games. Currently, the general feeling of a lack of identity coming from the club makes it harder to justify the effort. It will come back again, at some point, at some level, I'm sure, but right now it's difficult to see where from given the current state of the club.

Congrats m8.

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by Elm Park Kid » 06 Sep 2018 08:45

I think people are right that if/when Reading start winning again and play half entertaining football that most of the problems we mentioned go away and fans will come back to the Mad Stad. It will have a cumulative effective: more fans - better atmosphere - team has more support - better results - more fans etc etc .

Ultimately not that many fans care about things like who the owner is, what they have to say, the clubs finances etc. And there is that 'lads on the lash' element to following football but it's diminishing everywhere. Younger people aren't drinking as much as we did, they don't own as many cars as we do, they're used to paying high ticket prices for their entertainment. They prefer pop-up bars and artisan foodstalls to a local boozer and pie. In a way the Mad Stad is perfect for them.

We're wishing for an era that is never coming back - of when football was an outlet for male aggression.

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by Snowball » 06 Sep 2018 09:00

Bring back standing. That would help A LOT.

I think referees (the FA) need to allow the thundering (but fair) tackle, the fair tackle from behind. Disallow keeping the ball in the corner. Penalise time-wasting by tripling time added for any TW, let shoulder-charges on keepers be legal. Give penalties EVERY time for holding in the box.

Anyone read "Start With Why"?

It argues that the most important thing for innovation, power, growth is having a good WHY - a reason, an ethos, a philosophy.

Reading FC's "The Reading Way" was a good example.

McDermott teams and Coppell Teams, playing fast (who cares if it's direct) passionate,
pressing, all-action.

I genuinely believe I would rather finish 8th in the second-tier watching the like of Doyle, Longy, Hunt, Karacan, "Elwood" (Tabb!) than play dull possession even if that meant winning The Premiership.

I want passion on the field, players with JOY in their hearts, players jumping into the crowd when they score

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by bobby1413 » 06 Sep 2018 09:11

Some good posts on here and as download alluded to it's nice to know others feel the same frustrations.

For me it is a disconnect still. Who in our starting eleven do you feel has a real love and desire for the club? Some may say that's old fashioned nonsense, but it isn't. Other clubs with players on £250k still put in more effort than some of ours.

Look at Zaha for Palace who is a massive fans favourite and has just donated a large sum to the ladies team. There's other examples but can't be bothered to list them.

My point is, that out of our starting 11, it's only really Gunter that I feel has any passion. I say that as I've seen him literally scream at the end of games and physically look just gutted to have lost or drawn when we should have won. Moore is a good player but if he's still here in January I'll be amazed. Kelly is lazy and everything I hear about him is fairly negative.

The rest are all just guests in the club and paid for doing (half a) job.

I honestly don't know what the issue is. The players are pro's and I kind of feel that if half of them left to other championship clubs they'd all perform much better. So why aren't they here? I don't believe it's all down to ability... they're professionals, and have been scouted through various levels.

Anyway, I'm waffling.


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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by Old Man Andrews » 06 Sep 2018 09:13

Snowball Bring back standing. That would help A LOT.


See this all the time, it would help nothing at a club like ours in reality. We aren't Celtic, we aren't Borussia Dortmund we are little old Reading where for the last 20 years apathy has reigned supreme. We don't deserve to have standing in all honesty, should our supporters be rewarded? They are so fairweather its not even funny.

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by Coppells Lost Coat » 06 Sep 2018 09:24

The drinking culture around football has diminished drastically especially at the Mad stad. Would the fan base be stronger if, when the stadium was built, a few pubs / bars was also considered? I am not saying the football would be better but going to matches would be more bearable. And as a fan having the choice of where to drink before and after the match would be more desirable.
Drunker fans = more noise / fun at games = games are less shit.

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by under the tin » 06 Sep 2018 09:26

Old Man Andrews
Snowball Bring back standing. That would help A LOT.


See this all the time, it would help nothing at a club like ours in reality. We aren't Celtic, we aren't Borussia Dortmund we are little old Reading where for the last 20 years apathy has reigned supreme. We don't deserve to have standing in all honesty, should our supporters be rewarded? They are so fairweather its not even funny.


Whoa! Steady on there.
The last twenty years have been amongst the most successful in the club's history.
People who moan about a 12-14k attendance at the Madstad should measure that against the 3-4000 averages when I started going to EP.
Fairweather fans are not a phenomenon unique to Berkshire.
Look at Bournemouth. "only" playing in front of 11 000 in the Prem.
Historically, the only time when they ever had attendances even approaching 5 figures was when they had a decent FA Cup draw, or WE were the visitors :P
Most clubs experience periods in the doldrums, even the big ones.

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by Winston Biscuit » 06 Sep 2018 09:38

multiple owner changes to the point that I don't know who owns us, a soulless stadium. a stadium that is out of town and not so easy to get to for some, mass exodus on 85 minutes due to stadium location and transport links, few pubs nearby to help with 'the match day experience', rumblestix, songsheets, microphone man, music after goals, the drummer, motivational video's before the game, deafeningly loud music on the pa system pre match so you cannot even speak to those next to you, players coming and going whom I have never heard of and forget their names, few people at the club having links to the local area, ticket prices, cup games no longer meaning much, free flags to wave, all seater stadium, Kingsley, boom boom boom boom, shirts costing outrageous prices, the club not even being bothered that we can all see they clearly care more about making money than actually looking after the fans, managers who don't endear themselves to the fans......


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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by Nessa From Eldorado » 06 Sep 2018 10:17

Winston Biscuit multiple owner changes to the point that I don't know who owns us, a soulless stadium. a stadium that is out of town and not so easy to get to for some, mass exodus on 85 minutes due to stadium location and transport links, few pubs nearby to help with 'the match day experience', rumblestix, songsheets, microphone man, music after goals, the drummer, motivational video's before the game, deafeningly loud music on the pa system pre match so you cannot even speak to those next to you, players coming and going whom I have never heard of and forget their names, few people at the club having links to the local area, ticket prices, cup games no longer meaning much, free flags to wave, all seater stadium, Kingsley, boom boom boom boom, shirts costing outrageous prices, the club not even being bothered that we can all see they clearly care more about making money than actually looking after the fans, managers who don't endear themselves to the fans......


I'm with Winston Biscuit on this one.

Take my children a couple of times a year to force them to become Reading fans, go on a jolly boys day out at Christmas and that's about it. Always want Reading to win, but going to watch them in the Madejski stadium on a regular basis has zero appeal and no amount of safe standing or an out of town Hungry Horse carvery is going to persuade me back. To be honest, it's not just Reading, I've just about lost interest in football entirely.

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by sandman » 06 Sep 2018 10:55

Winston Biscuit multiple owner changes to the point that I don't know who owns us, a soulless stadium. a stadium that is out of town and not so easy to get to for some, mass exodus on 85 minutes due to stadium location and transport links, few pubs nearby to help with 'the match day experience', rumblestix, songsheets, microphone man, music after goals, the drummer, motivational video's before the game, deafeningly loud music on the pa system pre match so you cannot even speak to those next to you, players coming and going whom I have never heard of and forget their names, few people at the club having links to the local area, ticket prices, cup games no longer meaning much, free flags to wave, all seater stadium, Kingsley, boom boom boom boom, shirts costing outrageous prices, the club not even being bothered that we can all see they clearly care more about making money than actually looking after the fans, managers who don't endear themselves to the fans......


Harsh on Kingsley. It's Queensley that's the problem, we've hardly had any success since that Harlot turned up.

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by Old Man Andrews » 06 Sep 2018 10:56

sandman
Winston Biscuit multiple owner changes to the point that I don't know who owns us, a soulless stadium. a stadium that is out of town and not so easy to get to for some, mass exodus on 85 minutes due to stadium location and transport links, few pubs nearby to help with 'the match day experience', rumblestix, songsheets, microphone man, music after goals, the drummer, motivational video's before the game, deafeningly loud music on the pa system pre match so you cannot even speak to those next to you, players coming and going whom I have never heard of and forget their names, few people at the club having links to the local area, ticket prices, cup games no longer meaning much, free flags to wave, all seater stadium, Kingsley, boom boom boom boom, shirts costing outrageous prices, the club not even being bothered that we can all see they clearly care more about making money than actually looking after the fans, managers who don't endear themselves to the fans......


Harsh on Kingsley. It's Queensley that's the problem, we've hardly had any success since that Harlot turned up.


When did she turn up? I have a feeling you might actually have a point here. Shes a stupid bitch.

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by Stranded » 06 Sep 2018 11:00

under the tin
Old Man Andrews
Snowball Bring back standing. That would help A LOT.


See this all the time, it would help nothing at a club like ours in reality. We aren't Celtic, we aren't Borussia Dortmund we are little old Reading where for the last 20 years apathy has reigned supreme. We don't deserve to have standing in all honesty, should our supporters be rewarded? They are so fairweather its not even funny.


Whoa! Steady on there.
The last twenty years have been amongst the most successful in the club's history.
People who moan about a 12-14k attendance at the Madstad should measure that against the 3-4000 averages when I started going to EP.
Fairweather fans are not a phenomenon unique to Berkshire.
Look at Bournemouth. "only" playing in front of 11 000 in the Prem.
Historically, the only time when they ever had attendances even approaching 5 figures was when they had a decent FA Cup draw, or WE were the visitors :P
Most clubs experience periods in the doldrums, even the big ones.


Whilst I agree with your point, I'm not sure using Bournemouth and their sold out 11300 capacity stadium is the best approach ;-)

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by sandman » 06 Sep 2018 11:03

Old Man Andrews
sandman
Winston Biscuit multiple owner changes to the point that I don't know who owns us, a soulless stadium. a stadium that is out of town and not so easy to get to for some, mass exodus on 85 minutes due to stadium location and transport links, few pubs nearby to help with 'the match day experience', rumblestix, songsheets, microphone man, music after goals, the drummer, motivational video's before the game, deafeningly loud music on the pa system pre match so you cannot even speak to those next to you, players coming and going whom I have never heard of and forget their names, few people at the club having links to the local area, ticket prices, cup games no longer meaning much, free flags to wave, all seater stadium, Kingsley, boom boom boom boom, shirts costing outrageous prices, the club not even being bothered that we can all see they clearly care more about making money than actually looking after the fans, managers who don't endear themselves to the fans......


Harsh on Kingsley. It's Queensley that's the problem, we've hardly had any success since that Harlot turned up.


When did she turn up? I have a feeling you might actually have a point here. Shes a stupid bitch.


The last Premier League season was when she turned up fluttering her eyelashes and waving her tail at everyone.

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by Old Man Andrews » 06 Sep 2018 11:10

sandman
Old Man Andrews
sandman
Harsh on Kingsley. It's Queensley that's the problem, we've hardly had any success since that Harlot turned up.


When did she turn up? I have a feeling you might actually have a point here. Shes a stupid bitch.


The last Premier League season was when she turned up fluttering her eyelashes and waving her tail at everyone.


In that case then there is a direct correlation between her showing up and our downturn. Stupid whore.

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Re: Where have the hardcore gone? Culture loss.

by Maneki Neko » 06 Sep 2018 11:25

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Maneki Neko
I don't see how offering a free pint with every pie and £5 off your ticket price is going to entice anyone to come and watch shit boring losing football.


id defo consider going more often if they did that

Never understood people who can't go 90 minutes without shoveling pie and chips down their gullet autopost.


I'm not eating the pie, I'm merely buying it for the free pint and five pound off my match ticket

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