Support Your Local Team

“We support our local team!” is an often heard chant from soccer fans in England when facing global giants such as Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The English Premier League has a few world-renowned teams that have—through success, money and glamour—built enviable presences on a national and global stage. 

Take United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and, more recently, Manchester City and then throw in some Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Everton. You have the teams that week-in, week-out will feature on the world’s live TV schedule. And first you have the spread of support reaching throughout their own land, then the world follows.

In Spain, Barcelona and Real Madrid’s support extends well beyond the boundaries of the cities that bear their names.

And yet, still the chant is aired: “We support our local team!”

Despite the chant showing a provincial attitude, there is much to cherish about the fans that hold these views.

Swansea City, for example, have a healthy following of supporters—who own a stake in their club. The Swans are the focal point of the city. They bring together a shared heritage and a community. Their rise from the bottom of the fourth level of professional soccer in just over 10 years was incredible to witness and the whole town closed down in February 2013 to welcome their heroes home after winning the Capital One Cup.

Hull City is an EPL side that has been on a similar journey from the same position in the fourth tier.

Such diversity makes the EPL the attractive league it is with healthy ticket sales for matches at all grounds—click to see how you could be there. Watching superstars roll into town to play against the local team is a rare thrill but still, the attraction of some of the world’s biggest stars draws supporters from all directions towards the biggest clubs.

Replica jerseys of Manchester United and Liverpool are regularly sights on the streets of London, Wales and all across the country—as are Chelsea jerseys in Manchester. A recent survey showed just how widespread support is for the biggest clubs.

The sport of football truly is global. The biggest clubs may have far exceeded their own boundaries—and we probably have a better spectacle because of that fact as the world’s greatest players gravitate to the giant clubs.

The next time you hear that chant, though. Just shrug and give a smile. The chants are a wonderful part of soccer culture and those other sides are not just their to make up the numbers. Their existence only adds to the great melting pot.

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