Jamie Cutteridge looks at how football is the only true living, breathing punk movement.
Sometimes, a slow death of a movement means that it is difficult to define when something isdefinitely gone, and some kind of crystallising moment is necessary. For example, the freshness of New Labour seemed to disappear somewhere around the beginning of this century, but the death of the movement was confirmed when Ed Miliband of the old left was elected leader last year. ‘Punk’this movement based somewhere within the realms of anarchism seemed to start dying as soon itreached any form of public consciousness (almost by definition, once it lost its underground andsubversive nature, it lost its raison d’etre) but could never truly be said to have been killed off until acouple of years ago, when Jonny Rotten appeared in an advert for Country Life Butter.Now Rotten is well within his right to whore himself out towhatever dairy product manufacturers he likes, but it proved acultural marker for many, as those still living in a world wherepunk was still relevant were rudely awakened. Our western,capitalist, culture has an ability to take any subversivepowerful movement, and turn it into something easily sold,packaged and marketed. The niche of society that wasprevalent in the punk movement then turns to find a similar subversive movement.I propose that football can fulfil this place in society. The birth of punk in the 70s was led by a sectionof society who felt under-represented in the wider culture. Music seemed to only confirm thestructure already prevalent in society (as Marx would say, the Ruling ideas are, in every epoch, theruling ideas, i.e. we live in a world where those with power only present ideas that confirm theirplace in society). Under-represented and angry about it, the era of punk music was born, as peoplebegan to step away from the musical norms and what was popular, instead choosing to expresssomething different, some subversive, something, in the eyes of many, dangerous. The punkmovement became about more than just the music. Simple power chords and angry lyrics were nolonger enough, and punk was identified by people’s attitude, appearance and social calendar. Farfrom being a musical genre, punk became a holistic lifestyle, one born out of opposition to those inpower.Over recent years (fuelled by the internet, blogs, and twitter) a number of football fans have begunto look further down the league, away from the mainstream for their football entertainment, in asimilar fashion to how the early punk pioneers stepped away from the musical hierarchy. Thesimilarities do not end there. These fans are displaying their dissatisfaction with thecommoditisation of their game.To fully understand this shift, one must look at the early foundations, upon which the game wasbuilt. Traditionally, football was built around and within local communities, and as football grew,clubs sought to maintain this link with their community. However, when football began for real in1992 (©Sky Sports) a light seemed to switch on in the head of owners that there was a lot of money