Fan Vs Supporter – What’s the difference?
I’m not saying that one is better than the other, just that there is an important difference.
What is the difference between the two?
Well, it’s in the words. A fan likes something, a follower actively supports it. A regular fan wouldn’t drive 5 hours to support FC Bayern Amateure in the cold March rain.
What do followers do differently?
Passion. Dedication. Loyalty.
Take a club like Bayern Munich, for example. We have by far the most fans in Germany, but only a small group of true fans. Fans buy a lot of merchandise and visit home games, and they’re usually referring to the team, not the club. The fan idolizes the players, but often knows little about the club’s history. When a club is not doing well, there are more and more empty seats, while the fans section is as full as ever.
A fan loves the club, not the team and its players. Those are mercenaries who do not identify with the club and will transfer as soon as more money is offered.
For a fan, it’s about the club, not the team.
A fan sees this as a hobby or casual entertainment. But the fans take it seriously. It doesn’t matter where or when the club plays, or how important the game is, the fans are there. Many times this means sacrificing other aspects of your life: work, school, family, friends. That’s because words like loyalty and honor still have meaning. A fan will defend the club’s name if necessary, without getting into trouble.
For the fan, the club is a way of life.
The Supporter supports the team throughout the game, regardless of score or performance. Because the team needs more support when things are not going well. That is not to say that displeasure cannot be expressed. But team support always comes first.
Simply singing or yelling is not enough. Every word spoken and every song sung should be filled with all the energy and passion of the Co-worker. Even if the players on the field don’t care, it is done for the honor of the club and for the honor of the fans.
Sing until your lungs burn and you’re ready to throw up.
The fans look at everything the club does objectively and are not afraid of being critical. It is up to them to protect the values and integrity of the club and to carry them out with their actions.
If a club decision clashes with the fan’s beliefs, but benefits the club in the long run, the fan has to put their own interests aside.
Everything the fan does has to be in the best interest of the club.
All of these traits are vital. I have met people who have been to every Bayern game, but have not supported. There were those who sang passionately, but only picked a few matches a year. Not to mention the ones who were too drunk to even enter the stadium, or the ones who just want to fight.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a war against partisans / ultras all over Germany. The clubs want to replace us with customers who will shell out money without asking questions or criticizing. The identities of the clubs are gradually being removed. But this is for another article.