So the controversy over the flags and cards spelling out “Together” for the Leeds United match against Middlesbrough has ignited a bit of a dispute on Twitter, with fans on both sides of the debate having their say. And since it’s Twitter, it’s a perfectly rational debate, right?
Went the other year & it is unless it's the Derby. Flags and banners are for Europeans and Liverpool. Leave 'em to it https://t.co/mWQdy1e6oQ— Matthew Ullah (@MatthewUllah) November 16, 2017
If you need to be told, you're not proper Leeds— Ian Taylor (@RupertTrousers) November 16, 2017
Having fan groups like the @lufctrust or @MarchingoutLUFC make banners to be unveiled on matchdays would be a really good way for people to feel more involved in the club they love. #LUFC #MOT #TwitterWhites https://t.co/C9rPie6iFl— Mighty Whites Pod (@mightywhitespod) November 16, 2017
Cringey tinpot nonsense.— Andy (@VacantFaith81) November 16, 2017
No no no. This isn’t the kind of club we are. Please conduct some fans surveys before making these decisions. Not Leeds United. We don’t need supplied flags, clappers, goal music, mosaics. We’re about raw passion. Leeds leeds leeds.— Leeds Fan (@LeedsFanz) November 15, 2017
Now, it’s easy for both sides to lose perspective on this issue pretty quickly. Having the club provide clappers or going the NFL route and having loud music and/or crowd noise piped in would be terrible, but it doesn’t seem that the club is interested in doing any of that. They do seem to want to put on a show like Celtic FC in Scotland does with their displays, or maybe even have what are called “tifos” in the United States and elsewhere in the Americas, Italian football, and Eastern European football. And while everyone should be able to agree that maybe flares aren’t a good idea, some of the displays that have been on display at different clubs around the world are actually pretty great.
Notizie Inter, a San Siro è boom di abbonamenti. Che cuore il nostro tifo! https://t.co/WEdQaAtP1d— Internews1908.it (@Internews1908it) August 25, 2017
Seattle vs Portland isn't just about what happens on the field.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 26, 2017
What has been the best tifo of the rivalry? pic.twitter.com/sfAPRqepqR
And maybe having the club provide the flags and the cards to try and add to the hype of the Garry Monk derby might be a little, well, cringe-worthy, the club has been playing poorly lately, so whatever it takes to lift the spirits of the club and the fans, right?
There isn't a single #LUFC fan who can convince me that this doesn't look amazing. These things are made entirely by fans with the support of the club. How is that not a good thing? #TwitterWhites #MOT https://t.co/VuSLePET0w— Mighty Whites Pod (@mightywhitespod) November 16, 2017
ESPECTACULAR tifo de los aficionados del Portland Timbers vs Philadelphia Union en la MLS: pic.twitter.com/GmQiVuVvUx— Tips Fútbol (@TipsFutbol) March 9, 2014
Maybe instead of having the club use cards or provide flags for people to wave, how about the club encourages supporter groups to do these kinds of things? As KC pointed out on the Might Whites Pod Twitter account, these kinds of displays are really, really incredible in MLS between the Portland Timbers and the Seattle Sounders. Even clubs like the Philadelphia Union, which don’t always have the best support, can still have some really, really nice tifos at times. After all, part of the reason to go to see the home team is to be part of the experience that you can’t get from watching the match on TV, right?
So instead of calling these efforts tinpot and dismissing them, or claim that the club-provided displays are the greatest, can Leeds fans come up with a way to have fans make the displays with the permission and encouragement of the club, instead of the club providing them? It’s been done for years overseas, and adding some flags or banners or even more complex tifos would be breaking a bit with tradition, but it can also be a way for fans to feel more of a part of the club, not just a “customer” but as part of the club.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook, or Twitter.