MickyD wrote: I must sadly chip in and say that I also feel that "thuggery" in many countries including our own - far more overt expressions of racism and intolerance, the steep rise in hate crimes, cyber-bullying, the truly shocking debasement of political discourse and certain areas of "journalism", the re-emergence of the far right as a serious political force (it's clear as day, 24 hour news cycles or no) - has increased dramatically in the last few years.
What I'm not at all sure I agree with, though, is the notion that thuggery is worse in football than it used to be. Anybody who's been around long enough to have attended a great many live matches in the 70s, as I did, will know that things used to be a whole hell of a lot worse in pretty much every respect. I kind of took it all for granted at the time - the 70s were a really sh1tty decade in many ways - but in and around a football ground on match day back then was often a really horrible and scary place to be.
I was around in UK in the 70's and football violence was quite prevalent. I also voted for the UK to join the Common Market.
Agree that the emergence and increasing impact of the right is having a real effect.
What interests me are the reasons for this sudden shift. Social-economic, over governance, racial and religious tensions and so on.
It will require something/someone really special to overcome the above.