Forest Green Rovers FC has, over the past few years, crawled up the rungs of moderate success from League Two to EFL League One – the third-highest tier in English football.
Now, growth of that kind is heavily dependent on the support a club gets from its fanbase. And that’s the case in Rovers FC’s case too. But, as with all things, there are two sides to the same coin.
This video is the perfect example that shows the duality of fans. Right at the beginning, you can hear one of the fans motivating the team and just as he finishes speaking, you can hear a disgruntled fan that goes on an abusive rampage against the players of Green Rovers and their manager, Ian Burchnall.
“Come on lads, let’s pick it up…” is gradually drowned out by the second fan telling Ian, the manager, to “f**k off.”
He goes on to single out the Rovers boss in a vicious slew of profanities. Notably, the team did lose to Wycombe by a margin of 2, scored by the opposition early in the 1st half itself.
While the video on Twitter garnered some mixed reactions, there were clearly two schools of thought with the first defending the club’s rise to success despite being an extremely tiny organisation, and the second school of thought speaking in the capacity and with the entitlement of being the club’s true fans who should be allowed to point out the shortcomings of the club they support.
The Twitter user @RPL9891 commented on the video saying, “To the helmet who’s having a go at him – you do realise FGR are a small club and should be honoured to be playing some of the teams they are at that level. The highest level they’ve ever been at and a narky local who supported Chelsea 2 years ago thinks they should be better .”
@JakeyBoyz, replying to him said, “It’s my pal Steve who has followed FGR with me season after season ever since I supported and him many years before. Just because we’re a village club doesn’t mean we can’t be dissatisfied with what we’re watching. Most goals conceded, rock bottom, no identity, no tactics.”
While it is certainly fair for fans to criticise their clubs, this video shows that sometimes, fans can take it too far and their reactions often work to the detriment of the club.
Twitter reacts to Ian Burchnall getting praised and abused at the same time
@hatterscrypto – Forest Green fans getting ideas above their station. They’re a village pub team that got out of hand. Get back to non league.
@GrazVegas30 – I think that rather than spoil other people’s Saturday afternoons, some ‘fans’ should just pay 50p to go into a soundproof booth, click a couple of screen preferences of things that annoy them, and just shout away for an hour or two.
@AlfieKuy – I feel like they want too much, they clearly have an identity and a way they want to play but with lower league players it’s always gunna be hard
@siralbertkidd2 – If this is the reaction to part time English diddy teams getting humped Imagine when engerland are getting humped in the World Cup
@JamesEdwards88 – Embarrassing! What exactly were their fans expecting? They’ve over achieved massively in recent years. Survival in League 1 would be a major success.
@DarkShellcode – Not expectation but when you start negative line ups, negative subs and negative tactics you get negative results. We lost poorly to Morecambe, drew with Fleetwood and lost to 10 man Burton Albion bring 2-1 up with 10 mins to go. Awful manager. We don’t even go down fighting
@yelobeli – Maybe I’m getting old and boring, but that just depresses me. I’ve got no hard feelings towards him.
@KieranMay93 – Really disappointing to see yes they are struggling and fans can voice opinions but he jumped 2 levels up and try to implement his style which may not work. He’s giving his best Great bloke who was a pleasure to meet n interact with wish he turns it around n gets em going upwards.
@achandler2409 – He doesn’t deserve that.
@ShaunBrittain5 – Personally would not of behaved that way towards IB but after the way he shafted Notts, I have no sympathy what so ever. You reap what you sow