What with the drunken brawl at Wembley and the total disregard for anyone around them by the various participants, it’s not been easy to raise much enthusiasm for the relegation struggle ahead.
So the excellent 2013 FA Cup run came to an end in traditional Millwall style amidst a melee of intoxicated punches, shattering glass and crying kids.
The whole thing a gift wrapped with a bow for the nation’s high-horse merchants. As a Mr Mark Fitgerald put it in yesterday’s London Evening Standard (15.04.13), “How quaintly 1980s for Millwall’s chairmen to say, ‘There are always a few idiots. That’s not our fanbase’, about Saturday’s violence. Ban Millwall until they sort it out?”
Leaving aside the snidey tone and the simplistic approach of this correspondent, we have to face it that this is a view that the majority of people in this country would probably endorse. For Millwall FC, it really is a cold world out there…
Having read many of the accounts posted online, the spark that started the fighting was laughable. A couple of grown men arseholed on 50 shades of drink and substance -pushing, shoving and punching because of some unknown transgression. Possibly one was in another’s seat.
This seems to have engulfed others around them as they rightly tried to defend their groups and families. The more people tried to intervene, the worse it got. Wild west saloon brawl style. Inept and incompetent policing merely serving to add petrol to the flames.
The problem is that those that began the disturbances in Block 138 wouldn’t give a shit about any of the consequences of their actions. They are the centres of their personal universes. And the only important thing for them being their right to consume as much intoxicants as possible – and (now) to settle whatever score arose out of Saturday’s violence.
For the rest of us, players, club and fans, we have to pick up the pieces – fast.
The problem is this: Millwall FC and those that care about it are ultimately in the hands of our lowest common denominator. For all the good community, charity and campaigning work undertaken by the club and its fans, the only thing the world wants to know now are the drunken scenes we saw at Wembley.
But that is not the whole truth about our club. Millwall is much, much more than a bunch of pissed up idiots. Our supporters are equally some of the warmest, most genuine and spontaneously generous people you could ever meet. No headlines in that of course.
What does the future hold for the Lions?
I don’t know. All I can think of to say is to adapt the famous saying that for Millwall to die, all that is required is for good people to do nothing.
Just don’t ask me what exactly those good people should do right now. Because I haven’t got a clue.