Help Support London’s Worst Football Team

(UPDATE: Thanks Matt – taking earnings into account, the price of that 1920 pint would have come to c. £4.21. See the comments for more details. I’ll have a half…)

Nick Booth at Peter Watts’ Big Smoke Blog comes up with a piece of pure genius:

Could a crap football team be transformed into winners, by a fanatically supportive crowd?

Do you fancy finding out?

I’m looking for like-minded (disillusioned) football fans, who miss the days when fans got supportively behind their team, rather than gather menacingly behind the manager’s dug out.

I’m looking for supporters who fancy adopting an out-of-form team we can encourage. In the next few months, one team in the London area will sink to the bottom of their table. It matters not whether they’re in SE22, or NW20, just as long as they’re propping up their division. I don’t care whether the players are pro, or semi-pro, as long as they’re totally demoralised. This is where we come in. What an early Christmas present it would be, if hundreds (or even thousands) of fans suddenly got behind them, chanted their names and lifted them. Loudly.

It would be a good social event too. And I’m sure there’d be low prices and plenty of room at the bar.

Anyone fancy it?

Yes, but I’m in Edinburgh, dammit! And Scottish players never get demoralised, as you all know.

But if it’s cheap prices you’re after, we need a time machine. I’m imagining 40-50 modern fans showing up at e.g. Burnley 1920-21’s first three matches, all of them lost remember, and – in addition to the obvious “We’re going to win the League” – throwing in a host of modern chants, perhaps even a rendition of “Football’s Coming Home.”

In 1921, the average price of a pint was 7d – about 67pence today taking inflation into account but not the cost of living.

Anyway, Nick’s is a fine idea, and if you are in London, pop over to the Big Smoke Blog to give it your support.

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8 responses to “Help Support London’s Worst Football Team

  1. “In 1921, the average price of a pint was 7d – about 67pence today taking inflation into account but not the cost of living”

    I get it at 96p, but the sentence doesn’t make sense as inflation = the cost of living. Do you mean ‘but not lower incomes in those days’?

  2. James Hamilton

    All I’ve done here is to convert 7d into current values taking inflation into account. I’ve ignored – through ignorance! the changes in the value of 7d that result from changes in the relative levels of income, and I’ve almost certainly said the wrong thing about cost of living. Please put me right!

  3. Well the inflation conversion might be right – I used (will this link work?? if not just go to the measuringworth.com site)

    http://www.measuringworth.com/ppoweruk/result.php?use%5B%5D=CPI&use%5B%5D=NOMINALEARN&year_early=1921&pound71=&shilling71=&pence71=7&amount=0.029166666666666667&year_source=1921&year_result=2008

    and got 96p, but the difference might be for many reasons.

    You’re right about the relative levels of income. Indeed that site and link above gives us a figure for making 7d in 1921 in today’s money by using average earnings, it says it is £4.21.

    So in other words the average earner back in 1921 would have found a 7d pint as expensive as someone today finds a £4.21 pint (on average earnings). If the income distribution has shifted towards football fans that figure is too low, if away it is too high.

    So really it was all OK except you should have said (ignoring the 67p/96p issue):

    “In 1921, the average price of a pint was 7d – about 67 pence today taking inflation into account, although of course average incomes were only about a quarter of what they are today”.

  4. On your I’ll have a half update, wasn’t it the case that a half was the standard measure for most drinkers, I guess because of the prices?

  5. James Hamilton

    I don’t actually know – although I’d be interested in knowing. The Spender’s Worktown Mass Observation photographs show both halves and pints being drunk, although mostly halves. I’d put it down to the ongoing influence of the temperance movement and the overall drop in drinking that began in the 1870s and persisted until the 1950s.

    My personal reflection, apropos of nothing, is that it’s a shame that more pubs don’t opt to go metric – the half litre measure is perfect for most kinds of proper beer. And when it comes to Belgian and German beers, drinking Leffe or Erdinger in halves or pints is just wrong.

  6. Thanks for the post James. I agree, Nick has come up with a cracking idea – really hope it gains traction. If anybody wants to take part, just let us know.

  7. I’m always amazed that a half is only a half . . .it seems much smaller. Almost on topic I feel the need to record somewhere and this comments box will do, that i just paid 1.65 for four 500ml cans of 5% lager at m&s. No wonder our (m&s shopping) youth are in the state theyre in today.

  8. Hey, great post, very well written. You should blog more about this. I’ll definitely be subscribing.