I have recently watched a 25-minute Al Jazeera documentary on the Celtic football fans. It is part of the series from earlier this year called “The Fans who Make Football”. (You can just look it up on Google, and watch it.)
It is really a beauty to watch in itself, and a kind of master class in TV journalism. Having the eye for a good cameo, like particularly full-of-culture football fans; and then having the humour and love of life to bring to a TV audience what makes these football fans tick; and the endless hours of research to get the perfect video-clips; then editing them to make something so touching, so educational, so humane out of an ordinary form of culture: the TV documentary.
And when you have watched it, you feel you have a profound level of confidence in humans restored.
Others in the series, “The Fans who Make Football” (I haven’t watched yet), are on Raja Casablanca, Liverpool, St. Pauli and Boca Juniors.
It is a strange kernel of truth that this Al Jazeera TV series should have been on just before that strange moment in history, in late April 2021, when the capitalists who run football for money got their come-uppance. They had set up a whole, big “Super League”. At once a kind of intense class struggle rose up. Players, retired footballers, all the staff in the Leagues and Cups, made an alliance with fans, and pulled down the “Super League” in a matter of days. It was as if the gladiator slaves and the Roman plebs finally rose up against the Roman patricians.