Often Partisan

To Boo or Not To Boo

Do fans have a right to boo players? I read with interest Colin Tattum’s blog on the audible booing of Keith Fahey when the Irishman was coming on as a substitute for the cramp-suffering Guirane N’Daw, and I wanted to open up a slightly wider debate on the subject.

There is an argument that if you’ve paid your money, you’ve paid for the right to show your pleasure or displeasure to the playing squad in whatever way you see fit. If a player has a substandard performance; looks like they aren’t trying or don’t care, or even does something disrespectful to the shirt and the club, then there is going to be dissatisfaction from the stands. I’ll admit it, I’ve shouted my throat hoarse at players who have been frustratingly bad – it’s a natural reaction.

Booing a player before they’ve touched the ball though is a different kettle of fish. Whatever argument people make about the limitations of any player, is there any argument that booing and jeering them is going to inspire them to play better? After all, we’re called “supporters” – doesn’t that mean we should be “supporting” the team – and by that I mean all the players? I thought it was interesting I saw a lot of people condemning the booing of Fahey online, but no one owned up to doing it. Is this because the people booing a player before he got on the pitch are ashamed of their actions, or is it because they’re too moronic to have grasped how to use a computer yet?

The way I see it, the argument that as a paying customer you have the right to boo anyone you like is bunkum – for the reason that I don’t see myself as a paying customer. I’m a fan of the team, a supporter of the club. I want to be treated by the club as a fan of the team, as a supporter of the club – not as a paying customer. It might sound like semantics but a customer is a world of a different thing to a fan. A customer is someone a business sells a product to, who offers a service at a price. A customer is someone who buys something based on cost-benefit and brand recognition. Those definitions shouldn’t apply to fans or supporters, and it’s because I want to be treated as a fan or supporter, I act like one.

No doubt other people see it different to me – it’s a free country and people are free to have their own opinions. I do believe however it’s more than just saying “but X is crap” – the fact is no player puts their own name on the teamsheet, and thus it’s not their fault if the manager keeps picking them. All I have ever asked for from the team is that they give the best of their ability on the football pitch, and in the main that’s what we’ve got this season. It’d be nice if we won every game, playing incredibly well and creatively but short of a trillionaire buying us as a plaything, it’s not going to happen. Let’s appreciate what we have got.

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37 Responses to “To Boo or Not To Boo”

  • Bombay Blue says:

    I am sorry but I do not agree that you have a right to Boo at any time during a game. This excuse you have paid your money so it is your right is a weak argument. It is used because there is no other reasonable justification in my opinion. I cannot say that I have booed before, during or after the match unless it was the opposition. As a customer if I am not happy with the entertainment be it the cinema, a show or other form of entertainment (i have walked out of the Bolshoi out of dissatisfaction, I was bored!) it does not give me the right to stand up and boo or heckle and ruin other customers enjoyment of the match / performance. As a supporter surely everyone accepts that players have off days. Further, it is the managers choice that player is selected so have a go at him! To boo a player before they get on the pitch reflects the ignorance and stupidity of the person booing. Fortunately these people are still the minority!!! KRO

  • matt says:

    Occasionally a player may need a kick up the backside! Keith fahey’s recent performances warant critisism, how else does the paying customer/supporter/fan vent his spleen?

    • Mr Blue Sky says:

      but booing before he’s kicked the ball….pathetic. We are as bad as the Blackburn fans that booed yakubu for celebrating a goal with their manager. To many moaning sods, that have no idea how to really support a team, some fans just seem to go to the match to moan!

  • matt says:

    I would rather go to the game and boo than be an armchair and slag the team off to your mates! Boo but never turn your back on your club!

  • alexjhurley says:

    I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t rate Fahey – for me he is too limited and gives the ball away too often. I would not pick him, I would play Ndaw and Mutch as sson as he is fit. That said, I would never ever boo Fahey – it simply can’t help. I believe Fahey does his absolute best for the team, and in reality that’s as much as we can reasonably expect.

    I would honestly like to see consistent booing of Zigic though. He is single handedly bleeding the club dry for little or nothing in return. If his alleged wages are true, he alone is pocketing somwhere in the region of 15% of the clubs entire turnover. I’ve got nothing against the bloke personally, I’m sure he tries his best – but for the future of the club we need him out and a concerted campaign from the supporters to tell him his no longer welcome can only help. Or, if he wants to take an 80% cut in wages I’d be the first to shake him by the hand and let him buy me a drink !

    • Dug says:

      Im sorry but i dont think ziggy will go in January, no one seems interested as yet, and he has stated that he will not go for less money so who’s going to want him?

  • Dino Tiltoni says:

    It was disappointing and embarrassing that Keith Fahey was booed on Saturday. As you say we’re are all on the same side so its counter productive. There seems to be a growing band of Fahey whingers now that they can’t moan at Jerome. Fahey had a great game at Blackpool and drove the team forward, he was apparently good at Cardiff too but I wasn’t there. Fahey is neat, clever and quick to spot the easy ball and to get US out of trouble with an incisive tackle or interception. I don’t think having Jonathan Spector playing along side Fahey helps his game because neither are forceful enough. As Colin Tattum said, a couple of goals would really help him win over the fans. He has a right foot shot like a rocket and had at least one good strike against Doncaster. Some of the applause for N’Daw was because he got stuck in and I wonder if he played alongside Fahey that we might have a great midfield engine?

  • TR7 says:

    Bombay Blue , you can’t just walk out of The Bolshoi Ballet !….. surely if ever there’s a time to mince , then that’s it ?..

    • Bombay Blue says:

      Actually when you see these huge russians sitting transfixed it is a bit disconcerting. I was quite worried when I got up to leave!! Not sure what would have happened if I booed, I reckon I would have been sorted very quickly (lol). Cheers

  • matt says:

    Did anyone see keith fahey at hull?

  • skareggae72 says:

    Yes we should all boo…but only the opposition,or officials,when they do something wrong or unpleasant.
    Seriously though,i notice Jack Butland is now back at the club,a young keeper with a possible great future.If he is sat in the stand and sees his own team mates being booed it is only going to affect him in a negative way,is he going to think`if i make a mistake am i going to get booed?`
    Its not a great enviroment to be bringing through young inexperienced players,lets not make things too difficult for ourselves,times are tough enough already.

  • bluebloodedboy says:

    I have to admit, but I do laugh at the moral posturing that goes on around the subject of booing.

    If we replaced ‘booing’ with some sort of racial slur, then there wouldn’t be a discussion – such people should be identified, banned and possibly arrested.

    However, lets get a grip people, we are talking about someone saying / shouting, “BOOOOOO”!

    I agree it may not be the most constructive of reactions, especially when aimed at a player who hasn’t kicked a ball, but it’s hardly an offence against morality.

    People using terms like, “…the RIGHT to boo…” as if it can be found somewhere in the Human Rights Act, need to take a bit of a step back and get over themselves – in my opinion.

    I am quite sure that a lot of these people that denounce the dreaded ‘boo’ from their moral pedestal, still turn up every week and swear like a trooper, whether directed at individuals, on either team, officials or visiting fans, and somehow think that this is totally beyond reproach compared to the scoundrel and social leper that sinks to the depths of depravity by uttering that unutterable word……………boo.

    Chill out peeps

  • Violent Pacifist says:

    Fahey is not as bad as everybody makes out. We looked far better when he came on on Saturday. If you watch Fahey properly no way is he as bad as everyone makes out. I made my mate (a critic) watch every single thing he did on Saturday and he admitted the lad did well.

    There has always been an element at St Andrews who like to single someone out for booing. Slowly it becomes a gang thing where individual thought ceases to exist so if the bloke next to me boos so will I. Same as that stupid Carson song.

    I’m always of the mind that the weakest in a team needs more support not less and that applies to any business. Fahey is not the weakest anyway as far as I’m concerned but if he was I’d support him more not less. The manager picks the team, the team wear our shirt, no-one should ever be booed however bad they’re playing. Direct the criticism at the manager.

    Booing before a player comes on is an attribute I’d associate with the filth. Very un-Blues. Will cause aggro in the stands if these lowlife keep it up cos the devoted wont put up with it.

  • phil williams says:

    Fahey never shirks his responsibilities and always tries his best. You lot booing are a disgrace and I’d rather you go and watch the Vile. They’ve got plenty to boo about.

  • hammy says:

    fahey for me is a woeful player, and having played myself, probably like the majority on here, its very very obvious the guy just hasnt got the ability needed in the center of midfield or anywhere else for that matter…..
    but, under no circumstances should a player be booed or jeered before he even kicks a ball in anger for the blues…..
    if a player has had a stinker, then give him both barrells at the END of a game, after all, even faheys probably on 5-10k a week…..and if they dont earn their corn, they deserve all they get!!!

    on the other hand, say if we drew manure in the cup, and ashley young was about to come on, then theres nothing i’d like more than to see that little s**t get what he deserves, especially after what he’s done to his best mate ridgewell….. poor guy…..
    so there is a place for booing but not at our players before theyve even come on….

    and i’d just like to say, nothing would please me better than to eat my words and fahey turn into a world beater…….

  • AR says:

    Booing one’s own player for not being good enough can only have a very negative effect on him. What do the booers think they will achieve by doing so? Boo referees by all means, boo the opposition but never one’s own team. This is nothing to do with moral posturing, it’s just plain common sense not to boo your own team. By the way, what has Ashley Young done to Liam Ridgewell?

    • Wingman Blue says:

      Never boo a player before they’ve had a chance to prove themself. As for the Ashley Young/Liam Ridgewell conundrum, if what I heard at the time is correct, I could be prosecuted for letting slip what I heard at the time, if you catch my drift. Best forgotten.

  • thomas hallberg says:

    I totally agree, we are supporters and not Boo-boys.

  • PeaJay says:

    Of course Fahey is rubbish. That is why both our former and current manager continue to pick him and he will be in the Irish squad for the European Championships. Unfortunately we have a number of fans who only see the negatives, never the positives and NEVER see why a player tries a specific pass (which, incidentally, usually come off for Fahey). Watch the highlights and you will see how often Fahey is involved and on the occasions he passes back it is usually because there is no one else available. Finally has everyone forgot that he could have been the player that won the cup in February when his terrific shot hit the post.

  • Violent Pacifist says:

    I’d bet a relatively large amount that Graham wont even be at the game

  • Arthur says:

    Let’s give the poor lad Fahey a chance – if he’s wearing the shirt then we must support him. Do you ever ask yourself why he was released from Villa to be playing in the Irish league? The lad’s doing his best. Anyway he is the least of our concerns – where is that tw*t Pannu? We’ve been sold down the river and he’s done a disappearing act.

  • Dan Hobbs says:

    Hear hear to the commenters rubbishing the boo boys. Such behaviour is childish, and lacks consideration for those others around who want to watch the game and support their team.

    It’s nonsense to suggest a player isn’t good enough. Why would a football manager, paid to do the job, pick a player who is rubbish?!

    Fahey is a quality player whose confidence is down a bit. To boo him before he’s even come on is ludicrous.

    I agree with the suggestion that if you don’t like it, don’t come to the game!

  • dean64 says:

    let’s just get behind them stop the booing Graham save the Carson thing for another day ( not a match day ) negativity breeds negativity.As for AR’s quston If the rumours are true I think AY may have servided Ridges woman.
    As for the Fahey debate he gives us all he’s got and if that ain’t good enough then it’s just down to natural ability don’t boo a blue unless he ain’t trying we all get frustrated when the balls given away cheapley and yes Fahey does his fare share of this but I for one would be amazed if he did it on purpose.I didn’t hear anyone booing Myhill last Wendnesday when he thru the ball in the net more or less or Ridgwell for his total dis-interest this season.Lets keep it positive give our support during a game save the moaning for after.

  • Denis Thwaites says:

    My theory that N’Daw would cost us too much if he played in the Championship has been blown out of the water against Hull and Donny. Perhaps the only llasting 70 minutes and then getting cramp is a clue but if not cannot understand why he hasn’t got a chance over Fahey or Spector before now. Anyone who wants to boo should clear off to Ewood Park. All it does is harm the team. It might have some logic to boo the owners if they were there but they ain’t!

  • hammy says:

    i tell u one thing, fahey is gonna get a hell of a welcome onto the pitch the next time he plays…..

    i think the fans will get right behind him, and really try and spur the lad on…..

    it may reap dividends…..

    then again, i could be lookin’ up a cows arse…. ;)

  • Poppa999 says:

    It wasn’t a boo, it was a whooo…?


  • keith says:

    No doubt some of those booing a BLUES player are the same cretins who got a petition to stop Bowyer being signed and as soon as he was playing,2 seasons too late in my opinion,were cheering him to the rafters for his 100% effort and prowess.I have supported Blues for over 60 years and been there with another 3000 hardy souls and I feel St.Andrews these days is one of the most poorly supported team from those present.It is about time they were singing their hearts out Right on to the end of the road.

  • viperblue says:

    Boo the ref,boo foul play by opposition players…but never boo a boy in Blue
    They are our representatives on the pitch,shout and slag them off if they are not
    giving 100% but never boo a boy in blue

  • Russ says:


    I discussed the very same subject above. Worth a read, as it seems things haven’t changed too much over the last eight months….

  • Bluenosejohn says:

    If you boo your own side you are in effect helping the opposition. Only someone deranged with their own self importance could possibly think that booing one of our own players before they get on the pitch is in anyway useful. Not only are those like that unwelcome at St Andrews I would not even wish them on the Vile.

  • DannyM says:

    Only whinging twats boo their own players and aren’t welcome at the club.

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