I see “football fans” is the latest euphemism to describe right-wing hordes causing intimidation to anyone who is not of a similar mind-set across our cities. They may well be, football is a popular interest, but the game, for them and the rest of us, is the cultural touchstone we find most available.
At first pass, the dark recesses of the game these types congregate in probably look no different to any other stadium. At all clubs, fans are mostly white, mostly male (though increasingly less so) and share many of the socio-economic problems that make the susceptible to abhorrent ideologies.
For decades, football complained that hooliganism was a societal problem, but no one really paid attention. Now there is no football the picture should be clearer. The disaffected and easily influenced find companionship wherever possible, for many that happens to be in football, and for some of those, a culture war would define their lives more than anything else possibly could.
Despite the gloom, the direction of travel is positive. In the 70s and 80s, racism was at home in the game. Peer pressure brought isolated idiots to heel and it flourishes in fewer places than imaginable a few decades ago. You might never give it a thought, but you are involved in the great culture war. It will live longer than any of us, but the outcome is assured.
SPFL clubs know how to destroy interest in their product at a time when they should be doing just the opposite. Another week, another attempt to save Hearts from relegation. It is tedious. Just make a decision and stick to it, credibility is draining with each fresh episode.