Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Fans’ Category

Not a plastic Latic, a cardboard one

Now a face in the crowd at #WiganAthletic in solidarity to financial crisis. 💙🤍

The Game of the Ball

Reproduced with kind permission of my Friend, Ming Zhao,  Premier League Correspondent | Project Coordinator at Super Sports (育):

“As the ban on massive gathering will remain in place for the foreseeable future, the exploitation of football as a TV show has accelerated. Below is my observation of experiencing three of the biggest European leagues in front of my digital screen during the Covid era.


The “early start” of German topflight attracted worldwide attention and offered fans the first taste of mainstream football since the lockdown.

Bundesliga games behind closed doors

Despite the quality of the game itself, the visual impact of those massive empty stands in the background inevitably damages the perceived connection between the passionate and loyal German ultra groups and the Bundesliga experience. To make it worse, the echoes of those shouting instructions from the dugout reminds me of attending a FA Youth Cup tie in Oldham on a rainy Tuesday night.

You can argue with the example of the initiative of cardboard cutout fans by Borussia Mönchengladbach, but the inconsistent efforts by individual clubs help little to increase the overall product consuming experience of the league as a whole.

La Liga

Similar to its German counterpart, La Liga re-started the season with el Gran Derbi between Sevilla and Real Betis being strategically selected as the campaign opener. Anticipation was high from TV audience due to an eye-catching collaboration between La Liga and EA Sports. In a bid to boost the viewing experience, artificial crowd was first used in live broadcast to take up the empty seats and create familiar ambient sounds.

Virtual fans fail in La Liga

It proved the operators of the system, along with millions of audience, needed some time to get used to the innovation, as several awkward imagery alignments could be spotted during the first half. But I have to admit my experience of the second half of Sevilla derby and subsequent La Liga games was way smoother.

Wu Lei scores for Espanyol

Two days later, when Chinese international Wu Lei sealed the precious 3 points for relegation-threatened Espanyol, I almost forgot there was nobody but his teammates celebrating with him on the spot.

The Premier League

As the most lucrative football programme on TV, English Premier League uses the crowd noise produced by EA to augment the audio effects.

Man City plays against Arsenal

During the heavyweight clash between Man City and Arsenal (some might not agree) on the opening day, a pre-recorded soundtrack from FIFA20 was added to the authentic buzz at the stadium to simulate a normal matchday ambient at Etihad. What’s more interesting is, each time City scored a goal, cheers “from the stands” could be clearly heard from my TV sound bar. The credit goes to a dedicated audio engineer that played, again, the pre-recorded fan reaction into the audio mix.

However, in my opinion, the visual effect still needs improvement, as the mere cover-up of rows of empty seats with huge ad banners could hardly please anyone but commercial partners.

I was so obsessed with EA’s FIFA series when I was a school kid (starting from FIFA96). And EA never failed to impress me with the incremental simulation of the real sport with its annual release. As the TV show nature is explicitly emphasised by the whole football industry during the pandemic, we may have entered the era of going the other way around.”


Fancy an adventure?

Manchester Giants has teamed up with Adventure Hunt UK to organise a fun day to coincide with our last game of the season against Bristol Flyers on Sunday 19th April 2020.

The Day will begin in Manchester City Centre where there will be a series of challenges to take part in, to unlock a treasure hunt, with a range of phenomenal prizes.

Not only do we expect this to be one of the largest community-events organised by the GIANTS, but it will raise valuable funding to support the Club and its’ sister Foundation.

Our very own Commercial Director, was one of the first to enter one for his family and another his volleyball club. Adrian Stores said:

“This is an incredible opportunity, and one of great value to entertain family and friends.  Joining in the fun in our fabulous City, we can’t wait to get stuck into the adventure and help the GIANTS in the process.  It all being in the Centre of Town means we can easily move from check in to check in with our quest for the hidden treasures”.

It is also a great Event to reward team members and staff in local companies.  Some of the first to sign up includes: Macdonald Manchester Hotel, ACROBAT FCSM and Higgins.

Might you like to enter a Team in our forthcoming Adventure Hunt.  A guaranteed day of fun – ending with GIANTS entry for last game of the Season.  The cost is only £160 for a Team of 4 if you enter a corporate team – or £80 if 4 people enter individually or as a family (free for under 16s, though which reduces the fee further, although atleast one Adult needs to accompany. So one Adult three children is just £20! ).

Bookings are being taken NOW.  Don’t delay to participate in our GIANTS Adventure.  Email with names and ages of participants in Team and address.

We’d also like to hear from Offices and Venues in the Centre of Manchester that can be considered in being one of the twenty stops.  This partnership is at £200 and we get all participants to visit and take proof of completing a challenge with your branding to go on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – plus every business owner and family receives your details, any promotional offering in goodies bag (so lead generation for your business!) and your brand is seen on the legacy map that will be printed and distributed throughout. Businesses interested inbeing a ‘treasure hunt stop’, should contact Adrian without delay via  An array of benefits – and corporate members get publicity on a guaranteed legacy map that is handed out to all participants.

As Organizer, Jacob Munday comments:

“If you’ve witnessed one of our events before you’ll love it. Adventure Hunt – As Seen On “Shark Tank™” on TV.  Treasure Hunts! That’s what we do, we create a mini course for you and your team.  Your family, friends or work colleagues will complete challenges and solve clues that guide you on a fun adventure to an actual buried treasure chest!  You won’t regret it, sign up now as they say “you’ve got to be in it to win it”.”

Watch out for our actual Manchester Giants players appearing in a teaser video soon facing the sorts of challenges that you to could face on the BIG DAY.  Come on sign up now and #beeGIANT.

Racist Clouds

It raised its ugly head when the National Team played abroad and the UEFA protocol of dealing with racism was implemented to at least stage two.  The result of 0-6 silenced somewhat the Bulgarian minority of racists, before they trotted off curly tails between their legs after half time. Everyone concerned in Sofia were pinpointed. Modern day security cameras are incredibly accurate in football stadia. If only VAR was as sharp and decisive.

The same level of spotting trouble makers was easy at City versus United. The City-fan idiot can be expected to be banned for life from Etihad and its correct no tolerance stance on such behaviour. He may lose his job in turn states weekend reporting.

Overseas there is racist undertones. Always a minority but a vocal few that tarnish the game. The recent Italian headlines was ludicrous and worthy of an Editor losing a job. The Bulgarian Manager did infact resign after that England match.

I cannot comment authoritatively on foreign soil. Bit the re-emergence of this pathetic trend can have roots im broken Britain that the lamentable politicians across all parties should share blame for. I for one love Europe and cannot be shifted, even slightly, from my remainer-DNA. I embrace the joy of a multicultural group of friends in my Stockport Volleyball Club and across other sports. Diversity breeds an interesting environ, more so than navel-gazing of little Britoners. Lets understand what racism means and how it affects those targetted. The snowflake PC brigade make their points, but those affected are the ones I listen to most. As often the authorities are weak. It is not a football problem though IMHO, but social malaise. Law and order is the stick that needs attention so we can return to talking about just the football.