More gratitude and less attitude please

Written by Kait O'Callahan

Topics: Fan Blogs

This article was written by Kait O’Callahan, Heart member. Kait is a freelance writer who maintains a tennis blog at www.onthegotennis.com. You can follow Kait on twitter (@kait_oc):

I read an article in The Age recently about gratitude. According to new scientific research, if we focus more on what we have to be thankful for and moan less, we are more likely to perceive things optimistically. In other words, being grateful makes us happier. Unfortunately, humans are notoriously ungrateful, myself included. I often complain about money, rent, my dwindling amount of annual leave and my less than fantastic day job. I’ve got a lot to be grateful for, but I find something to moan about every single day.

It’s a trait I’m currently seeing in a lot of my fellow Melbourne Heart fans. It was justified when it started with our less than satisfactory coach, John Aloisi, but since he was removed Heart fans have had a lot to be thankful for. Our club has been bought by Manchester City, the football equivalent of having won lotto. Our financial worries are a thing of the past and poor crowd numbers no longer bring thoughts of bankruptcy. With Manchester City comes a new training ground and academies, not to mention the obvious benefits it will bring Australian footballers: train at Heart and perhaps an opportunity at Manchester City awaits. It’s all very good news for a team that has been dwindling at the bottom of the table for a long time.

So you’d think Heart fans  would be holding hands looking forward to a very exciting off-season. Yet since speculation began that our new owners would change Heart’s name and colours to reflect that of Manchester City, a sky blue tidal wave of negativity has flooded our club. I have seen many social media posts by fans threatening to walk if we change colours, and others saying the club is ‘doomed’ if they don’t listen to fans. Nevermind that the club was possibly doomed without City’s influence, and their cash injection means we about as far from ’doomed’ as can be. Despite how much good City can bring Heart and the A-League in general, all some Heart fans can seem to focus on is the negatives. Unfortunately for them, change is inevitable and none of us will be happy with every single alteration.

It’s not that I want our colours to change. I don’t. I do believe they are part of our identity, if not our entire identity. I also think it is imperative Heart fans let City know in a positive way that we want to keep the red and white. We need to present an optimistic, united front that City want to listen to. The infighting, negativity and threats I’ve seen from both pro-City and anti-City fans are not going to get us any respect.

I recognise that many fans follow the EPL and therefore have bias for or against Manchester City, but I urge those fans to recognise that bias within themselves and fight against it. I’m lucky I have no feelings against Manchester City, (Heart is the only team I follow, except Germany’s international side), and hope those who do try and put it aside for the good of Australian soccer.

I don’t believe in expecting the worst but hoping for the best should be our motto right now. Instead, an open mind and positive attitude is needed. After all, City have kept our coach, most of our players and our match ground. To me, the people of this club – fans, players and community – are what make it a club worth following, not a uniform or a name. As long as we stay humble, maintain our sense of humour and stay out of trouble off the field, I believe Heart is a club worth sticking with. If we do change colours and name, I’ll accept it with a touch of disappointment and move on. We should enter this off-season with the aim of being grateful and optimistic about our new owners. As Shakespeare might have said if he were a football fan, ‘a club by any other name would smell as sweet’.

1 Comment Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Luke says:

    What a sad post. I don’t know how someone can actually advocate such passive consumerism, and so readily have the club they have supported, and the colours they have worn, all get chucked away because of the whim of a few businessmen.

    And even worse, to actually embrace that needless destruction of one’s football club is a very sad notion.