We hate England! We hate England?

A large variety of anti-English chants could be heard at the Vetch. Some were simply antagonistic (such as ‘England’s full of sh*t’), while others directly aligned a passion for Swansea/Wales with a dislike of England (‘We are the England haters – Swansea!’ or ‘We’ll never be mastered by no English bastard, Wales, Wales, Wales’).

Not everyone agreed with these songs, just like not everyone agreed with songs and chants attacking Cardiff City. For some fans attacking Cardiff was irrelevant and betrayed a common Welsh identity, a Welsh identity that may or may not involve ‘hating’ England. Yet, for others, Cardiff was fair game for football taunts but attacking England was tantamount to racism.

Here we have a selection of comments on this subject taken from debates on the former guestbook of the website www.scfc.co.uk They are examples of how football can become a way for people to think about what  it means to belong to a city, a country or even an ethnicity.

Please note some of these comments contain bad language or views that some may find offensive.

I have worked in London for 10 years now and have had to endure sheep-sh***ing, leek-crunching, coal-chomping, sister-worrying, in-breeding, close-harmony singing, rugby-playing, chip-eating, lavabread munching, “does Wales have a football team then?”, “Not even good at rugby anymore are you?” etc. etc. jokes and generalisations on a constant basis. … For those of you who have not had the pleasure of living in this bastion of ill-founded sporting smugness and arrogance let me be your education and your guide. You can never read, watch or listen to anything before, during or after an England footy game even if it is against a Maltese fifth division B team without constant references to 1966, Bobby Moore, blah blah f***ing blah! … [I]t is with great satisfaction then that to misquote that famous poem, every away game “There is a corner of an English football ground that for 90 minutes is forever Wales” and I take great pleasure in singing “England’s full of s**t”, “Argentina”, “You can stick your chariot up your a**e”, “We hate England, and we..” and anything else that springs to mind cos if their pathetic mute fans had anything like our passion then they’d be singing it back to us!! (10 February 2000)

Yesterday afternoon, a few minutes before the start of the Kidderminster game Kevin Johns [club half-time compare] made an admirable and obviously heartfelt plea to kick racism out of football. Ten minutes into the game after a bad tackle on Britten [Swansea midfielder] a large section of spectators on the west end of the north bank started their usual abhorrent chant of ‘you dirty English bastard’ aimed at the offending player. I would like to take the club to task over this. Was anyone ejected or even warned over this racist chant or is the club’s mealy-mouthed attitude to this problem to continue. I believe the club have let the fans down on this issue. Week after week we hear strong words against racism but absolutely no action. (19 October 2003)

Someone commented on here the other day that the anti-England abuse is way too much fun to want to stop. I’m sure that most KKK members feel that way about lynchings. Abusing someone on the grounds of race, nationality, gender, religion or sexual preference is the cornerstone of an ideology that my parents generation fought a six year war to eradicate. I know that there are regulars on here that feel that several of us over-react to the whole issue. Sorry, but I can see the path that starts with relatively lightweight abuse of OUR neighbouring country and ends with extermination camps. (3 November 2003)

Why do some people want to turn football into a game watched by corporate freeloaders, where the only noise you hear is a polite round of applause whenever a goal is scored – no matter who scored it. I’ve been to premiership grounds and there is a total lack of atmosphere as true supporters are priced out of the game. I much prefer grounds with an atmosphere. Quite frankly I enjoy chanting derogatory comments about Cardiff, I feel I have the right to question the decisions made by officials and yes, give abuse to players. If I think calling Damon Searle a scummer helps my team win then I’ll do so. If anything else it is a great stress reliever. (21 September 1999)

I know these chants are supposed to be aimed at the opposing fans but what exactly do the people who take part in these think that the English players who make up the majority of OUR team think? How does it make them feel? They are not deaf and insensitive. Why should they stay with the club and have to listen to that sort of abuse week in week out? Would you want to play in front of fans who are just as offensive to you and your country as they are to players in the opposition team? They don’t suddenly become Welsh when they sign for Swansea City and they don’t leave their own pride at the Severn Bridge toll booths. (3 February 2000)

anti-English chants are perfectly valid in my book. Most of them are quite amusing and they get banter going between the supporters which is good. Where we have to be very careful is in saying ‘just keep up the noise – doesn’t matter what you chant etc’ That’s a dangerous green light to the large number of racists and the easily-led that Swansea have as regular supporters. Technically I guess, some of the anti-English stuff could be regarded as racist, but I don’t really think so. However, ANYBODY chanting racist filth from a Swansea City standpoint deserves everything they get (which unfortunately these days means virtually nothing and probably a pat on the back from their colleagues) and must not (even inadvertently) be excused. (9 February 2000)

Racism??? Don’t make me laugh!! The English are hardly an oppressed ethnic minority are they!! on the contrary they’ve spent the last 500 years raping, pillaging and suppressing their way around the globe and once they’d finished their wham bam thank you maam routine it was off home leaving the unfortunate country usually bankrupt…Wales is a perfect example. Why do you think so many of us have to work hundreds of miles away eh?? (10 February 2000).

If you want to read an academic analysis of this topic then you can read this article by Swansea University lecturer Martin Johnes.

4 responses to “We hate England! We hate England?

  1. Taff

    i’d rather wear a turban than a rose !!

  2. Guy

    If you hate England so much then why are you, and Cardiff for that matter, playing in our league system? Go and join the League of Wales. Anyway you’d soon change your tune if you qualified for Europe at an English team’s expense.

    • I don’t think you have quite understood this page Guy – it is looking at the question of why some supporters use football as an opportunity to express anti-english sentiments. The discussion on our pages does not make any judgements, and is not trying to represent an opinion held by the club or the majority of supporters.

      Swansea, Cardiff, and a number of other Welsh football teams joined the English league system because it offered better-quality opposition, better entertainment, and therefore more money for the club owners. And this also happened at a time when Welsh nationalism was not a very powerful political force. This has changed in recent years.

      The winners of the Welsh Premier LEague qualify for the UEFA Champions League, so Swansea and Cardiff are in som eways not doing themselves any favours there. Of course, the Welsh teams in the English pyramid used to have an extra qualifying route for European competition via the Welsh Cup (which English teams close to the border could play in , but could not qualify for Europe from!). This ended in 1995, so as you say the only route to Europe for the Swans is by final Premier League position. It would be a very proud moment for any team to achieve this, not just one from Wales.

      Swansea and Cardiff have been a part of the English league system for over 100 years, and I don’t think anybody seriosuly wants to change this.

  3. George Dunn

    Its a valid point though why if Cardiff/Swansea fans chant anti English songs do they want to play in the English League?? – Money above national pride I suspect… The welsh clubs were invited to play in England but a lot has happened since then, Welsh Parliament, LOW etc etc so if Swansea do qualify for Europe via the Capital One Cup they will in fact be representing England so again where’s the national pride?? Q pathetic English Chav/little Englander comments…

    Oh and by the way, UEFA are looking at clubs which already have an FA (LOW) reverting back to their own league system which I can assure you is well supported in England – and yes get Berwick back in the English league..

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