Sometimes it’s not enough to sing, shout and scream at the top of your lungs in football.
Sometimes you have to get your point across visually… in the form of a huge, obnoxious homemade banner that will likely go unnoticed by the intended target.
Over the years we’ve seen some funny ones, and we’ve seen others that are so un-funny that they’re starting to be again. We’ve seen some that are powerful and visually striking, and we’ve seen some that make you wonder why the hell someone made the effort.
You can decide for yourself where Chelsea’s latest effort to support Frank fits in that spectrum, but while you do, we dive into the past to celebrate the weird and wonderful history of banners in football games.
An icon of the genre.
Manchester United had become so used to success by the time Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 that they couldn’t imagine do not earn things.
So when David Moyes was announced as Ferguson’s chosen successor, there was confidence that the granite-faced Glaswegian would simply pick up where the greatest of all time left off.
Less than a year later, “The Chosen One” was declared “The Wrong One” with a new banner, and whoever was responsible for the original ended up with a face like beetroot.
Little bit of context of football in Catalonia: RCD Espanyol does not like Barcelona. They see themselves as the natives, the locals, while Barca are seen as plastic glory-hunting fantasies that are Barcelona only in name.
This was the purpose of this banner in 2014, when Espanyol “welcomed” their rivals to the city.
In case you have any doubts about the post, the banner also features an Espanyol player with the caption “local” and a Barcelona player with the caption “tourist”.
Did football banners reach their peak in 2013/14? Perhaps.
When Jose Mourinho came “home” to Chelsea in 2013, this guy spotted a gap in the market for an ingenious pun.
“Mourinho. ‘Home.’ “Mourinho at home. “Mourin… at home. “MOURINHOME!
Look at him, proud as punch. A grown man, truly buzzing with himself, 100% confident that he is the first person to make that connection. Enjoy it, mate.
Ps – yes, this is the same man who sang Mourinho’s song on Sky that time.
“We don’t like the Rangers and we don’t like the coronavirus. What can we do with it?
Celtic fans are renowned the world over (or at least in Scotland) for their banner creating feats.
This one, however? Not their best time.
There isn’t much love left for Alexis Sanchez in England, but there is still a lot love for his Labradors.
Atom and Humber. The good boys.
After moving to Manchester United from Arsenal a similar banner was deployed to Old Trafford.
Fans in England have become so used to the exorbitant ticket prices that they don’t even register when Arsenal charge fans £ 64 for a European tie.
For Bayern Munich fans, however – who can get an Allianz Arena membership for double – these prices are a travesty.
And they let us know when they arrived in London in 2017 – in small numbers in protest – and scored five goals in front of the Gunners without even breaking a sweat.
No one likes Mondays but Manchester United FC absolutely don’t like Mondays.
You have to admire the subtlety of it, as fans cited The Boomtown Rats in protest of their FA Cup match against Chesterfield which was transferred on Monday night on TV.
Unfortunately, their Monday got even worse, as the visitors ran out of 4-1 winners to reach the second round.
Perhaps the iconic football banner, short cut to intimidate days away.
In fact, welcome to the hell was just misread from a piece of felt on a piece of A1 map when Manchester United traveled to Istanbul to face Galatasaray in 1993, but it carried so much more weight.
The cauldron atmosphere, which included a fiery ‘welcome’ at the airport and plenty of stadium pyrotechnics, ultimately had an effect on Fergie’s men who could only draw 0-0 and walked out of the League. champions on away goals.