Don’t Get Angry - Spread the Love and You Will Have Your Revenge

Don’t Get Angry - Spread the Love and You Will Have Your Revenge

 by Carlos Alberto Diego


When Victoria Police Superintendent ‘Rebecca’ Wilson (real name ‘Rod’ but let’s gratuitously bring Becky into the blog just for fun) told the Herald Sun in Melbourne today that police were reluctant to cover Melbourne Victory games for fear of being assaulted by fans, I knew it was a ridiculous story but I wasn’t outraged.

When Detective Senior Sergeant Neil Mitchell was, in unconfirmed reports, heard to say, “I’d rather work undercover as a backpacker hanging out with Ivan Milat and Derryn Hinch at Wolf Creek instead of policing the soccer”, I knew it was absurd but I didn’t fume.

When Constable Peter Fitzsimmons and Hawaii Five–O Special ops Ray Chesterton said, “Let’s nuke the North End – they’re unAustralian”, I knew it was ludicrous but I didn’t hit back.  

YES it was another media beat up, YES it was designed to do the utmost PR damage going into the A-league finals and YES it succeeded in perpetuating longstanding negative mainstream perceptions about our game.

So why didn’t I want to lynch someone I hear you say? Because I have seen it all before and I reckon I have a better way of getting revenge.

Football people, have for a long time, talked about how anti soccer stories, such as the one we witnessed today, are driven by people in high places having agendas against our game. The conspiracy theories have it that these are apparently powerful, faceless men who preside over ‘big’ things. They supposedly control the AFL, the NRL, the media, the Government,  Shane Warne’s black book....really, really ‘big’ things.

For decades the Diegos dedicated ourselves to finding a way of exposing these faceless influential men. We wanted to get back at them for denying all Australians access to our game.

Our thinking, however turned around in 2006 - the year our game changed forever.

The Socceroos had captured the imagination of all Australians at the World Cup in Germany and Melbourne Victory versus Sydney FC drew a record crowd of 50,333 fans to a home and away A-league fixture.

Record TV ratings, record crowds and maximum mainstream exposure, investment and interest in the game finally gave us evidence of what was possible.

From that moment the Diegos realised that we did not have to defend our game – the game could look after itself.

What we needed to do was spread the word about why we love the game and why our mates, family and listeners should join in our weekly ‘orgy’ of football. We wanted to play our part in the revolution.

So in response to today’s latest instalment of soccer bashing the Diegos say - love the game, spread that love and you will have your greatest revenge.

Here’s how you should spread the love next season:

1. Next A-League season become a member of your local club and convince two of your mates to do the same.

Commit to turning up to every home game and suddenly the 5,000 core fans who attended Melbourne Heart, Sydney FC or Brisbane Roar games this season will increase to an average of 15,000 – 20,000. An average of 15,000 fans at Melbourne Victory games will increase to 40,000 – 45,000 fans and so on.


Show what is possible and a story like todays will be condemned to the crackpot Pauline Hansen One Nation file that no one will want to publish because no one will believe it.

2.    Protect your game next season by not allowing the anti-social minority jackass element to define what mainstream Australia thinks about our game.

I ask all organised fan groups from every A-League club to self police and have a zero tolerance to flares, racial/cultural/sexual vilification of others and general bad behaviour.

Be known for the passionate values you stand for; promote them and work with your club and police authorities to ensure that they are maintained.

Instead of being labelled as the worst fans of any sport be known as the best fans and be proud of it because you are growing the game in this country.

3.    Actively talk to non-football people about the virtues of the game.

Talk about the colourful personalities, the stars and the legends of the game. Get them excited by your passion and enthusiasm. Take them to a game now and then so they can take in the atmosphere. 

These are just a couple of things the Diegos have planned for next season.

Don’t waste your time being angry. One thing everyone, including the FFA, agrees is that the A-league, to have any future, must be FAN MADE.

Remember feel the game, spread the love and you will have your greatest revenge. 

Copyright Four Diegos Media 1993