Ok so I guess I should explain what I mean first, where this came from, what I think the potential could be etc and then leave it to you guys to make or break it as an idea..
I was thinking about how much it must cost to be one of those fans who follows his or her team to all their away games, traipsing up and down the country. I’d imagine it involves coaches or trains, for some like Kieth, Ian and Andy they travel together in a KIA being cunts, but that’s not the point. Of course the thing with this is you have to do the return trip that same day or book a hotel, which combined with the ticket, food, drink and travel makes it bloody expensive.
So what if you didn’t have to do that, if you were part of a community of fans who took each other in and looked after each other like a sacred brotherhood? I know for a fact that in every city and town in this country there will be some Manchester United fans. At some point they will want to visit Old Trafford, now, what if when they came up they could crash with a fellow fan, be taken to the United local, be told the decent curry house that won’t give you bad aids and leave you on the toilet for a week? And what if these lovely people from say, Bournemouth, were kind enough to return the favour should United ever be drawn against Bournemouth in the cup? And what if instead of it just being two United fans swapping hospitality it was actually fans of all clubs being part of an online community where you could search by location and find a group of people, ping them an email and arrange to meet up for the game. You’d meet some pretty awesome people, and experience a bit more from your away day I’m sure. Who’s to say it couldn’t extend to foreign shores, a group of Ajax fans could happily crash at mine ahead of the City game, after all, an enemy of my enemy is a friend, and what’s more, I’d know that if I ever went to see the Dutch masters I’d have friends there to show me around.
Maybe you’d need some parameters like availability, so you could mark yourself down as being unable to accommodate mid week, or can only do mid week, maybe you can accommodate everyone but Chelsea fans, who knows, maybe you’re not wiling to let somebody start over but there’s a spot at your pub and with your mates after the game for anyone who wants a guide around an alien city.
I know this all sounds a bit socialist, a bit head in the clouds and a bit idealistic, so I guess I should probably run over a couple potential issues…
Murderers & rapists. Not a laugh or a joke but a serious concern for people welcoming strangers into their home. Do you offer CRB checks? For me that makes it a bit too professional, costly and doesn’t guarantee anything other than somebody doesn’t have a criminal record. Also data protection issues arise from taking ID etc. I guess all we can do is put recommendations in place about taking care, try to encourage people to last first, maybe Skype, get to know somebody that bit better, use a feedback system for guests and hosts, maybe use an address verification system at pint of registration so that we have something to refer back to?
Feel free to point out any gaping holes in the idea, because that’s all it is at the moment, but if you’d be interested in trying to set something up let me know.
Comrade Hayden out.