Leading sociologists have expressed concerns at recent findings suggesting younger generations are prioritising activities such as studying for exams and spending time with family over being football ultras.

Dr. Tomislav Glupan, an award-winning sociologist, spoke to FMF about the alarming trend.

“At first we thought it was merely an anomaly, but as we looked into the matter further, we realised this was more than just an abhorrence.

“Kids constantly have to make trade-offs in life, and in the current environment, activities such as studying, spending time with family or even practicing basic hygiene seem more attractive than lighting a flare with mates.”

Statistics from intensive studies of young adults (between 16 and 30) reveals some startling results:

 

1995 study (left) alongside the 2014 study (right).

 

A stark decrease is observable between 1995 and 2014; in fact, where previously 64% of young adults enjoyed being an ultra on their Friday nights, this figure is now a record-low of 15%, a shocking 49% drop. Conversely, young adults choosing to study have risen in proportion from 11% to 30%.

One could say the allure of the ultra-lifestyle is losing its flare. But is this a problem with the state of active support, or instead a rise in the appeal of study and family?

Dr. Glupan hypothesises in his new book, The Science of Ultradom: Fights, Flares and the Football Family that “…being a hardcore Ultra has lost its edge… the sort of edge that previously drew people away from their studies, their jobs and their family to the terraces.”

Other sociologists have suggested that government-funded marketing campaigns against cigarettes, targeted at youth, have taken the Ultra lifestyle as collateral damage, stigmatising the use of smoke bombs, or ‘smokies’. Numerous active supporter firms have released statements on Facebook, labeling the as “a government conspiracy”.

Conspiracy or not, you don’t have to look far to see what sociologists are concerned about. Dr. Glupan cited the following tweets as an example of this emerging trend:

 

Cronan1

Cronan 2

 

 

Mr. Yu’s protest to his Twitter peers is clear evidence of the problem facing young Australians: how the likes of socialising with mates, or maintaining a reasonable relationship with parents takes priority over protesting against club ownership.

Dr. Glupan fears this sort of socio-economic prioritisation is becoming all too common – potentially threatening the future success of terraces in Australia.

“It is because of kids like this that silent protests might not be so voluntary in the future.”

An anonymous spokesperson, who assured us that he was 100% Ultra, told FMF, “We were trying to organise a post match scrap the other week, but nobody showed up.

“I rang around to see where the fuck everyone was, and two of them were doing their maths homework and another had his cousins over for dinner!

“Now I don’t usually speak to the media, but you guys don’t really count, and this trend has to stop – whatever happened to traditional, decent values such as ‘no pyro, no party?’ or ‘all cops are bastards’?

“Instead, we are seeing a generation full of degenerates who hide behind ‘political correct’ actions such as studying – they couldn’t suck up to the man any more if they had the world’s biggest straw.”

The FFA have responded swiftly to these findings, aiming to rejuvenate the social desirability of being an Ultra. Active supporter groups are a key part of their promotional videos and graphics, thus valued highly by the code’s administration. It is rumoured that the FFA is planning a viral marketing campaign to attract younger demographics – involving flash mobs who, instead of singing Christmas carols, sing football chants at unsuspecting patrons in shopping centres.

A video of one such flash mob, caught on camera and exclusively leaked to FMF, depicts a group of teenagers dressed in Fred Perry polo shirts who simultaneously jump to their feet and yell “Who are ya?” at shoppers, in what is clearly a shopping centre food court.

The FFA have also formed business cooperations with numerous suppliers of ultras merchandise, in an attempt to expand their product ranges to cater for younger demographics and even females. One such example of this can be seen below:

 

Ultra Shop

 

But whether or not they are fighting a losing battle is yet to be seen. Many sociologists have advised that the issue can be nipped at the bud, before all is lost – others are not so optimistic.

Do you think that the ultras mentality is being lost to younger generations, or are sociologists merely panicking? Share with us your thoughts via Twitter: @ForModernFootbl.

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