The English Premier League's Most Embarrassing Celebrity Fans
Football is the beautiful game and celebrities are beautiful people (even Lisa Kudrow, in her own way). So when a celebrity supports a Premier League team it’s a doubly beautiful thing.
Like the sun setting over a city’s skyline, you get the beauty of nature and the beauty of modern architecture. Or, like when a pregnant woman gets on the bus, you offer her your seat and she says she doesn’t want it; you get the beautiful feeling of looking polite and the beauty of being able to sit down for the rest of your commute.
Jay-Z supporting Celtic? That’s cool. Cameron Diaz cheering on Brentford? Also cool. But when Drake says he is a fan of Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City all at once? That’s embarrassing, not just for himself but for all football fans and male ducks alike.
When a star shows their support for your club it should be something to be proud of, but there are a few occasions when you might wish they hadn’t bothered—having a famous fan can be more trouble than it’s worth.
So here is a list of celebrity fans of Premier League sides that normal supporters are embarrassed by...
5) Tony Blair/Newcastle United
When we think of a typical Newcastle United fan, we picture a morbidly obese gentleman standing on the terraces, making a lot of noise even though it’s 0-0 with 82 minutes gone—and he has his shirt off despite it being a freezing Northeast of England night.
So it’s a fair comment to say the Oxford educated former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, isn’t your average Magpie. But T Blizzle claims to be a big Newcastle fan, in fact in 1998 he cited his “teenage hero” as Toon legend Jackie Milburn and reminisced about watching him play from seats behind the goal at St. James’s Park.
Set your phasers to cringe—as it was later pointed out that Blair would have been four when Milburn left the club and there was no seats behind the goal at that time.
The cynical amongst you will claim he just made that up to come across as an “ordinary bloke” to win votes…but, in fairness, it worked!
Blair won three terms as British Prime Minister—but, it must be said, we British don’t elect Prime Ministers just because they’re fans of the national game. We actually elect Prime Ministers just because newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch tell us to.
It’s doubted that, despite his claims, Tony Blair was ever a member of the Toon Army, especially as the Toon Army was never sent to war over weapons of mass destruction which, they would later find out, didn’t exist.
4) Delia Smith/Norwich City
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Firstly, unlike some embarrassing celeb fans, no one questions TV Chef Delia’s passion for Norwich City. She’s their majority shareholder and there’s no doubt Deels loves the Canaries as much as she loves…vanilla essence? (I dunno, I’m not really much of a cook.)
But every Norwich fan must have wanted to say “she’s not with us” on February 28, 2005. At halftime in a match with Manchester City, D-Smitty took to the field and tried rousing the Norwich fans by slouting (cross between slurring and shouting) at them:
“A message for the best football supporters in the world: we need a 12th man here. Where are you? Where are you? Let's be 'avin' you! Come on!”
Let’s be 'avin' you? If you want to rouse support from football fans, don’t speak to them like you’re a Victorian-era police constable and they’re a gander of ruffians hanging around a cobbled street up to mischief.
3) Joey Barton/Everton
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As a fan, to find out a player grew up supporting your club is a treat. In most cases.
However, for Everton fans, to find out the bad boy of football and the copying and pasting of Nietzche quotes on Twitter scene, Joey Barton is a lifelong toffee, doesn’t inspire them with hope that he may one day sign for them and fulfil his dream of pulling on the famous blue shirt.
Imagine the transfer window has opened and Everton Chairman, Bill Kenwright, tries informing manager David Moyes that Joey Barton has become available (as he is every transfer window due to an act of on-field lunacy or off-field prickery).
Bill: “Alright our Dave, it’s Bill here, let’s talk transfers.”
David: “Aye, I’m after a midfielder.”
B: “I’ve got just the guy for you.”
D: “Yeah, he any good?”
B: “He’s only played top flight football most of his career.”
B: “He’s an England international.”
D: “Excellent. How many caps?”
B: “Erm… Sorry your, erm, signal is quite bad.”
D: “How many caps?”
B: “Erm… he’s a boyhood Evertonian.”
D: “This guy sounds absolutely perfect. Who is it?”
B: “Joey bloody Barton.”
B: “David? I’ve signed Joey Barton. David?”
D: “…I’m taking the Chelsea job” (which is vacant every transfer window due to acts of on-field prickery or off-field lunacy).
2) Michael Jackson/Fulham
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In terrace terminology, a ‘plastic fan’ is someone who isn’t deemed a "real" fan of the club. Perhaps they hardly go to any games or, they haven’t supported the team for very long or they just say they’re a supporter to look cool.
In the case of Michael Jackson he was a "plastic fan" of Fulham FC in another sense, in that his body was mostly plastic.
So when Fulham’s chairman, Mohammed Al Fayed, unveiled a statue at Craven Cottage of the King Of Pop shortly after his passing, it angered fans, mostly because Jackson had only ever attended one Fulham game in his life. Others were annoyed as the statue actually looked more like Manchester United’s Nani.
When asked by the BBC to explain why a statue of Jacko was installed at Craven Cottage, Mr Al Fayed explained:
The last game he attended here with me, he was running like a child, he loved the place. He loved Fulham and he wanted to attend all of the matches.
And when asked on his reaction to the claim from fans the statue makes the club a “laughing stock," Mr Al Fayed explained:
They can go to hell.
1) Piers Morgan/Arsenal
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Anyone who's ever been on Twitter will know about Piers' crimes against football. Whether it's him keep tweeting about “#ivantheterrible,” which is Morgan’s suicidally “funny” nickname for Ivan Gazidis—Arsenal’s chief executive.
Or constantly make jokes about “Robin van Pursestrings,” which is Morgan’s life re-evaluatingly “hilarious” nickname for Robin van Persie; ridiculing his move to Manchester United, which Piers claims was for purely financial reasons. Well done, Mr Morgan, I bet Robin’s really regretting the move now.
Or maybe it's his work soccer pundit, despite his only claim to be qualified for that profession would be starting an argument on Twitter with quite a lot of Premier League footballers and struggling to hold his own (with. Premier. League. Footballers).
Oh well done, Piers, you’ve managed to notice that Michael Owen is dull and gets injured a lot, ground-breaking stuff, that’s the sort of post-match analysis money just cannot buy.
As an Englishman, I would feel much safer if every sentence he says on U.S. TV was preceded by a compliance warning stating that “not all British people are like this." Then list some of our nation’s greatest achievements like the Beatles or Charles Dickens or managing to convince Piers Morgan to leave the country.
Some Arsenal fans are sensitive about how long it’s been since they won a trophy—they should be more concerned that Morgan has become their global ambassador.
On a final note, has anyone else noticed the irony that the biggest "Gunner" in the U.S. and America’s most prominent fan of "the Arsenal" is now also one of their biggest champions for gun control?