Ultra Culture: The dawning of a new age
When the Italian ultra scene hit its lowest point so did its football. Attendances plummeted, clubs fell on hard financial times, and high profile players found bigger and better stages to perform on.
“Football is nothing without fans” World Famous Ultras/ Casuals phrase
The Italian Ultra scene never truly died groups like Lazio’s Irriducibili, Internazionale’s Boys San Atalanta’s Curva Nord and Juventus’s Drughi to name but a few still lived on but the true Ultras that made up the heart of groups were simply no longer there. In many ways the groups just carried on the name but many of those involved couldn’t really be classed as Ultras.
Since the 1980s Ultra culture walked side by side with fashion and just like the fashion industry trends come and go, the Ultra scene is just warming up for its biggest come back in years. Incidentally the terrace casual look appears to be making a return to the high street too.
As with all Ultra movements, it is a case of not letting someone else out do you and with the ever-increasing appearance of pyro making its way into the English game, the Italians are not ready to be retired yet.
This season alone we have already seen some more than promising signs of an Italian Ultra scene emerging from the flames like a phoenix. At Parma we have seen some really impressive pyro and flag displays this season and with it what looks like the reforming of their old Ultra group “The Boys Parma 1977.” (Above)
Bologna have also shown in recent weeks that they are not to be overlooked when it comes to Ultra Culture, despite their poor performances on the pitch they have packed the Curva at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara on many occasions bringing back memories from their glory days of the 1990s. Only last week the Bologna Ultras organized a march through the city center to demonstrate their discontent at how President Albert Guaraldi is running the club. (Above)
The return of a couple of small time Ultras groups is nothing to write home about but it is the signs that are coming from deep inside real Ultras groups. These are groups that demand respect and honor are the ones that give us an indication that a new era of Ultras are on the rise.
Earlier this season 93 Sampdoria Ultras were caught trying to gain access to their away fixture with Livorno without a Tessera, at first this may seem a little dumb if anything but if you look deeper into it the truth really shines through.
Why would 93 people travel over 175 kilometers to a game without a ticket let alone have permission to purchase a ticket? Why Livorno? When there are a handful of sides nearer with a larger rivalry that would surely be more appealing to take a chance on. And more importantly why such a large number of people that have never held a Tessera all decide to travel all on one day?
t is simple, just because 93 were caught going to Livorno it doesn’t mean that it was the first time they have travelled, it purely means it is the first time they have been found.
The 93 were all handed DASP (banning orders) but only a couple of weeks later all chargers were dropped.
In some cases the return of the Ultra scene is a new age of ultra, a younger generation trying to recapture those dreams that they have heard their elders. Reminiscing about in other cases it is the thrill of the revival that is bringing some of the original ultras out of retirement either way that feeling of belonging and being part of something is what has sparked the revival.
Next week we will be discussing how the Ultra movement coincides with the social and economical climate at the current time
By Clark Stupple @Clarkiebaby