The fans are the lifeblood of any sporting franchise.
More so for a club that was only established eight months back. You can pay the players from a bottomless bank account, bring in your corporate bosses but they may have no real association with the club.
The real fans are the ones who stand in queues, paint their faces and scream their throats out during games. A group of fans of Bengaluru FC, the I-League club which was formed here last July, have done all that and much more in the short time span.
Usually found in West Block A stand at the Bangalore Football Stadium, they have been making all the right noises – both in and outside the venue.
The group’s big objective is doing activites with the ultimate aim of becoming a fan club recognised by BFC. “We did an awareness march outside the stadium before BFC’s match against Churchill Brothers.
“For the last home match of the season (Pune FC on Friday), we are planning a mosaic before the game from our stand where in we will be handing out blue and white cardboards to everybody so when we all hold it up at the same time, the letters ‘BFC’ will be formed,” one of the members of the group said.
They have also planned a pre-game march outside the stadium, which will double up as an awareness campaign.
Since watching the first match against Mohun Bagan on September 22, the group has grown and they even travelled to Manjeri to watch their team in the Federation Cup.
The group has also managed to get chants going. “Chants are an automatic way of increasing noise but when we were doing it at first, not a lot of people joined. So we decided to get print outs of all the likely chants and started handing it out to people,” one of them said.
Given that there is a real chance that BFC will win the title away from home, the group that has more than 30 people are already making arrangements to travel to both the remaining games in Goa (Dempo on April 21 and Sporting Clube de Goa on April 26). They have tentatively named the proposed fan club as ‘West Block A’.
The top management of the club is aware and are watching on with interest and if they are able to carry on the good work, they could well be given official fan club status before the start of next season.