In an article published in The Guardian, the author claims that England fan culture is changing. This is supported by a statement from Jamie Cleland, an academic who is stating that the trip to Qatar was too expensive for many ordinary England supporters.
“With the World Cup occurring mid-season, close to Christmas, and in a cost of living crisis, it is no surprise to see so many traditional fans stay behind in the UK”
Another academic, Geoff Pearson, adds that England fan
“subculture is predominantly male and predominantly white. Not exclusively male and not exclusively white. But it’s very much laddish behaviour.”
This subculture hasn’t really travelled to Qatar, thus leaving a void for other fans to come and attend games as they normally would not have done because of anxiety towards the predominantly white, male England fans, which normally fills the stands. This is due to tickets being more easily available to fans in Qatar, which has an effect on the outlook of the England fan base.
Pearson adds that tournaments in Europe are easier to travel to, which means that more of the typical England fan subculture attends, either to watch the games or just to be there celebrating.
“In Europe it’s pretty much closed up shop and demand outstrips supply to a great extent.”
In other words: because one England fan subculture hasn’t travelled to Qatar for various reasons, another, a more diverse fan subculture emerges and fills the void. This isn’t fan culture changing, rather one replacing the other. As such the 2022 World Cup may help to change the face of England’s fans.