Welcome to the Rail! This is our new weekly show where we celebrate the things that make the world’s game great, and discuss the factors that are in danger of ruining it. Throughout the last century and a half, football has inspired, and connected the world like never before. Our host, Spencer FC takes us around the world of the beautiful game, telling the stories that you can’t find on traditional football shows.
This week, we open with the first round of Europa League qualifiers in some of Europe’s lesser-known leagues. We head to Cork City FC, to watch a historic match as a fan owned club takes its first foray into European competition. This is followed by a sit-down with Supporters Direct Europe’s Ben Shave, who tells us about the benefits of Fan owned football, and its growth around the world. Next we head to Malta where David Vujanic watched as one of the continent’s smallest clubs, Balzan, took on FK Željezničar Sarajevo. Finally, we catch up with Kick TV for a reflection on the Women’s World Cup, and how it has re-awakened the passion for football in the North American Continent.
We sat down with Spencer FC to talk about this new show, and what we can expect to see in the coming months.
What inspired the idea of the Rail?
We wanted to give a voice to different fans across the world who are under represented and celebrate the things that we love about football, and make sure that football goes in the direction that we want it to go in. There is no one else talking about this stuff on Youtube so that is great as well
Why is it important to cover some of the lesser-known aspects of the game?
I think that now a-days the big money clubs are causing other sides of football to get behind Sometimes the dominant media follows where the money is, to make the generic fans happier. But the people who live and breathe it every day want to hear this stories, and that is what the rail will do.
Why is Youtube such a good medium for this?
We are so much closer to the fans than mainstream broadcasters. There are very little barriers between viewer and the content creator. So the fans can feed into the story lines that we do each week. In many cases the comments have inspired us to cover what we cover. And the community within the comments talk to each other, and with a well-made show with good intentions; the comments section becomes a forum itself, which is really nice to see. Lastly, Youtube is a for an audience world wide, not just an American or English one, which is another positive.
What about this episode stood out to you?
The fact that as a West Ham fan I am going to see the games in Europa League myself right now. Its interesting to see how the Cork fans experience it versus myself. West Ham is qualified thanks to good behaviour, while a team like Cork has had to over come a lot to get there. Its great to see a fan owned club doing so well in Europe, especially as I have such a love for Oviedo. So I hope that one of these teams can one day win something, and show that you can have real success on the pitch by doing things the right way.