RETRO REPORT-FEBRUARY, 1996:long-Suffering Fans Identify with Failure

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Byline: By TONY WOOLWAY Western Mail

FANS of losing teams suffer blows to their confidence which can lead to depression and leave them believing they will not succeed at their personal ambitions, research reveals.

Feelings of self-worth diminish as fans brace themselves to meet mocking work colleagues on Monday mornings and wallow in the reflected failure of their team.

They are likely to stop wearing their team shirt for a while and will seek information anonymously because that way they cannot be identified personally with failure, says Glamorgan University social psychology lecturer Adam Joinson.

Mr Joinson and Sussex University lecturer Dr Peter Harris studied how often football fans accessed the internet for information on their team after 77 football matches last season.

They found that although accessing football team information on the worldwide web rose from 500 on a non-match day to 800 calls after a win, calls remained at 500 after a loss. …