So I have just been to watch Reading. I thought a lot about Hull City during the game.
Despite the similar-sized stadiums and clubs been of reasonably equal stature on average over the past 5-6 years, there were many differences.
Before you ask, it was a free ticket and I supported Barnsley, albeit secretly.
1. I paid £8.80 for two pre-match pints in a local pub. I probably would have got four pints in Hull.
2. The food looks much better at Reading. At Hull the seats look more edible that the hot dogs. At Reading, the food looks appealing – and they sell fish and chips at the Madejski – no surprise with Reading being well-known for its fishing.
3. I didn’t see anyone smoking in the toilets at the Reading game.
4. They played music after the Reading goal. WTF? If Hull City think there is an uproar about the name change – that is nothing compared to what would happen if they dared play after-goal music.
5. The quality of football was much poorer than Hull. To be expected given that it was a lower division but some of the mis-hits were shocking.
6. Booing. 1-1 at half-time and there was some audible booing. At full-time, having lost 3-1 at home, admittedly against the team at the bottom of the division, there was significant booing, and also jeering after mistakes. A lot of negativity. Far more booing than I have heard at Hull in recent seasons. A bit of reality is required, Reading fans – 6th in the Championship is decent. Less jeering, more supporting.
7. Even at 3-1 down with 5 minutes to go, there was only a trickle of fans leaving. At Hull there would be streams leaving if it was 1-1 which is totally nonsensical. And if people think the traffic is bad in Hull then you ain’t seen nothing compared to Reading! Though there does seem to be much more organisation at Reading in terms of various park and ride systems, loads of buses, plenty of nearby car-parks, etc.
8. The Circle (or the KC Stadium if you have to call it by it’s official name) is hardly renowned for its atmosphere but I recall hearing just ONE chant tonight by the Reading fans, which was after the game – “That was embarrassing, that was embarrassing…”. One chant, is indeed embarrassing.