HomeNewsSquadThe ClubMatchesTicketsCommercialFeaturesCommunity Football SchemeDons Trust
Latest FeaturesArchived FeaturesMultimedia
This is the old official AFC Wimbledon website, preserved for posterity.
For the current official site click www.afcwimbledon.co.uk
    feature

Sunday 02 January 2005
Champagne song responses in full

In the Whyteleafe programme we printed a selection of the views we received about the champagne song ? here, as promised, are the answers in fuil:

In the days of yore when the Champagne song was penned, rehearsed and reworked over many a beer I found it witty, able to shock the easily shocked and mildly potentially 'offensive' (with a very small 'o'). After all, that was the brief. It was a modern version of the old terrace fave "in your Northern slums" if you will.

These days I think it's slightly tired as a song and many seem to agree as I think it's rarely sung. That'll sound odd to many who bemoan it - but here's the point. It is now notorious. Championing it is seen as upholding the right to unsanitised football viewing. A knee-jerk to the gentrification of the game many grew up enjoying to a large extent for it's earthy catharsis.

It doesn't shock me nor offend me, but I do think it's sad that it in some ways appears to have become an anthem for us, surely there's a bit more to us than that song suggests? That aside, singing about the (sometimes not even present) opposition having ahem, 'poor' employment isn't even massively appropriate given the sometimes-salubrious surroundings we now ply our trade in. I do however feel a "ban" is massively unenforceable and almost certainly inappropriate. It would cause a vacuum and another 'shocking' song would replace it.

We have two issues here, the appropriateness of "banter" type songs ? traditionally sung to the opposition - and of course the closer confines whereby everyone can hear every song, unlike Plough Lane and Selhurst.

Were it racist or homophobic I'd want anyone singing it banned for life, but I believe I am being accurate when I say it was 'written' to shock within boundaries, that is the people that launched it are not racist nor homophobic and that's why so many have trouble making their mind up if it really is offensive or merely something to upset easily upset types.

--

It is not the place of officials to tell people what they can and cannot sing on the terraces. If people don't like it, tough. It is this and many other songs they either don't or won't like that kept us warm on trips up north and to the games when the people who sing this song were the only ones there. This should be respected as much as their right to not like it.

--

I remember when the song was first sat at a dismal away game at Leeds United. It was probably the only thing that made me smile all day.

It has since become a fans? favourite, though I can see how the words can offend a minority, the fact is it is now sung by fans of many league (and probably Conference) clubs. Personally I find chants that a (usually much smaller) minority of our fans sing about the grounds/ability of the poorer opposing teams we face far more offensive. These are clubs ran on a shoestring by tiny committees and I am sure such chants must hurt such officials and give any neutral spectators a bad impression. I remember how I felt about such chants back in the days of Plough Lane when our ground was the subject of ridicule from certain opponents.

So, as to what to do about the chant, I don't think anything. We have a lot more important things to worry about in my view. If it really does offend that many people though, how about encouraging the second verse to be sung - that may be slightly less offensive?

--

As a parent of two children (12 & 8) who regularly attend with me I have to say that even raising the issue of the Champagne Song is laughable. If we ban certain songs where will it lead? How could it be enforced ?

Anyone claiming to be offended by it should remember that it?s a football match we are talking about - not a night at the opera. Chances are these are the same people who thought we should shut up and watch the football during the MK protests. Like it or not colourful language is now part of everyday life. Children of school age will already know all the swear words they hear at the game and no doubt a few more besides.

Personally I find the champagne song mostly inappropriate these days (it always played better to northern clubs) and rather boring considering the current opposition etc. By asking for views in such a high profile way the club has ensured that it will now be aired more regularly as people seek to defend their rights to sing what songs they like. I would rather the club spent time instead improving the atmosphere at home games. Passion means that you can never ban swearing as emotions will run high.

I myself have been known to utter the odd swear word but if any action is deemed appropriate, perhaps we could seek to tackle the one or two mindless individuals who swear incessantly and who persist in using the c word. Anyone behind the goal at Cray will know what I mean. There again if I had been truly offended I could have either asked the individual concerned to shut up (I am big enough and ugly enough!) or I could have moved to another area. I chose to do neither. Frankly if you find the songs offensive then move to another part of the ground.

--

The champagne song has been around for years so I don't know why people are getting uptight about it, there?s far worse spoken on the terraces and on the
pitch and I don't see how it would be possible to discourage people from singing this as its more likely to make them sing it more: Look at people standing at Old Trafford. (Wimbledon fans are actually credited for this song in a book about football songs.) Let?s have more humourous songs.

--

Just a quick e-mail to say that, even though I have a poor job and my wife is a whore, neither of us find this song offensive!

--

I was disappointed that programme space was given over to debating the Champagne song, - it all sounds very New Labour to me. The song may be
tasteless and near the knuckle, but it is also classic football humour.
What kind of person attends a football match expecting to find a sanitised
Disneyland? It reminded me of a Fast Show character who loved football,
because it was the trendy thing to do. He knew nothing of football, nor of
his adopted team and would even turn up with a hamper and napkins. Be under
no illusion, there have been times when it is the West Bank who have won us
games - they are the people who really support the team, sometimes
vociferously. A supporter is not someone who watches a game in an inert
state of calm - get real. I agree there have been times when the line has
been crossed, but mainly in AFC?s early desperado days. The board should
not waste its time listening to puritanical snobs worried about our morals.
Racism or true hooliganism would be another matter, because that?s when both
innocent people and the club get hurt. If there are people who are offended
by the champagne song, then perhaps they should find another club or sport
that can cater for their needs. The other option is that AFC ban a large
number of supporters for uttering a few naughty words - I wonder what that
would do for revenue and team performances with a ground then half empty and
populated by dullards?

--

As a Wimbledon fan since 1983 and a regular at Kingsmeadow, I fully support the idea of democracy at our football club but debating this song? It?s a ridiculous waste of time! Its part of Wimbledon folklore and the West Bank is still the heart of the club. What will the consensus be? There can only be one outcome of this debate - the song will be continue to be sung and louder. The terrace is a spontaneous environment where humorous chants are born and either catch on or die, closely tied to the ebb and flow of a match and the atmosphere surrounding the club. Trying to debate or control this is another step on the road to the gentrification of football. Did those who have complained fail to see the humorous side to this song? We're taking the mickey out of ourselves! (And most away fans I've spoken to love the song too...)

--

Eh? Sorry, but I can't see what's so bad about that the Champagne Song. Chants like ?the referee's a..? or ?who the -------- hell are you? contain bad language but lack the humour of the Champagne Song. After all, anything that starts ?we drink champagne, we snort cocaine?, when most of those singing it actually just drink Stella, surely can't be taken too seriously?

--

My take on the Champagne Song is that is not offensive but it is also not particularly funny or original. Indeed, when it is sung the fact that it tends to fade halfway through suggests that a good number of those are singing it are doing so with less than 100% enthusiasm. It is dull, childish and a poor reflection on the collective wit and intellect of the songsters on the West Bank. I would be quite happy to never hear it again.

--

I must say I don't like the Champagne Song. I swear & curse at football matches much more than I should, but it?s spur of the moment feelings, not premeditated.

I find the sentiments and vulgarity of the champagne song distasteful. As I am sure others have said, it certainly doesn't contribute to the "family" atmosphere that we try to create for this community club. Supporting your own community's team should not mean abusing others. We are not going to stop people singing it, some people probably think it is in some way part of Wimbledon's history. I disagree but I am sure they won't be persuaded.

It is one thing singing that "kind" of song in a crowd of 20,000 people to Man U fans. Its quite another to sing it to one man and his dog in a crowd of under 3000! Maybe some of the fans used to bigger stadia and atmospheres (OK apart from lack of atmosphere at Selhurst!) have not quite adapted yet to the different atmosphere that might be more suitable at a non-league ground.

--

I am so pleased there is to be a debate about this song, which has caused considerable damage to our club and which I and my wife certainly find offensive, as do many of the people who sit near us.

During our time at Selhurst Park a number of season ticket holders, mostly women with children, decided not to renew their tickets solely because of this song. When we moved to the Fans' Stadium it was so upsetting to hear local families, who had decided to try the AFC experience for the first time, saying, and these are real quotes, "I thought this was supposed to be a family club? We will certainly not be
bringing our children here again." I particularly remember a mother, with two young children, turning to us in the main stand and saying; "I cannot believe you allow this. Do you want my children to learn this and join in?" In typical British fashion we all pretended not to hear and looked the other way.

So many people have worked so hard, and continue to work so hard, for this club, it is a great shame that a few people can undermine that hard work and lose us so much support.

How can we sell ourselves as a family club, working for the good of our local community and supporters, a club against racist and homophobic abuse, when this is our unofficial club song?

Do we want our young supporters and our youth teams to join in? Do we expect our loyal female fans to sing this in support of our team? Do the management and officials of this club sing this song at celebratory moments?

We considered not renewing our season tickets this season but were assured the situation was being addressed. We really hope it is, because this song spoils our Saturdays and has certainly stopped us from bringing friends. It is puerile, sexist and sends out all the wrong messages about this fantastic club. It makes us sound like
Millwall circa 1970.

One official said to me when I complained, "Yes, but what can you do?" You can do what you would do if the singing was racist or homophobic - stop it! All that is required is the will.

--

I really do hope that the club aren't proposing any sort of sanction on singing the Champagne Song. If there is any 'nannying' of the crowd required, it should be to stop deeply personal insults being fired at opposition goalkeepers. These lads aren't professionals and whilst they should expect some banter, that sometimes gets a little too much.

As for the Champagne song, well... It is a chant so laced with humour and irony that if we were forced to abandon it you'd be losing a fairly significant part of what makes us Wimbledon. I've been to Chelsea and Man Utd where we've chanted ?**** Ground, no fans?; I've heard us sing ?It's just like watching Brazil? when we've been losing 5-0 at Villa and then celebrating like we'd won the league when we got a consolation.

Yes, it has some choice words in it. So do a lot of football chants. It is part and parcel of the game, and if people don't like the Champagne song frankly I'm sorry but that is unfortunately something they will just have to live with.

--

The bigger picture is that there are far worse things sung at just about every other football ground in the country. Besides which, the lyrics are just a bit tongue in cheek, and I can?t think any members of the opposition, be it fans or players, can seriously be offended.

--

Whatever your views about the content of the song and the appropriateness of singing it, you have to admit that the words are pure genius! Shakespeare would have been proud.

--


Are people (plural?) complaining because of factual errors contained within the verse? Because their auntie might be offended? Can't believe it might be because one of their progeny hasn't learnt any new words yet - otherwise we'd be providing a valuable service to the obviously undereducated sections of younger fanatic.
It's funny, borders on being clever - which is why it's popular - and I certainly am not offended by it. Much better than having a Stepford chant of "AFC AFC Rah Rah Rah", surely?

--

I love the Champagne song. It is one of our most original, creative and tuneful songs and educational to children at the same time. Plus it doesn't contain any offensive swearwords.

That?s my view

--

As a lifelong Wimbledon fan residing in Norwich I only get to go to game
very infrequently. On the occasions I have been down to Kingsmeadow, I
have thoroughly enjoyed my time standing on the terraces singing some new,
and some old Wimbledon songs. One of these is the 'Champagne' song, which
I find amusing, particuarly as there seems to be a new verse added each
time I attend.

As I have always attended football games (usually Norwich games with my
mates), I have heard many different football songs, as I am sure most fans
have and I can safely say that there are far more offensive songs out there
than the one of ours.

As a Wimbledon fan living in Norwich I have been the victim of years of
verbal abuse, but I accept this as part of being a football fan. Some of
the funniest times at football matches have been the banter between the
sets of fans and all the 'Champagne' song does is add to the banter. Do
people find the song 'Chelsea fans are fat and thick?' offensive? I was
with a Chelsea fan and he found it very funny!

Last year I went with my Dad to the last game of the season and knowing
that my dad wouldn't like some of the language that may get used in certain
areas of the ground, we chose to stand near the half way line. If people
are offended by this song, then there are other areas of the ground that
they could go and watch the game from. If I went to the opera I would expect
there to be silence throughout the performance, but at a football game I
would expect shouting, swearing and a good sing song. This is what happens
at football matches.

Keep the song and sing it loud and proud.

--

I just wanted to send a quick e-mail to say that I like the song, always have and would be very disappointed if it were to be banned. I would like to know whether the person in question who is complaining about it, ever felt the need to complain to the management of Wimbledon FC when they played at Selhurst? I would like to go back as far as Plough Lane, but unfortunately never saw them play there, therefore do not know whether the song was ever sung there or not.

Also, is the world going mad and so politically correct now-a-days that we are unable to chant a slightly risqué song on the terraces? Where would football be without it? If the club decided to take that route, then perhaps they would like to ban swearing from the entire ground (inc players and management on the pitch). If you charged a pound for every obscenity uttered - I don't think the club would suffer from any money troubles for a long while.

The banter between spectators is part of the reason I enjoy watching footie. Is this person offended because he supports the opposition and takes the song seriously? If not, tell them to go and watch the under 5's play at my local park on a Sunday morning - that should be right up there street.

--

I'm not sure if I am on the correct wavelength but if its the song that includes reference to sex with dogs I find it very offensive. I have noticed sections of the crowd hush when that particular song is sung as they, and I, find it so shocking. Moreover it denigrates the family atmosphere that we are proud of and will reduce family attendance at the ground.
Anything that can be done to clean up our act regarding offensive songs or chants would definitely be for the benefit of the club.

--

When I played, I used to sing along with it. (An ex-player)

--

I DESPISE, have always despised, and will always despise the so called champagne song and cringe every time I hear it. It is so offensive and achieves nothing apart from displaying the abysmal ignorance of those who chant it and, by association, the whole of the Wimbledon supporters and organisation.

--

You ask for fan?s views on what you should do about it. Well my answer is nothing. This country is after all supposedly a ?free? country with free speech. It?s a football song and that is that. How would it be policed? It doesn?t contain any really bad language and whilst could be construed as offensive to the opposition fans surely all football fans worldwide bait each other.

I assume that the people who are against the song, never ever sang the ?Koppell song? which, although in my opinion summed up how we all felt, I did feel could be offensive to parents of young children due to the swear word used.

--


I think the Champagne Song is part of the banter that goes on at football. In my view AFC fans are just about the most unoffensive going and believe this will be borne out as we move through the pyramid and meet teams with larger and more vocal support than at present. Of course there will always be people who are offended by things that are said at football matches. But it is a game of passion and that passion will always be reflected by the support from the terraces. I don't believe the club should be looking at censoring what the supporters can and can't sing unless of course it breaks the law (e.g. racist comments, songs).

--

Do nothing. It is just a song. It is not personal. If you ban it it will
be political correctness gone mad.

--

I live in China, which is a country obsessed by censorship. However, fans at football matches here spend the whole game shouting obscenities - which are far worse then the Champagne song - at players and officials. But they would never dream of trying to ban this act. This is part of the atmosphere and we shouldn?t be wasting our time by debating what to do. It?s not personal abuse - which I do not condone, such as racism - but just good fun. I'm sure the opposition is not offended by this and I have heard far worse from opposing fans. The AFC fans that are offended by this should stop going to any football matches as rude songs will always be sung.

--

I don't particularly like the song (not least because it tries unsuccessfully to rhyme
"here" with "game"), but I'm not offended by it. More importantly, I would hate the club to try and police singing on the terraces. God knows it's hard enough
for stewards to do their job without simultaneously having to act as the paramilitary wing of the Daily Mail. Stamping out stuff like racism or homophobic abuse is one thing, but I don't think the Champagne Song is remotely in the same league.
By way of comparison, that song about Koppel was maybe a bit close to the bone, but when Crystal Palace provided a big TV and cheerleaders to dance along to
it, even that became sanitised (perhaps the club might consider going down a similar route to make the Champagne Song more acceptable?). I appreciate people
bring children to matches and it's regrettable that they might have to hear that. But the choice is either (i) offending people by having bad language at football matches, or (ii) offending people by saying that you're not allowed to swear at football
matches anymore, and joking aside, I think the latter is worse. It's the sort of nonsense that Franchise would come up with.

I appreciate the club might feel the need to consult on this because of concerns from some fans. But personally I have found the brainless shouting of homophobic abuse at opposition goalkeepers far worse, so if something is to be targeted, I don't think it should be the Champagne Song.

--

If it's the song I think it is, it puts me off bringing my children to matches.

Whilst we are on the subject, the general level of swearing elsewhere on the terraces has the same effect. And it's not just from teenagers - there are mature supporters f-ing and blinding who should know better. The use of the c-word and the f-word is not necessary and is nearly as offensive as racial abuse - on which the club has taken a very good stand. We are a nice club with intelligent fans - aren't we? If the language my kids will be exposed to becomes acceptable, I am much more likely to bring them.
--

I found it amusing the first time I heard it...but that was at the FA Cup game at Wycombe Wanderers. I think it should now be buried along with the Franchise.

--

Hi, I personally don't like it at all but I respect the rights of the supporters who sing it.

--

As a teacher who is usually pretty PC, I am not a huge fan of the champagne song and I also do not believe in the right to free speech when that free speech is offensive and likely to cause or increase the hatred in the world but...
...the reason I do not find the champagne song particularly offensive is that the language in it is so over the top that no one takes it seriously and the humour is not aimed at one particular group in society (just the oppo, who change every week). In fact, I must confess to singing it myself from time to time.

However, since the debate has been raised, I personally find abhorrent the homophobic chants/abuse and the songs about 'pikeys'. The reason for this is that it is based on negative stereotyping and serves to promote that stereotype which, in turn, promotes hostility, hatred and intolerance.

What to do about it? I will continue to tell people around me (well...friends and those smaller than me anyway) not to sing these songs but this does not have a huge impact and I don't always do it anyway. I would support a ban but suspect it is unworkable until society sorts itself out more. We managed it with anti-racism and one day we will manage it with other aspects of intolerance. Unfortunately, football fans are disproportionately misogynistic, homophobic and intolerant.

--

There must be people with a lot of time on their hands to worry about the contents of a football song! It may be vaguely offensive to a bunch of hyper-sensitive spectators, but for most I should imagine that it simply entertains the crowd,
opposition supporters and players. One benefit, as far as I am concerned, is that it is unique to our club (I think) and we are a unique club. Do our players have a view? If so, what?

There are a lot worse things which have been and are sung inside football grounds and it is not enough to stop me taking my parent, nephew or friends- they are
robust enough to know that I am not personally responsible for what they hear, even if it is not the sort of thing I have the creativity to compose myself. Leave it alone and let's concentrate on singing anything!

--

Just a quick response to express my views on the ?champagne song? issue. To ban or discourage a song from being sung on the terraces in my opinion is wrong. For many people the freedom to sing and shout along with their fellow supporters is one of the main attractions of attending matches. Attempting to control this in such a way would set a potentially damaging precedent. Where would the line be drawn? A ban on swearing altogether? Having been a supporter for many years and been to many a football stadium, I can safely say that I have heard a lot worse than the ?champagne song?. Though I don?t wish to be seen as endorsing such songs, I happen to think original songs such as the above, are what make us and continue to make us such a unique club.

--


Quite a few football chants/songs are very offensive/aggressive and you wouldn't want your maiden aunt to listen to the words too closely.

Personally I think the champagne song was passably funny the first time of hearing, but is now just inanely boring. Perhaps the acid test should be to ask the players if they think hearing songs like this helps them to raise their game? I doubt it, but maybe we could be told what they'd like to hear. e.g. what does Joe Sheerin think about his previous club being called 'Scum' - it doesn't really rhyme with Wimbledon anyway. We could just as easily sing - 'He used to be Chelsea, but now he's AFC.'

When it comes to the crunch, I don't think you can stop these type of songs - as we progress up the leagues and meet clubs with larger fan bases, we'll get similar songs/chants sung back at us. It's just at the moment the opposition fans are too few to make themselves heard very much.

--

Basically football chants should be humourous, I guess that is subjective. I sense some parents of small children may be uncomfortable with the lyrics, but then ?number, number, number three etc? repeat as necessary is hardly likely to win awards either.

In terms of offence the worst chanting I've heard on the terrace for some time was at Cray on Saturday when some moron behind me was chanting "take a rifle to a caravan", and various other comments which basically were "kill gypsies"/ and "pikey ****s".

Frankly encouraging people to violence/possible murder is in a different league, and wouldn't be tolerated if it was based on race, gender, sexuality or disability. Sadly "Pikeys" seem to be today's target of hate.

The other week against Dulwich, Peter Garland was subjected to repeated choruses of "he loves his pies", this was in good humour. I suggest that "kill all fat ****s" would not be.

The Champagne Song may offend a few but no one gets hurt.

--

IMo the CS is a great song. Attempts to stop it would be laughable. This is a football club not a tea dance association.

--

I don't actually know it that well and certainly don't know all the words. But what I have heard (being sung across the football pitch) I don't like it. It can come across us as being better than other clubs and I think in the leagues we are in at the moment that isn't appropriate!

But I am not offended enough to ask for anything to happen ... it is just part of football. I am "concerned" I guess about what my 4 year old would make of it but if he asks what is being sung then I would make up alternative words (we have to other songs/chants). I think it is perhaps the way it is sung - ie jokingly then it could be interpreted as being funny. If it is directed at someone (goalkeeper perhaps as in baiting?) individually then I think there could be a problem. I guess if someone makes a complaint to the club direct about someone in particular singing it at them then action should be taken then. Or if the police deem it to be foul and abusive language then they will have to intervene and at that point the club would need to take action but I don't think the club can do anything until then). Any swear word can be deemed by the police to foul and abusive but I think that would only happen alongside other "incidents".

--

The champagne song has been around for years. We?re supposed to be football fans not opera. Anyone offended by the song should hum loudly so they can?t hear it.

--

I?m horrified to learn that there is controversy about the champagne song, it is a song that has been sung for years and is a great part of our club! Those who oppose it should look twice at what they are saying and where they are, as it is a football match and singing is a big pat of it!

--

Although I can understand that the words could cause offence I don?t think we can start banning terrace chants that have become almost trademark . Some people are offended by the F word. But 'Get into 'em-Push em over' just doesn?t sound right. I certainly don?t like Racist or homophobic songs -and singing the Champagne song to 6 fans at a CCL game was just silly. I think it just about passes as 'fit' to sing though.

--

I am a 25 old fan and have been a womble for over 10 years now. It is a very interesting point regarding the Champagne song as, out of the 4 friends who have been watching the dons home and away through this time, 3 of us are fans of the song even now (purely due to the amusing nature of the song and is sung by us in that way and not directed as such to anyone in particular) while the 4th is now very much against singing it now we are non-league.


However, even for me, there have been a couple of occasions where quite simply it is embarrassing. This could be judged as hypocritical considering I have just admitted to partaking in the singing myself on more than 100 occasions, but when you're standing there with a friendly old fan of the opposition who has been following the club for over 30 years, discussing how this is a dream come true for him and the club, and then you hear 500 people singing that song at the top of their voices, well, quite frankly I cringe.

It's a tough one as it is such an 'anthem' now for the club. I still have mates who come to one or two games a year who cannot wait to hear the song we sing when we're drunk on a night out, being sung by 1000 fans. It is funny. And I think 80% of Wimbledon fans would agree with that.



What needs to be considered (and I'm sure that's what this whole debate is about) is, is it overly derogatory to the opposition players/fans? I think it probably is however, I for one, would be disappointed to have it banned. Fully aware what I have written is full of contradiction and waffle but I think that's half the point. It's not an easy decision at all but thought I'd give my dubious insight into it anyway! There will of course be those that spout freedom of speech blah blah, but I think the only way is to hold a fair vote making sure that all parties are equally included. My guess is the opinions of the main stand and west bank will be very different for example!

--

I feel it would be ridiculous to ban this song from the terraces. It is sung with good humour and those who find it offensive really need to go find their humour. Children hear worse things in the playground than they do on football terraces now days. I think the club should concentrate on eliminating prejudice on the terraces relating to sexual orientation and racism. This still occurs on the terraces despite good efforts to eliminate it.

--

Think it is hardly the worst thing ever sung at a football ground. Whoever complained needs to calm down a bit.

--

The Champagne song is sung entirely tongue in cheek and I personally fail to understand how anyone can see it as offensive. True there are some rude words in it but Kingsmeadow is a football ground, we are a football club, and we are football fans. This isn't the opera and is much less offensive than many things you hear at grounds all round the country. Sometimes the atmosphere seems sanitised enough without this being further added too. My suggestion is if you don't like it don't sing it or stand near to those who do. Obviously if the song had any racist or homophobic content I'd be dead against it but I don't believe this is anything more than a 'humorous' football song. Were these same people aghast at the "you've only come for a passport? songs at Dover? With regard to being a family club, I think parents best remember what they used to hear in the playground. I stood on the West Bank at ten years of age and nothing I heard there was worse than I heard at school every hour of every day. And hearing that bad language didn't make me feel the need to use it. I saw, and still see Wimbledon as a family club. Our fans have a great record across the country and are the most friendly and fair I've come across. I've always enjoyed the fact that we have song songs with a sense of humour, even if its taking the mick out of ourselves! I don't personally sing the CS anymore as there are no away fans to sing it to and I'm not sure of its relevance. However in no way should we be telling are fans what to and what not to sing (unless racist/homophobic or sectarian) I always remember when we sang it at football league grounds the opposing fans seemed to find it quite funny.

We are a football club, please lets never lose sight of that.

--

in my opinion this song is offensive and does nothing to project the good image of the club. This song is the only thing about the club that I do not like. I dread to think what families with children make of it. I would like to see a club meeting re this song with a vote taken requesting fans not to sing it and eventually banning it.

--

It's not funny and very childish but it's a free world and I can't see how you/Kris/the Club will be able to stop it.

--

What's all this nonsense about the champagne song? It's a football match not a tea party. If parents don?t want their kids to hear it, the words aren't distinguishable at a distance. It nearly always makes the opposition keeper chuckle and no offence is meant by it. Political correctness going madder and madder by the day.

--

I don't understand what the fuss is about? We're at a football match, not a nun's tea party. The people who get upset about this song must live sheltered lives, because unfortunately swearing is everywhere, on the television, at work, on the streets etc. The Charles Koppell song was worse and no one complained about that. There are much worse things going on at football, such as racist chanting. Also I've seen lads in the West Bank behind the goal wearing BNP badges on their caps. In my opinion that?s much worse.

--

With regards to the Champagne song, I personally do not find it offensive in any way and see it as a bit of fun. The one song/chant however that I do disapprove of and think that the great majority of fans also dislike, is 'Get into em?? There is nothing humorous about this chant and I feel ashamed when it is sung. Can nothing be done to identify the people who sing this as it tends to be a very small minority?

--

The Champagne Song must stay ? however could they do anything about making it actually rhyme? The only part of the song that I consider offensive is the fact that ?here? and ?game? clearly do not rhyme, something that grates every time I hear the end of each verse.

Sadly anyone who takes true offence to the song should really ask themselves whether a live football match, or indeed any televised game with no ?mute? button and no ability to lip-read, is the best place for them to spend their time.

Where will this line of enquiry end? Players fined by the club for swearing within earshot of the fans? Fans ejected from the ground for swearing within earshot of the players? Halftime stonings for anyone saying Jehova???


Perhaps, to compromise, we could interchange versus with a milder version of the song?

We chill champagne
We snort nothing
We?ve both genders, over here
You?ve got desk jobs,
You breed your dogs
And your wife earns, a respectable wage.

You?ll notice I?ve travelled the traditional AFC route and not bothered with the tricky aspect of rhyming the song.

--

For me - someone who sings the song, and someone who knows well the two chaps
who wrote it (in the Duke's Head, Putney, after the FA Cup defeat at Fulham) -
I can see why some people might be offended by it, but they are missing the
point - on the back of a 3-0 defeat at our local rivals, it was dreamed up as
a self-parody. Nothing more than that. It may now have become an anthem where
we gloat over everyone (but how many other clubs don't have such a song), but
people should remember that it is nothing more than self-parody.

And if we're going to start down this road, how many other songs will there
be? No songs about pie-eating keepers, right? Might I suggest, too, that
football terrace culture is based around such songs, and it is a song that is
now regarded by some authors as a terrace classic. And if you can't be loud
and offensive on a football terrace (within the law), where can you be? This
is football, not the theatre. Things might be different if the complaints were
coming from away fans. However, as they are coming from our fans, I would
suggest that those fans either don't stand where the singers are, or else
stand right there and start up other songs instead.

--

This song is funny the first couple of times you hear it but then I quickly found that it became a rather juvenile, offensive and wholly uneccesary chant. I'd much rather that our fans were singing in praise of our team / club rather than offending our paying visitors, many of whose clubs voted for us to join the Ryman League in 2002. Banter with opposition players, officials and fans is one thing, but gratuitously offending them is different.

--

I think you should ask all those in a position of responsibility at the club and on the DT if they ever sung a song along the lines of ?Hey Charlie Koppel??
If the answer is yes then you can obviously see the hypocrisy in the whole debate and stop all the nonsense waste of time now. If the answer is no then we need to remove these untrustworthy liars from these positions of responsibility immediately, or at the very least demand to know why they didn't sing.
I decided some time ago not to bring my two boys along to matches until near teen years partly because of the general language and partly due to the raw emotions that the game elicits from me that I am not comfortable with them seeing.
I sometimes feel that the champagne song is inappropriate, after all if you said to a bloke in a pub that his wife is a whore he would quite rightly lay you out and follow it up with several broken ribs from his footwear. However if we are to attempt to curtail the singing of songs at matches it is a sad day.
Tough call but if you try to big brother your support it won?t be long before you have a very sterile environment on match days.

--

The song has been sung by Wimbledon fans for years, long before AFC were even thought of! I suggest that those who are offended by it should bring ear plugs, or stand away from those who sing it. This song is a bit of harmless fun that the majority of away fans find amusing. I?ve been following Wimbledon for 24 years and this is the first time I?ve heard of people being offended by it. If you start banning songs that have been part of a clubs history, then you are as guilty as those who move a club to a different town! All I?ve heard since following AFC is that ?we?re the real Wimbledon?, ?We?re the proper crazy gang?. This debate wouldn?t have taken place if we were the real Wimbledon, there?d be more important things to worry about!

--

I can see why people may be offended by some of the words to the Champagne song, it?s not exactly something that you would want your children listening to (or even joining in), however, I have enjoyed singing it and at the end of the day ? It?s only a giggle and we are only singing it to support our team.

--

i think it is a light hearted song sung jokingly and offence should not be taken to it. it can not be taken seriously as there is no truth in the song. in my opinion, it would be silly to ban the song and it is one of my favourite chants.

--
At any level it is derogatory, insensitive and unnecessary. Yes we all swear, get fired up and frustrated, yell at the ref etc and that is spur of the moment stuff. The song is premeditated and totally out of keeping with the generally good family atmosphere. I for one who bring my children am pleased to sit in the stand where the lyrics for those who don?t know them remain muffled and confusing.

It is only going to be a matter of time before my kids want to know what they are singing. Very difficult to police but would be pleased to see it ?removed?.

--

Personally I will not sing ANY song that contains bad language and urge other supporters to follow suit. The song is a relic of the past and has no place at a football ground, especially one with such a diverse supporter demographic. If we are to attract bigger crowds at Kingsmeadow we must be seen to clamp down on such songs.

You may also be interested in correspondence I have had with the Hendon
manager, Gary Farrell, following our FA Trophy game there recently. As
you are no doubt aware the Police made a formal complaint to Hendon FC following
approaches from AFC Wimbledon fans about the behaviour of Hendon's player
Mark Burgess. Gary Farrell, and Hendon FC have fined Mark Burgess for
his behaviour and have apologised for his behaviour.

That said, the provocation Mark Burgess received from a section of the AFC
Wimbledon fan base that day almost certainly led to his display. Whilst
not wishing to condone Mark Burgess's behaviour, our fan base must not be
allowed to issue racist or abusive language against any of the opposition's
playing staff or management team.

In order to reinforce my point please reprint this in a future programme
for all to see. We recently celebrated the "Kick Racism Out of Football"
campaign in the UK. How about extending that ethic to all abusive chanting.

--

There isn?t even a need to debate this as far as I?m concerned. Football is rapidly becoming sterile as it is without Moaning Minnies moving into the Main Stand.

--

It's quality and you know it. Looking forward to the next verse.

--

I would be disgusted if the Champagne Song was outlawed. The general language of football crowds is disgusting anyway and can be very vicious. Whereas the Champagne Song has grown to a virtual legend status and whenever I hear it sung I can normally hear people laughing about it around me.

I have a very young Son and can't wait to take him to watch the Dons when he is slightly older (that way I will be able to go too!) and yes I will be worried about the language that goes on. Don't people realise that some of our fans use filthy language ALL the time at matches?

I say, make it an offence to swear full stop. Charge people a pound if they swear and put the proceeds towards the ground fund. I can guarantee it will be paid off pronto! The Champagne Song is a by product of the general swearing at a match. Why don't we record a couple of songs that we don't swear in and then play them back over the tannoy on a loop?

I'm sorry. This is football, it should be spontaneous, fun and not controlled by a committee. Flippin eck, this seems to be Democracy at its most mad.

--

I must admit that taking my seven year old son to football matches often makes me feel uncomfortable. I don't have a problem with swearing, he's going to hear swearing and as long as he is aware what is acceptable and what isn't acceptable (and I'm happy to make that clear to him) then a bit of fruity language is a part of football (and part of life).

What makes me uncomfortable and what shouldn't be a part of football is the offensive and abusive and "The Champagne Song" falls into that category. Whereas swearing can be explained by high spirits, anxiety or anger, offensive sentiments cannot be so easily explained. And it's not just "The Champagne Song", it is the abuse that players and officials receive in the name of "terrace banter". As far as I'm
concerned it is unacceptable.

Having said all that, however, any attempt to ban it is likely to cause more problems than it resolves, what is needed is for the people who make abusive and offensive chants to be made to realise that it is unacceptable. This is obviously a considerable challenge and I don't expect it to be easily won but the only real way forward is to try and educate rather than to take measures that will be inconsistently
policed and impossible to enforce.

I thank you for the debate because it is a step in the right direction, hopefully the level of discussion will make people realise that this song is offensive to some people and that is as good a reason as any not to sing it.

--

I don't think you can realistically 'ban' the CS until/unless a significant proportion of the KM crowd are roused to complain, which I don't think will ever happen. Have there been complaints from opposition supporters/officials/players I wonder ?

I can only say it would create a dangerous precedent about terrace songs and
whilst outright abuse should be looked at, humour always has a 'target' and
for me the best songs are the spontaneous and witty ones - "We've got Matt
Everard...you've got that tub of lard" at the Dulwich game being a prime
example!

--

I think it is offensive, and in fact a bit old and boring also. It is not a good way in which to represent AFC Wimbledon. I bring up to 3 children, 12, 8 and 6 (all season ticket holders). As a responsible parent it can be quite difficult to explain away what the song means.

I think this song steps over the line. It would be a shame if any kids - the clubs future- were prevented from attending the games because of this song / culture.
However, we do have free speech - and do not want to enter a 'Big Brother' situation, where we tell people what they can and can't do - unless it breaks club rules etc. It is also a football club, that is why I accept industrial language in front of my kids.

The answer, I imagine is to hope new songs replace it. I detest the song / attitude, but trying to ban it would go even more against my principles. Trying to discourage it would be the only way, but most probably would be seen as a challenge, and backfire. So carry on regardless! But always good to have a healthy debate.

--


Please don't ban the Champagne Song. I don't particularly like it myself but I think it would be impossible to implement the ban and would cause bad publicity. To its detriment football has been sanitised so much in the last decade as it is. Telling supporters what they can and can't sing is ridiculous. That said have people said which part of the song they object to? Could the song be rewritten a bit like the Chelsea fans did for the Frank LeBeouf song (He's here, he's there he doesn't like when we swear)?

--

Trying to put it politely. As a fan, it?s our song and we will decide if we sing it or not. I think we are seen as a club with an excellent reputation (and quite rightly) on matters such as racism and hooliganism. But there is a danger that we become so pc that we lose the essence of what being a fan on the terraces is all about. We all wind each others fans up and I am sure when we get to play bigger clubs with more fans we will get similar songs sung back to us, its part of why we go. Some of my best memories at Selhurst (though not many) were the banter we got from Palace fans, and giving some back. No trouble but always entertaining.

On a more practical note, if the board were to try and ban it, what would be the punishment? Expulsion from the ground? Lifelong bans? Once you start to impose these sort of measures you will kill a sector of the core fan base.

I bet the MK Dons don't have a champagne song, because none of them have been around long enough to hear it, know it or recognise it, let alone sing it. It?s part of what we are so lets get real, live and let live.

--

If anyone tries to ban the Champagne Song I will probably resign as a volunteer steward in disgust. We have a hard enough job trying to stop people doing things that actually are offensive or dangerous; trying to stop a large number of people from signing a song with the "highly offensive" word shit in it is beyond a joke. Anyone who thinks their kids don't understand swearing at an early age has obviously forgotten what being at school at the age of 5 was like ...

--

It?s nothing compared to what other clubs sing. Leeds and Liverpool sing about Munich at Man Utd, fans of many teams including Millwall and Man Utd taunt Liverpool with Hillsborough chants, Chelsea make gas oven 'hissing' sounds to Spurs, Bromley and Coney Hall call us HIV Wimbledon (now that's classy!). I could go on, but if the club try and ban our song that's a step too far and would be a serious mistake in alienating the only fans that sing and create an atmosphere anyway. Why don't the moaners in the main stand try singing?

--

I've always considered Dons fans to be rather more worldly than your average football fan. Since I began supporting the club back at the beginning of the Eighties, I have been surprised and delighted by the excellent nature and spirit of Wimbledon supporters, particularly the good humour of the chants and singing. God only knows, you have to be a genuinely good-humoured individual to support Wimbledon! It is my belief that no other club in the top 92 would have been able to achieve what we have done since 2002. That is down to the humour, passion, belief and effort of the fans.

The Champagne Song has every right to remain a terrace favourite. Whilst it's lyrical content might be seen as contentious, (namely, the references to sex, alcohol and drugs), it is the irony with which it is sung that really lauds up Wimbledon FC and AFC Wimbledon in particular. This is good humoured banter by the world's greatest fans - we do not rely on millionaire handouts, big crowds, shirt sales in Japan.

God forbid that we ever experience the racist chanting that has reared its ugly head again recently. The Champagne Song falls into a completely different category - not offensive, but ironic and humorous.

--

I take my young children to see AFCW and of course would prefer them not to hear such language, but am intelligent to understand that this is a)This is Football b)This is 2004 c)They will learn worse eventually d)It is my job to explain to them when such language can be used e)I can do that f)by starting this debate you will hear the song much more :)

--

As a season ticket holder and trust member, I'd like to say we should do absolutely nothing.

The club should concentrate on taking serious action against seriously offensive chanting, and take no action at all against people singing songs which have their roots in playground humour, not bigotry. People making racist chanting should be thrown out and banned, something supported by the law. People suggesting that the away fans of, say, Tooting and Mitcham, have mums who regularly feature in the pages of readers wives should be tolerated with an indulgent smile. Sure, it's silly, it's not really funny any more, but it isn't breaking any rules.

Taking action against it would make the club look like fools, it almost certainly wouldn't work, it would alienate a good chunk of fans who make a disproportionately large amount of the noise at home games, and would have no basis in law at all and could even be challenged in court. The only possible thing to do is to do nothing.

--

This is a really stupid debate. What are the club going to do. Ban it? If so, on what grounds? It's not racist, homophobic and contains no real swearing. It's a football song. If the club do ban it who is going to enforce the ban? At KM you might be able to persuade the Police to arrest or eject the 30 to 50 people who occasionally sing it but I doubt it, but what about away games?

Is it anymore offensive than "In your Chipstead slums" - a song everyone at the time thought was very funny and clever. It is less offensive than singing Pikeys or "The wheels on your house go round and round" to all teams we meet and most definitely less offensive than singing the Loyalist terrorist song "No Surrender to the IRA".

We support a football team and part of that, traditionally, is fans insulting the opposition. I don't remember anyone criticising the Hendon fans for singing "Pub team from Surrey" at us. People should remember the origins of the song. It was started to be sung when we were a little team in the Premier League and we wanted a way of insulting the Northern giants like of Liverpool and Man Utd. Our lack of success prevented us from doing this from a football perspective.

The odd thing is that the song is sung less and less and if people didn't keep going on about, it would probably be forgotten with time. However this re-opening of the debate will put it back to the front of people's minds.

And one final comment - wouldn't all the time and effort wasted talking about one silly football song be better directed toward paying off the debt and moving this club up the pyramid?

--

While I realise that some supporters will be offended by this song (I am not a big fan myself and never actually join in the singing) I feel that this is definitely something in which the club should not become involved. While the song does contain some "bad language" it is neither racist nor homophobic nor is it "sick" (for example the "Munich" song directed at Man U supporters). The song is really more in the nature of fairly good-natured almost ritual abuse (I don't think that many of those singing it really think that supporters of (say) Horsham really "**** their dogs").

If the song did have any of the above features then I could understand pressure for it being "banned" - although even in this case I am not sure how the club could or should enforce such a ban. In the current situation I simply feel that this is something that the club should not get involved in.

I can understand the feelings of those who do not like this chant but - like the supporter of Met Police who told me off for "talking too loudly" during the game - I think that they will have to accept that noise/ chanting is part of the atmosphere of football and that if they do not like it they should go and watch another sport or follow a team with no supporters. Any attempt to enforce a list of "approved" chants will simply cause more bad feeling than it resolves and is more reminiscent of the actions of a plastic "franchise style" club.

--

I find the constant chanting of "Pikeys" when ever we play Bromley etc much more offensive especially when the chanting is from a leading left wing DT member. I for one will not stop singing the "champagne song". It?s a classic.

More "wiberal" hand-wringing from AFCW. The Champagne song is a song of intent its about who we are & where we are from - you could even call it a protest song. Also I think the club should be concentrating on bigger issues. Lets get some prespective here.

--

I understand the song has the potential to offend and possibly seem quite arrogant given current opposition, however the song is funny and original which is often a rarity for us as a group of fans. It summed up nicely the tongue in cheek ?we may be a small club but we have a far superior lifestyle to you? that we had/ needed to have in the premiership where press coverage gives fans of bigger clubs the feeling they are superior to other football fans.

Again I understand it may offend, and does not sit nicely with our (quite correct) ideal of being a community club, and may seem a bit Billy big boots for this level of non-league football but overall I feel it?s a worthwhile contribution to match days especially as singing seems to have declined over the last season (hopefully one plus side of the run ending may be we gain some atmosphere back.) The one song I do find distasteful however is the ?get into them? song, whenever I heard opposition fans singing this I was always proud that I had never heard it at Wimbledon, but it seems to have slipped in more regularly, this song is frankly more offensive and has no comedy value whatsoever.