The film we are making features West Ham’s Mark Noble and Declan Rice and explores the possibility of an individual being a true fan if they live on the other side of the world to their club.
Customarily, football fans have been choosing to support their local team or join their family in following a certain club. Stadiums of football matches would usually be full of local people from the local area. Mostly, everybody had the same looks, and they mostly spoke the same language.
On the other hand, things have transformed radically over a period of time. According to Betway, Football has changed, too and it is now a global game with Premier League clubs, and moreover, they have got supporters from different corners of the world. Things like globalization, easy worldwide travel, the internet, and satellite television have all played vivid roles in turning football into one of the most popular sports in the world.
At present, fans are capable of following whatever team they like, even if they literally live on the other side of the globe to their club. There are several Premier League clubs that have fan groups based in countries all around the world and the fans take time out every week to watch their team – even if it sometimes means getting up at 3 am. There has been a huge rise in clubs going on pre-season tours to the likes of Asia and the United States of America to spend some time engaging with their promising fan-bases and to provide these supporters with a feelingof what it is like to watch their team in the flesh.
Not only the Clubs go to different lengths to keep in touch with their fans, but there are some supporters too, who travel hundreds and thousands of miles to watch Premier League games here in England.
But the question stands:Are they true fans? Are they living and breathing like the match-going fans back in England do?
Over Land and Sea,our documentary is an attempt to find out. Our documentary tells the story of Pan, a West Ham supporter based in Shanghai, China, who came to be a hit on the internet after Mark Noble posted a photo of him on Twitter two years ago.
Pan discloses how he became a fan of West Ham, why he decided to choose them over more successful teams such as Liverpool,Manchester United or Chelsea, who his favourite player West in Ham is, what meaning does the Hammers have in his life and what is the extent he is willing to go to follow his club.
There are exclusive contributions from legendary West Ham captain Mark Noble, England international Declan Rice and former Manchester City full-back Pablo Zabaleta, in the documentary as well. The film also features two local fans who travelled from London to Shanghai to watch the Hammers play in the 2018/19 Premier League Asia Trophy.