Attica! Attica!

It's hard to escape the back-and-forth regarding the fans of Italian football. Its tentacles reach everywhere, leaving no subject untouched. On the one hand, you have those advocating the tessera del tifoso; on the other hand you have the more reasonable people. Roma's ex prefect, Achille Serra, has joined the latter group this week, as he wondered aloud if anyone at all could explain to him the use of the tessera seeing how most violence takes place outside of stadiums (a not-so-minor detail that has been pointed out since the project's inception). Claudio Lotito, upset at not having been asked anything at all by anyone in the last three minutes, chimed in with his opinion:

When there were revolts in the prisons they built the prisons in another way, and the revolts stopped. If you can't give the fans the comforts of a modern stadium, they won't continue to come.

Fans are inmates in the world of Lotito. Got it. Meanwhile, the tessera sees fans as consumers. Is it any wonder the crevasse between fans and authorities (clubs very much a part of the latter) is growing steadily? Possibly the last game to allow it saw more than 20.000 romanisti travel the five hours to Milan for the Italian Supercup against Inter, yet a month later only 38.000 fans went to Olimpico for the serie A encounter. To put it into perspective, 20.000 away fans is one of the best showings ever in Italian football, while not even the double of that in a home game against the European champions is an appallingly low figure. Six months prior the same fixture drew over a third more in attendance. Season ticket sales are down across the board in serie A, and in Genoa the authorities showed to all of Europe the kind of offensive incompetence Italian fans have been forced to adapt to. Or stay at home, as more and more are doing. And who can blame them, when they're seen as inmates, consumers or terrorists (or all if the aforementioned in a strange concoction)  depending on who you ask.