No 6: Entry of the Gladiators – Julius Fučík (1897)
The homogenisation of the match day experience extends way beyond the ‘flat-pack’ stadiums that have sprung up around the country in the last twenty years so that not only do home supporters have to watch their football from ‘identikit’ grounds (fortunately not at Ipswich) but the two-plus hours that you spend at a game is no longer an experience unique to your club (unfortunately at Ipswich). Take the humble entrance music (the music that is pumped out from the PA system as your team takes to the field) as an example. At Portman Road I believe it’s currently ‘O Fotuna’ by Carl Orff that replaced Fat Boy Slims ‘Right here, Right now’. Close your eyes and you could be at any one of the other 23 Championship Grounds or possibly a Premiership venue, such is the musics wide spread use. Years ago (and I don’t know when it made it’s debut or indeed when it fell into disuse) Ipswich would emerge from the changing rooms to ‘Entrance of the Gladiators’. Composed originally as a military march the music was adopted by circuses to introduce their clowns, which I suspect is the reason it was dropped (after at least a decade of use) at Portman Road. Yes, it was slightly embarrassing but if it was good enough for the teams of Bobby Robson to emerge to then it would certainly do nicely, and be highly more appropriate, for the current team. Bring it back now!