Right! Put down your copy of Cosmo, switch off that Monty Python film and put away the Monopoly board – I need to have a word with you Huddersfield Town fans!
A bit of a surreal demand I know, but I would doubt any of you Town followers would even recognise yourselves from a survey that dropped on the sports desk at the Examiner this week.
I say dropped on the desk, it arrived by email and – as I know no-one expects this column to be cutting edge journalism – is actually third-hand by the time I pass the information on to you dear reader.
The report is from Trinity Mirror’s Data Bulletin which is essentially a survey group keeping tabs on other survey groups – in this case YouGov.
If only we had known about managing labour resources this way when I was younger, we wouldn’t have had to listen to Jim Callaghan endlessly banging on about how many millions were unemployed.
But to get to the point, YouGov have done a survey that has attempted to give a snapshot of how different football fans are up and down the country.
I know you probably thought as I did that the main difference was they eat stottie cakes in the North East, pies in the north west and pickled eggs down south and otherwise we were pretty much the same.
However, the YouGov results for Huddersfield Town fans say that they are generally males between the age of 18 and 24 who describe themselves as geeky, they enjoy television quiz show Only Connect, their favourite film is Monty Python And The Holy Grail, John Cleese is their favourite celebrity, their magazine of choice is Cosmopolitan and their hobbies are mainly playing board games and collecting things.
It certainly brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘What’s the word on the terraces?’ No longer is that an enquiry about the latest transfer gossip on the Kilner Bank, but the upshot of someone dropping their Travel Scrabble tiles during a particularly exciting passage of play.
Now the TM Data Bulletin we received was flagging up the fact that the YouGov findings might best be taken with a pinch of salt as the market research could be flawed given the sample size for the survey was fewer than 100.
Really? 100! I would have thought you were talking under 10 given the very specific nature of the results.
Then it struck me, there’s a huge whiff of collusion about this and I suspect you Huddersfield Town fans of deliberately telling market researchers a bunch of well-rehearsed old rubbish just so they will leave you alone as you try to make your way down New Street.
In some ways this is a little unfair of you Town fans and you should be ashamed, many of the proprietors of these dummed-down populist mags need these surveys just to survive – or at least be able to afford to put their kids through private schools and have three holidays a year.
In fact, I was sat waiting in the barbers the other day and picked up one of these publications and it was crammed with these surveys. It was called Chat magazine – it’s a bit niche, but if you like French cats it’s brilliant!
But to try and drag this column back to some semblance of being serious, if you Town fans are out there corrupting market research polls deliberately then I have to salute you for the most ingenious act of football hooliganism ever perpetrated.
However, if I have read this situation incorrectly, I shall leave you alone and let you get back to finding out if Miss Scarlet has really done it with the lead pipe in the ballroom in your latest round of Cluedo, joining in with the dialogue on the Knights who say Ni scene for the thousandth time, fantasising about Victoria Coren-Mitchell or flicking through Cosmo for the latest tips on laser hair removal treatments – oh, and getting ready for the derby showdown with Sheffield Wednesday, of course.