Richie and his boys in Munich. | Richie Prior


Any football aficionado will tell you that a supporter that follows his or her club home and particularly away is a true supporter. Now I’m not putting myself in that bracket, but over the last few weeks I have been lucky enough to go to two of the biggest games my two clubs have played in the last few years. Two clubs? How can you support two clubs, I hear you say. Well, I’ve been an Arsenal supporter all my life, however when I moved to Mallorca I missed the opportunity to go and watch live football. I travel back for a game in London when I can, but Real Mallorca have become my adopted club.

I said the other week that following them to Sevilla was a great experience, even though they lost. It was the same for me and my two boys last week when we travelled to Munich to see Arsenal play in the Champions League quarter-finals. Finding tickets was not easy, and this is when a good network of friends comes in handy. Thank you to Debbie at Inspire Sport who managed to get them for us.

My wife said to all of us before we went, aren’t you going to take a coat? We had looked at the weather forecast, which didn’t look great, but none of us felt we needed one. Which in truth was a schoolboy error. As soon as we arrived in Munich, it was raining, which also turned to hail and sleet! We managed to find the bar that many of the Arsenal fans were in, which was right in the centre of the city. It was an Irish bar that was right opposite a huge German beer hall, so you can imagine that everyone was enjoying the German hospitality. We decided to get to the ground early as I remembered how difficult it was to get there the last time I went, and also the boys were excited to see it. The Allianz Arena is situated in the north of Munich and is one of Europe’s most striking grounds. It certainly is impressive, and the atmosphere was amazing with a crowd of 75,000. One thing I’ve noticed in European games is within the Ultra fans there always seems to a “conductor” who starts all the songs. In Munich, there were two of them orchestrating everything. It’s not something you see so much in the UK, as it’s normally someone randomly starting each chant.

You probably don’t need me to tell you the score, but two defeats in two away trips for my two teams certainly wasn’t great. But spending time with my boys and enjoying the atmosphere of the two different cities meant the results were soon forgotten about. We all agreed that going to away fixtures was actually more fun than going to home games, and it’s something that we will look to do more of in the future.

Travelling away from the island has been interesting these past few weeks. We’re lucky to get the residents discount on flights and ferries travelling interisland and to the mainland. Although it does sometimes seem that companies take advantage of this by putting up their prices. But one of the main things is how easy it is to pass through customs travelling within Europe. Apart from showing our TIE identity cards at the check-in, we would just walk through at the other end. I can’t help feeling that Brexit has ruined that form of travel for us Brits and all the hanging around we have to do now. I’ve talked before about the difficulties in employing Brits now with the freedom of movement taken away. Which then begs the question, has Brexit actually been worth it? If anyone can give me a positive, then I’m willing to listen.