The 2023 K-League keyword is ‘bus’.
Recently, some K-League 1 clubs, including Jeonbuk Hyundai and Suwon Samsung, experienced protests from fans for ‘blocking the bus’. After losing 1-2 in the 3rd round away game against Suwon FC on the 11th of last month, Suwon received strong protests from fans. A week later, in a match against Daejeon Hana Citizen held at home, even after losing 1-3, the fans ‘blocked the bus’. At that time, Suwon coach Lee Byeong-geun went to the court in front of the fans.
Jeonbuk also experienced a dizzying ‘bus blocking’ recently. Jeonbuk lost 1-2 in their home game against Pohang Steelers on the 1st. Fans were outraged. Blocked the squad bus. Some fans even lay down to prevent the bus from moving. A standoff lasted over an hour. Jeonbuk coach Kim Sang-sik personally stepped forward and started a conversation with the fans. Jeonbuk proceeded with ‘welcome the bus’ earlier, but it was regrettable that even this had changed to ‘block the bus’.
It is not the first time that ‘blocking the bus’ has occurred in the K-League. Even last season, Daegu FC and FC Seoul experienced ‘blocking the bus’ by fans. But this year the story is different. Less than a month after the opening, “Block the Bus” appeared. Fans are saying, “I endured enough”. In fact, Suwon fell to the abyss of the promotion playoffs (PO) last year. Jeonbuk Province’s ‘Hyundai rival’ Ulsan Hyundai left fans disappointed. He tried to restore his honor, but nothing changed at once. From the point of view of the fans, there is no choice but to be frustrated. Fans aren’t just criticizing the squad. A message of criticism is being sent to the front desk that runs the club. This is the reason why hangings are hung all over the stadium and there is a cheering boycott.
This is completely understandable. However, there are voices complaining of ‘bus fatigue’ from all over the place due to the ‘bus blocking’ that occurred after the opening 5 games. The K-League members are not good at watching the ‘blocking the bus’ mixed with anger from the fans. An official from A said, “The fans want to communicate. Some coaches got off the bus and listened to the fans and gave an answer. However, what the fans want is ultimately someone’s responsibility. It is difficult to determine responsibility at that moment. If you really want to communicate, you have to talk through meetings, etc. This is something that can cause emotional and physical problems.” Official B said, “If it was fashionable in the past to criticize the opposing team, now it seems to be a trend to criticize one’s own cheering team. In fact, I think it is possible to hang a curtain in the stadium and voice criticism. However, ‘ ‘Blocking the bus’ is violence. It could lead to an accident.”
The words of Choi Yong-su, head coach of Gangwon FC, are worth pondering. Coach Choi recently said, “Of course, we cannot avoid taking responsibility for the outcome of the game. But a leader is also a person. I think it would be good to wait, trust, and show trust. I was once trapped (on the bus),” he said. 먹튀검증
There are also voices of self-reflection among the fans. It is known that some fans of the club said, “Let’s refrain from harsh words.” Also, there are clubs that want to cheer by ‘Welcome to the Bus’. An official from C said, “The important thing is that the club must actively communicate. There are clubs that do not accept even if they request a meeting. The club must listen carefully to the voices of the fans.”