The most recent spell of hooliganism in England (Millwall-Wigan and Newcastle-Sunderland matches) appears to have rung in a renewed era of primitive and vulgar fan behavior that had led to the ban of English clubs and the England team from international football in the 80s. Hooliganism defaced the English game throughout the 1970s and 1980s: in 1974, a Blackpool fan was stabbed to death at Blackpool’s home match with Bolton Wanderers. In 1985, after vile hooliganism of Liverpool fans led to the deaths of 39 Juventus supporters before the European Cup final at the Heysel Stadium, English clubs were banned from Europe for five years.
Better policing, better stadia, a new league – the English Premier League – and lots of educational work by football’s administrators (and politicians) gradually improved English football’s reputation over time. Fact is, the English Premier League matured into one of the best leagues in the world.