It can often spark arguments amongst friends, relatives and even strangers inside a football ground, but is there a right or wrong answer to the question of whether fans should always stay to the end no matter what? Or is it ok to leave early?

Should the fans always back the team or is it on the players to earn that support? The Semi Professional team give their unfiltered opinions in No Splinters. 

The debate is one had in grounds across the country, as well as an opportunity to taunt leaving rival fans.

Zak Wright: “It is very situational and it is very conditional, I think there is a bar.

“Even if you are say five or six nil down, you should always stay until at least around the 65th minute let’s just say. Anything before that? What are your intentions to start with?

“Obviously there are exceptions, like late games and trains home like that. However, if you are just getting battered you need to stay for at least an hour.” 

Dan Platts: “It is completely wrong, it is not right on any level.”

“You pay the money to be there, stay until the end and watch the team.

“People have a lot of excuses. Even at like 0-0 or they are winning, you see fans that leave before the end of the game. Why on earth would you do that?

“Especially in a close game when your team needs you most. In terms of non league it is even more important as well because the fans really really matter in these leagues. You have to support the team.” 

James Hamilton: “I don’t think it is right for them to leave before the end of the game but I will say that if they have extenuating circumstances as many people do in this game of life then I think people are more than entitled to.

“It is a free world at the end of the day. Having said that, in terms of your level of passion and wanting to support your club then if you absolutely stay until the end.” 

Arsenal fans were the subject of humour on social media for leaving early after confirmation they would not win the 2022/23 Premier League title.

Oliver Haley: “Nothing annoys me more than people that leave early.

“If it is maybe the 85th minute and you simply have to leave in order to get the train then maybe that’s fine.

“I was at a game earlier this year, it was spurs Brighton, I think we were 4-0 down against Brighton and the whole thing emptied. What are you going to do, sit in the pub for longer and moan about the game?

“You may as well go and back the boys. The team isn’t going to magically get better if you leave, the only way it is going to get better is if your fans stick with you.”

Nathan Barcio: “It is definitely wrong for a start.”

“I have only ever left a game early once and it was when Sheffield Wednesday were 3-1 down and a former Sheffield United striker scored, so I couldn’t take it.

“All this beat the traffic stuff, I think it is nonsense you know.

“If you leave 10 minutes early, there is still going to be traffic. Go to the game and support the players, you back them no matter what.” 

Charlie Howell: “Ok so I have a story to tell you and the year is 2017. Exeter City are 3-0 down in the 90th minute and we are playing dire.

“Half of my mates have asked if we can go home because at that point I had never left a game early before. We then went on to score 3 goals in 3 minutes and draw 3-3.

“When I say it was dire, we were absolutely woeful. We had three shots on target in the entire game and they all came after the 90th minute. I would say there is always a reason for staying. Having said that, I would never criticise anyone for leaving early.” 

Some fans even leave before the half-time whistle…

Owen Barnard: “Very wrong, very wrong to leave early. I have actually said this to people at games before as they are on their way out.

“I do understand that people pay their money and they have the right to do what they want but just no. You are there to support the team, no matter what.

“If you walk out on the team then what is the team supposed to do? I just can’t get behind it. Also you have to deal with the hard times in order to be able to celebrate the good times.” 

Alex Keir: “I believe that it is wrong, there is only one condition where it is right and that is due to travel arrangements. If you want to support your club through and through and until the final whistle.

“At Spurs if it gets to 3-0 down, it empties. However, I still don’t get it because you aren’t really supporting your club. One you are disrupting the other fans’ experience and secondly you have paid your money to watch. It is like going to the cinema and leaving halfway through the film.” 

Josh Brewer: “I am going to have to go against the majority here sadly. If someone pays their money for a match ticket surely it is up to them to do as they please? The team has to earn the support. I never leave early if the game is close or the team is winning. However, if my team is getting battered, I am quickly out of there. The players don’t have an automatic right to unwavering support. Play well and it will come.” 

A very clear one to end the week with Josh the only one offering a staunch defence of leaving early. The Semi Pro boys say you should always stay until the end and truly back your team no matter what.