Non-US Football fans. Help me understand hooliganism/fans

OK, so I’m about halfway through AMONG THE THUGS (which I have a sinking suspicion is not entirely true) and am having a hard time understanding the insanity which is apparently football matches.

OK, so a bunch of people go out to a game. I can live with that.

A bunch of people haven’t missed a game in 4 years, including games played all across the continent. Fair enough.

A fan club develops that comprises tens of thousands of people. Many of whom deilght in travelling and causing massive amounts of damage to their host countries and hosts. Uh…

People still show up to the games.

OK, there are some genuine tragedies (Ibrix was mentioned, wherein something like 60 people were trampeled to death, not by rioting, but by people trying to leave, but there seems to be an inordinate amount of violence among fans at the games.

I also watched a copy of a video called “Hooligans and Thugs, Soccer’s Most Violent Fans” and was amazed at the fact that 1) rampaging thousands seems to not be the norm, but common enough that it’s not terribly shocking 2) People still go to soccer games knowing that there are several deaths a year.

Especially games against Turkish and Tunisian teams - while the others fans seem to be OK with wanton destruction, the video made these fans appear as if the only reason they showed up was to murder English fans.

And we’ll leave the Argentinians out of it (again, according to the video, they are fond of firearms and showing their apprecation for their home team by slaughtering the opposing team’s fans).

My questions:

  1. How common are these riots? Granted, both the book and the movie play up the sensational aspects, but the movie shows roughly one major disturbance per year since the '90s.

  2. Why in the hell would someone show up to a game like this, knowing that a) there’s a very good possibility that they’ll get beaten up or b) there’s still a decent chance that they’ll be killed.

  3. How expensive are the tickets? It appears that the stadiums are destroyed quite often and that there are a lot of police to be paid for. Can beer sales alone make up for this?

  4. Don’t they shut off the taps like they do at the 7th inning in baseball?

I suppose it’s obvious that the economic benefits of hosting a soccer game are worth having thousands of modern-day Vikings pillaging your town and running off with your women, but seriously! I’m thinking that the most violent of sports rivalries in the US is the Yankees and Red Sox, but I’m not aware that they use group tactics that would make Caesar proud to destroy each other in the stands. It’s also probably the case that I’m drawing conclusions from a very skewed sample, but seriously!