Tough coronavirus restrictions have prevented supporters from cheering on their sporting heroes live since March 2020, with no apparent end in sight to empty grounds and soulless stadiums.
And with new tough local lockdowns being enforced in some parts of the UK, even watching your favourite team in the pub could be about to get the red card.
Some fans are taking the initiative to show off their love and loyalty by displaying their club’s colours on their car or van.
But motoring experts have warned they risk scoring an own goal by doing so, with the potential of a hefty fine and even a ban from the road.
The main issue is if a scarf tied to a wing mirror or flag flying out of a window comes loose and falls into the road.
If this tumbles into the path of another vehicle and results in an accident, you could be charged with careless driving as it falls within the remit of “driving without reasonable consideration for other road users”.
The offence carries with it a punishment of up to nine penalty points and a £5,000 fine – even more expensive than the priciest Premier League season ticket.
In serious cases it could also result in a disqualification from driving.
Another thing for fans bedecking their cars with football memorabilia to consider is if it could affect their view.
According to the Road Traffic Act, anything that obstructs the vision of a driver in any way is considered a hazard.
If caught there is a £100 fine, which can rocket up to £1,000, and three penalty points if the case is challenged in court and the driver loses.
Even those toying with the idea of putting a tiny figurine of their favourite player on the dashboard, or a sticker in the window, could fall foul of the law.
That’s because these could be considered ‘modifications’ and therefore invalidate an insurance policy if not declared.
That means you would not be covered in the event of an accident, and even if you remain crash-free your premiums are likely to be driven up.
James O’Malley, director of UK leasing firm Select Car Leasing said: “It’s understandable that most football fans are really missing cheering on their teams from the stands at the moment.
“Watching on the TV is just not the same and for passionate supporters the last seven months have been extremely tough.
“But while showing passion by decorating cars with scarves and flags is totally understandable, footy fans need to be aware of the potential problems this can cause.
“If things go wrong, it could be more a case of flak from the Met rather than back of the net.”
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