Now let me start with an historical point. Up until the middle of the 19th century there was only one "football" the point was that, depending on what public school you played it in, the rules were different. Thus "Rugby football" originated in, er, well you know, but "association football" originated in......................ETON!!! FACT!!!
Point number one therefore is that the "working man's game" is in fact a product of the country's most elite school. something for Tony Bliar to ponder and Dave Cameroon to celebrate.
Point number two is that, as a Bath Rugby fan I, with 9,000 of my fellow supporters descended upon the Twickenham Stoop yesterday to watch our European Challenge Cup final against Clerment Auvergne, known to their fans as ASM. Took the Bath U13s up from Great Pulteney Street about 1230 in a big coach and had fun on the way up with the parents imbibing gently in alcohol of varying quality and volume. After a pee stop in Reading Services our driver informed us that we should stop drinking as there were police checks on the motorway. These "roadblocks" were clearly set up to catch football coaches and we did indeed pass one on the M4, we were tarred with the same brush. The worst thing that happened on our coach, and indeed throughout our contribution to a thoroughly friendly match, was that some boys put chewing gum in each other's hair. I'm so glad our constabularies thought us so important over the course of nearly 11 hours that we had to be checked in case caring and attentive parents were daring to sup alcohol. Pathetic Thames Valley Police, utterly pathetic.
Point three is that we had an absolute ball with the ASM fans. West Country and Sud France combined in an enjoyment, nay celebration, of our sport that transcended national boundaries and language. ASM fans went home flying Bath flags from their coaches, we swapped beer, photographs, hand shakes, and hugs, and actually tears too!! At no point in the day did we exchange animosity. It could never have happened, full stop.
Point four is therefore a question that I intend to return to soon with my take on the answer to the question that is "why are football and rugby, given their genetic provenance, so diametrically different in their philosophy, attitude, loyalty, fan base and outcomes?"