"Anger is an energy" sang John Lydon in the song 'Rise'. Now scientists have gone literally one stage further by harnessing the energy generated by the anger, venom and sheer hatred demonstrated by today's football fans.
Professor Danny Foot-Soldier of the University of East London, leading a team of scientists from the energy industry, have been conducting experiments with groups of fans for the last decade.
"We initially started with Arsenal fans, attaching electrodes to their brains during derby games. We noticed that when Spurs or Chelsea scored, the Gooners would produced incredible amounts of brain activity - it was just a case of harnessing that energy." One Arsenal fan, they proved, could keep a lightbulb running for a week, just at the thought of Berbatov going down weakly under a challenge from Fabregas.
In fact, Gooner-baiting produced the highest results so far in the study. The arrogance, predominantly monied middle-class bravado and alpha-masculine aggression of these fans made them ideal for a wind-up. Previously, similar results had been noticed in other non-football subjects, such as drivers of 4x4s, rapists and SS concentration camp commandants.
The team then progressed to connecting up whole ends of grounds. "The hysterical, partisan hatred of fans produced enough energy to power whole streets." Ironically, the team noted, fans produced as much anger when their team scored a goal as when they conceded one.
The anger, they noted, could be enhanced by feeding in images of speed cameras, immigrants and wives saying 'Where have you been?'. 'Like the wind, water or coal, football fans are a blank, brute and trainable force of nature,' explained Professor Foot-Soldier, 'Especially Everton fans.'
Previously, small-scale studies were conducted in the 1970s with the old ladies who watched wrestling on a Saturday afternoon. Another study looked at the energy produced by babies as they threw toys out of prams.