A mixed reception is a term used by commentators when a player is booed mercilessly and often physically assaulted by the fans. Despite the literal meaning of the phrase, a mixed reception is exclusively negative.
Factors that can cause a mixed reception
- Player has recently transferred to the opposing side (the intensity increases should his new club be a rival team or a faceless Premiership giant, e.g Manchester United or Chelsea).
- Player expresses desire for ‘dream move’ in the Press while still playing for a smaller club.
- Player performs an angry celebration in front of fans.
- Player has an unfortunate name (e.g Gareth Hitler of Aldershot).
- Player is publicly outed as a racist (Lee Bowyer) / sex pest (Robin Van Persie) / killer (Lee Hughes).
Famous cases of a mixed reception
- Luis Figo received a mixed reception when he was hit by a pig’s head thrown from the stand while playing for Real Madrid against former side Barcelona.
- Tottenham fans hung and burned an effigy of Sol Campbell when he left for Arsenal.
- Greek international goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis was made to regret his decision to leave Panathinaikos for Olympiacos when angry fans broke into his house and mixed colours in with the whites in his washing machine. Fortunately the shot-stopper used a cold-wash setting, but the incident shook him up severely.