A team with no place on the football pyramid and no home ground are watched by more than half a million people every week – albeit on YouTube.
In an age where YouTube stars are getting bigger and bigger and becoming more comparable to their professional counterparts, Hashtag United are pioneering an alternative way of consuming football. The side play friendlies, facing teams including Google, a Comedians XI and a Manchester City staff team, and often play in top-flight stadiums and against players ranging from ex-pros such as Graeme Le Saux, Ray Parlour and Paul Dickov to British stand-up comic Omid Djalili.
The badge the side have chosen to adopt is quite simply a ‘hashtag’ which has become synonymous with the use of social media, in particular Twitter, to highlight specific themes or content. Whether traditional grassroots sides will adopt some of the aspects of these YouTube footballers to their own club remains to be seen – but it is an exciting prospect nonetheless.