Is there any sport where fans are scrutinised as much as football? Wear the wrong shirt, sing the wrong chant, shout the wrong abuse, and you'll forever be considered an idiot, unfit to attend matches.

But the most ire is often reserved for the so-called "prawn sandwich brigade" - the big-bucks-spending, wine-swigging, sarnie-gobbling fans who supposedly take the best seats in the house, and don't even stay til full-time.

FHM wanted to discover if such abuse is really justified, so when we were asked if we'd like to attend Man United's opening game against Fulham in the super-swanky Europa Suite, we saw it as a chance to see what the VIP experience is really like.

Here's what our VIP-virgin writer made of the day...

9am: If we're going to do this VIP, we're going to do it properly. Sod the train, we're getting a taxi.

915am: OK, so it turns out a taxi from London to Manchester costs almost as much as Wayne Rooney earns in a week. Train it is.

12pm: Arrival. So far, so good. Champagne reception: check. Canapes: check. OK, they're not prawn sandwiches, but they are bloody tasty. Certainly beats the usual steak and ale £3.50 pie.

130pm: More champage. And a VIP sighting: Chris Smalling. First observation: he's a very tall man.

2pm: So, it turns out that the canapes aren't the meal, they're just the pre-meal. The actual meal is proper posh: "Roast Loin of Cod in Saffron Scented Seafood Risotto with a Light Lobster Cream" - seriously middle-class food. Easy to see how people could get used to this.

3pm: Kick off. Pretty shitfaced by now, but there appears to be an early goal by the team in white. Hasn't gone down to well with the United fans, time for another drink.

3:10: There's not so much a rampant cheer as polite applause and a few waved scarves as Robin Van Persie marks his home debut with a goal. More importantly, though, there are three dessert options. THREE.

4:50: The game finishes 3-2. In truth, it's hard to recount what happened, other than that Man U won and Van Persie scored. That's because the hospitality has been so phenomenal it's been hard to think about anything aside from how incredible the never-ending champagne tastes, and how sumptious that loin was.


So, is going VIP all it's cracked up to be? If you want a great view, yes. If you want atmosphere, it's not quite the same as sitting right behind De Gea. But that said, this is more than outweighed by the food and beverage delights and the sheer, velvetty comfort.

In conclusion, if you've got £300 to spare, you could do a lot worse than doing the footy VIP-style. Even if the sandwiches aren't prawn.