In the eyes of Thatcher, we were almost 'the enemy within' then. This is why the authorities were able to get away with an account of the tragedy that we now know was a tissue of lies.
Now, in 2012, I detect in the air more anti-football prejudice as the game is unfavourably compared to the heroics of the Olympics. While not ignoring the many things that are wrong with our game, we would do well to fight our corner. Things are unlikely ever to be as bad again as they were in the 1980s, but in the present climate it would do no harm to accentuate some of the positives of the game.
Most of the anti-football stuff I've read has contrasted the (supposedly) surly, ungracious and entitled attitude of the players with the smiley loveliness of your Jessica Ennises and Mo Farahs. Like a lot of media narratives, it's acquired a momentum that has outstripped the evidence in its favour, but maybe there's something to it: as a fan, I do sometimes feel the game is taking the piss.
But geobra's right that it wants watching.
When I look back, I can't quite believe we all used to put up with being treated like that. But in a weird kind of way it was part of the thrill, I think: made you feel set apart. In that way, it was absolutely playing into the hoolies' hands, as the linked article suggests.
Of course some top footballers deserve criticism - nobody would deny that. It's the failure or refusal to recognize that the vast majority of their colleagues at all levels do not that worries me.
In any case, if one wanted to one could level the same criticisms at cricket at the moment in view of the summer England have experienced. But nobody suggests that their behaviour filters down to the county game, and cricket as a whole is not getting the bad press that football is.