It’ll Be Off

Welcome to Manchester?
November 25, 2009, 4:45 pm
Filed under: Opinion | Tags: , ,

And I guess that's why they call them the divs

The thing that got me about this whole ‘Welcome To Manchester’ thing (topical, I know) wasn’t the bare-faced cheek of it, which I secretly kind of admired, but the ludicrous nature of it all. I can’t really see any other club having done something similar. Could you imagine Everton putting a picture of Dirk Kuyt up on a huge billboard in Liverpool city centre if they ever signed him? No, and not just because the sight of a twenty-foot tall Dirk Kuyt is almost certain to lead to countless dozens of road fatalities. It just seemed such an odd and desperate thing to do.

The Tevez poster, combined with the Arndale Adebayor public spittoon, are the latest in a long line of Manchester city derived hijinks with the sole aim of perpetrating this whole ‘city are the true Manchester’ team myth. A few years ago, with their ‘This Is Our City’ posters spamming every free billboard in an SK postcode area, you could sort of see their point. They were wrong, of course, but there was maybe a slither of a nugget of a truth in there. While Manchester United were off chasing global markets, increasing brand awareness, and in the case of Martin Edwards hiding in the women’s toilets to catch a glimpse of his employees pissing, city were left behind on and off the pitch. Claiming the local high ground was the only thing left to do. While United were in danger of forgetting, or more likely ignoring, their roots, it’s all city had to play with.

But times have changed since then. city have been bought not once, but twice. Firstly by Thaksin Shinawatra, the Thai PM with an appalling human rights record (outlined here), and more recently by Sheikh Mansour. And what do the city fans do? Nowt. First of all they make a banner saying ‘We Support Thaksin’ and anyone who has read the link posted up there will know what a diabolical thing to say that is. And then, after Shinawatra sold up, they make a new banner, the appallingly snivelling ‘Manchester Thanks You Sheikh Mansour’, which they all sit under in keffiyeh made out of tea towels. city fans, it seems, are delighted their club is traded like a pannini sticker. They love it.

That isn’t right. That isn’t what Manchester was built on. There’s a long history of revolution and rebellion in Manchester; industrial, cultural, footballing. When the Glazers first visited Old Trafford, were they welcomed by half a dozen spazzy fans dressed in fake ginger beards and high waisted jeans? Were they fuck. They were barricaded in the ground, whilst angry protests made it clear to the world that these chancers, these carpetbaggers were unwelcome. There were marches, meetings, chants. There was a strong and staunch belief that Manchester United didn’t belong to any one person, but to the people of Manchester. You can’t buy and sell generations of history, tradition, and shared experiences. And to sit back and not only watch it happen, but wave in the likes of Glazer, Shinawatra and Mansour is a disgrace and an insult to Manchester and Mancunians everywhere.

All of which comes straight from my A Level text book of political philosophy and righteous indignation. And of course I don’t even need to point out how daft it is city playing on this whole ‘Manchester’s club’ thing now, when they have a team filled with foreign stars, are owned by a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family who spent their summer holidays playing friendlies in South Africa.

So far from representing Manchester and Mancunians, city have been embarrassing them for over forty years now. The spirit of arrogance, soul, rebellion and revolution that helped form the city has long lived in the heart of Manchester United, and we at FC United are the logical conclusion to that.



2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Cheeky poster and very funny,but it’s only really funny when you are the minnow sniping at the big boys.Thats not the case now,although they will never have the class and tradition that we have they do now have zillions of £££ to spend,and may eventually become serious title contenders.
I think its fair to say they class theselves as big boys now and to put out such a poster just smacks of insecurity and jealousy.

Maybe if they were back in the old third div then yes it would have been hilarious,then again he wouldn’t have gone there would he!

Comment by Quinny

I do like to see a Manchester Utd Fan, write blogs that include much unbiased and level-headed views on the subject of rival clubs. However, when I read some of your blogs, although you clearly show a ‘balanced view’ on the subject of ownership and Fanbase, to me, your blog does seem to come across as, well, bitter.

As you may well have guessed I am a Blue. From Manchester. A bloody stubborn one at that. I like to see you have tried very hard in creating a acutely balanced view on Manchester City’s Fanbase. And as you may well have guessed, I am being rather sarcastic.

When brandishing all fans of one the club the same, you are spreading the kind of ‘Sensationalist twaddle’ that you oppose so much in this capitalist world. Because of course, you speak about what you know (which is very little) about the 10% of our fanbase who are clueless, and say things without actually registering it is what they are saying.

I remember going to the first game in which we were taken over by Thaksin. I went with my brother and my dad. Because we are all so fickle, we had no idea about his human rights record. We had no idea about the Military Coup in which he was de-throwned. No, we knew it all. But we still went. Banner less, and poster-less and supported our team. Much like the other 40,000 fans who went to see the match.

What should we do? Spit our dummy out and go to the match anyway brandishing the flag of Thailand demanding that Thaksin be Ousted? PAYING the £35 in which he makes profit and buying a flag with colours that are meant to scare him to submission? Sound familiar?

And when you speak of being so libertarian, don’t forget that FC Manchester Utd is made up from Fans who are so loyal, they run away at the first sign of trouble.

Comment by Digest this

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