The True Manchester Club

Has anyone ever witnessed a more rapid abandonment of principles than that shown by City fans this week?

For years they have banged on about being the people’s club; a football club that is still a football club as opposed to an organisation obsessed with money; supporters who were in it for the love of the club, the love of the game; 30 years and we’re still here; the true Manchester club; ‘This is our city’ and all that nonsense. An entire generation of fans who have built their identity purely on being whatever United are not.

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And what were United? A greedy, rich club that bought success with its vast wealth. Wealth which came before all else, acquired through disgraceful commercialism and a soulless disregard for the beautiful game. Fans who cared only about trophies and expensive signings, and who understood nothing of what it meant to be a true football fan – a City fan for example.

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But this is the United whose fans at least cared about retaining its identity as a Mancunian football club. When foreign owners with the wrong motives came sniffing round Manchester United, they fought and fought and fought to keep them away. They used every means legal, and some illegal ones too. They mobilised, collected, protested, campaigned, lobbied, vandalised, wrote, phoned, emailed, rallied, marched, flash-mobbed and rioted. They made it impossible for the Glazers to visit Manchester peacefully. And the loss of their club to people who didn’t give a toss about its identity and traditions meant so much that some of them walked away altogether. Home and awayers with decades of fanaticism to their names had decided that forming a new club, with the incredible effort that entailed, was the only alternative to seeing their club used as some egotistical plaything.

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Contrast this with 1st September 2008. The only sound you could hear that day was that of 100,000 zips being simultaneously lowered as the blue quarter of Manchester collectively dropped its trousers and bent over, willing to be shamelessly violated by some slimy rich man. Not a shred of pride, not a moment’s defence of their supposedly salt of the earth club; just a panting mass, all ready to be anybody’s b-itch in exchange for money with which they can buy success.

There really is only one true football club in Manchester, and it’s not Manchester City

Written by Lee Thomas and first published on September 4th, 2008. Shared here with his kind permission