World Soccer views and news
Protesting United fans need a reality check
Two European Cup finals in two years, three straight Premier League titles, a first ever win at AC Milan and yet Manchester United fans are not a happy bunch.
Before Tuesday’s 3-2 Champions League last 16 first leg win at the San Siro, a large group of United fans spent most of the afternoon swigging beer in Milan’s central square – Piazza Duomo.
Many of the songs were protests against owners the Glazer family, one chant in particular was horrifically gruesome.
Most of the fans were wearing anti-Glazer badges and wore yellow and green scarves – signifying their allegiance to Newton Heath, the 19th century club which became United. A more drastic protest came when the Americans first took over and disenchanted United fans set up their own club – FC United - in the semi-pro leagues.
But what have the Glazers done that is so bad? Yes the debts are high but they have hardly meddled at all in the running of the club (unlike other owners in Europe) and United have become even more successful under their rule.
Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to leave United for his dream at Real Madrid whether the Glazers were there or not. They did not force Alex Ferguson to sell and it appears the 80 million pounds from the sale was put into his transfer kitty. The boss decided not to spend all of it because the right players at the right price were not available.
It’s a long time since United were a club of “the working class” as some of the fans would like. Roy Keane’s famous prawn sandwich taunt, aimed at the London-based executive supporters, proved that.
But if the fans got fully behind the team, they would see that their two standout performers on Tuesday were the most down-to-earth lads you could meet.
Darren Fletcher might not get spotted in the street while Wayne Rooney is the most modest world player of the year contender you could find.
PHOTO: Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring against AC Milan during their Champions League soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan February 16, 2010. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito