We have dedicated this Mailbox to the Manchester United protests at Old Trafford. If you have views on this or any other subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In support of Man United fans
Every other of the dirty dozen went on with business as usual, only Man U fans, absolutely made it known what the message was. That this was unacceptable what the Glazers were doing. But let Sky, and other TV people, tell you what a disgrace this was. It’s only when a football match where it’s becoming almost inaccessible to the fans, because of Sky, BTE , only then do they show disdain.
I fully support Man U fans, but how can people sit there and not understand the frustration fans have?
Show me the distraction, they protested, and made it clear , they were not going to accept the ownership. UEFA and Sky pundits were very willing when the fans were against the super league. But when the fans go against the Premier League, now it’s a problem.
I do think fans have the right to have majority ownership, so the they have a say on what happens with the club, because a club can be Bayern or Real with winning managers, or easily become AC Milan.
Dave (It was ugly, but necessary), Somewhere
…Chapeau to United supporters having reminded latte-sipping Euro-snobs that standing up to parasite bloodsuckers is the holy duty of any respectable working man, no matter how drunk he may be at the time!
But greed has long obliterated shame, regret and redemption off Glazers’ emotional repertoire. More ground work is needed before they haul their sorry derrieres back to the crypt they hid their stolen money.
Keep at it, beautiful United fans.
…I’d love to be able to write a more eloquent and thoughtful email, one with more balance and nuance, but honestly just want to express my total solidarity with the protestors at Old Trafford.
You’ll never walk alone, lads.
Nick Glover, Scouser in Brum
…This United fan protest is beautiful ESL schadenfreude. Not only have two of the slimy six clubs (owners really, not the clubs) had the biggest fixture on their calenders postponed (one of the regular fixtures the ESL wanted). But SkySports, who were guilty of riling up the fanbases in the first place in order to protect their stake in football, have also been impacted with the game postponed and one of their cameras broken.
Red Devil’s Advocate (Ole Ole Ole!)
Let’s be clear,
The Mancs turned up in numbers to protest, raided their own ground, attacked commentators with flares and cans of beer, railed against the team trying to get out of the hotel, turned over people’s cars, and slashed an innocent police officer who just wanted to go home after his shift to his wife and kids!
Proud of yourselves?
If this had have happened at Anfield, we would have been annihilated by Sky and the media!
The PL should throw the book at them, deduct points and award the game to Liverpool! They should also impose the most Intence restrictions against a PL team!
…Stunned to wake up on a sunny Monday morning in NZ and see that fans had forced the cancellation of one of the biggest matches in the season. I have no skin in the game.
But, this feels like a watershed moment, in the 40-odd years I’ve been following English football.
People absolutely have the right to protest. But, policemen also have the right to be safe at work. Companies have the right to protect their assets from vandalism. As soon as a protest turns violent, the message is burned. That’s why organising a public protest comes with such great responsibility. Because, you are responsible for everything that happens at that protest.
There is only one solution to this:
The host club failed to ensure a scheduled match could be safely held at its stadium. It should forfeit the three points and be hit with a hefty fine.
That would hurt the Glazers and the fans and encourage them to come to an accord. It would also set an important precedent for future protests.
This was football anarchy and it shamed our game.
Don’t let the privileged tell you what to do
Listening to the pundits ahead of a match being postponed, you would think the revolution was upon us. Are we now to understand that the people in power are so sensitive and soft that a few hundred protestors can disrupt everything? Late stage capitalism is really fascinating the same way the last two seasons of Breaking Bad was compelling. I never understood what Yeats meant when he wrote about the best lacking all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity. I get it now. When I listen to the politicians and executives who some would call the best and brightest, I am shocked at how weak they are in the face of even minor disruptions to the status quo that benefits them above everything even social stability.
From Gamestop to games stopping, are we really being led by people this feckless? Toughen up. Nobody has to accept your vision for the world. And please for the love of God can the television commentators stop saying that this isn’t how you protest. I don’t need people who have been fed with a silver spoon their entire life telling others how they should express their frustration at a world clearly benefiting the few at the expense of the many.
Questioning the motives
In January, the US Capital Building was overrun by protestors following an incitement to action by a former President, his associates and personalities on Fox News. The sight of Trump fans in temporary control of the seat of American Democracy evoked feelings of euphoria or disdain depending on your political affiliations.
Yesterday, Old Trafford befell a similar faith. The theatre of dreams, the high alter of premier football, was besieged by a group of fans who have been called to action by pundits who were themselves the main beneficiaries of the power imbalance being protested.
One of the central tenets of conservative politics in America is the idea that the rich man cares for the ordinary man. Over the past two weeks, a conservative political ideology has been masquerading as a liberal concern for fans. Protest is an essential act in a free society, however, incitement of anger in marginalized people is a dangerous game to play. Matt Stead is correct in saying that the postponement of the biggest game in football by fans is a significant moment in revealing the power of fans. However, I wonder if this power can be managed by the same forces in the media who set yesterday’s events in motion.
Stadium invasions make for interesting images on tv today, but where will the position on these acts stand if they continue to disrupt games or endanger stewards, the police or players?
It was disconcerting to hear Sky say that it was a non violent protest yet lament that “idiots” were responsible for the violence. These “idiots” didn’t arrive at the stadium by chance or accident.
History often teaches us that change is deeply complicated and that violence is likely to fill any power vacuum. Players sheltering in hotels and pundits discussing the possibility that the police cannot protect the Liverpool bus on route to the stadium is not a positive development for football.
The motivations of millionaires like Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher need to be examined in greater detail given that they are inciting such actions on national television. Where were Carragher and Neville on this betrayal a year ago?
One of these men calling the actions a slap into the face of the ordinary fan was suspended from his job for spitting into the face of young female ordinary fan from a luxury car.
What do they stand to lose in this current climate because it’s hard to believe their primary motivation is the ordinary fan given that they only recently found their voices.
Sky Sports not on the fans’ side
Two weeks ago Sky Sports told you all to protest and rally against modern football. They told you that these owners were disgusting greed merchants with vested interests.
Today they told you to protest but in ways that don’t disturb their own programming. During the delay they told you that Abramovich is an absolutely lovely football fanatic and the sportswashing enterprise of Abu Dhabi is also just wonderful and beyond reproach.
If you believed they were on your side two weeks ago then you’re stupid. At least today it was clear.
Raging at Gary Neville
I see that the United fans are out in force, a raging mob hungry for blood storming Old Trafford and preventing players from leaving their hotel. I thought this type of behaviour had been learned from along with widespread hooliganism back in the 80’s. The most shocking thing is that certain pundits have failed to condemn it and are actually enabling it. I think ex Man U pros like Gary Neville should be speaking out against this. Gary’s hatred towards the Glazers has been there for all to see over the last few weeks. If Donald Trump was guilty for inciting the Capitol Hill Riot then I feel Gary Neville’s incendiary comments have had exactly the same effect. He should be calling on a peaceful resolution and communication from all parties and condemnation of the scenes today. Neville’s latest quote:
“This is a consequence of the Manchester United owners’ actions two weeks ago. There is a general distrust and dislike of the owners, but they weren’t protesting two or three weeks ago.”
YES Gary that’s because you stirred things up and have been fanning the flames non stop for the last few weeks.
Behaving like this towards players who are just going about their jobs will only heap more stress on them during a tough enough period with covid and restrictions. Do you really think the billionaire Glazers will care about this in their ivory towers in Florida? Of course they won’t, storm in a tea cup for them. The real people affected, hotel workers, club staff and police who have to deal with baying mobs and then take the stress of that experience home are the ones I feel sorry for. Gary Neville as the countries leading pundit and the countries mouthpiece for footballing matters you should be condemning this and holding your hands up for your part in it, you’re a disgrace.
Also another point is that this is all about results not the ESL, they’re using this ESL situation as an excuse. United fans are acting like entitled little brats. I can guarantee that if they’d won some major trophies recently this wouldn’t be happening. Nothing going on like this at Citeh.
I may have a biased view on this as I always disliked Neville as a player and back in 2019 in Mallorca he proceeded to push in front of me in the queue in the airport even though he had no special ticket to do so. He then saw some seats free in the row next to me and took all three to himself whilst ignoring his family and tweeting on his phone for the next few hours.
Robert – Malaga CF til I die
P.S – Also Gary before you call the Glazers sell outs just remember you’re one of the biggest sell outs of them all. You can’t even have an independent podcast – Skysports Podcast – Pathetic!!
P.P.S – Gonna book in with my therapist tomorrow for Gary Neville anger related issues – Wish me well readers I’m a sick man.
Where’s the horse?
Yesterday’s pictures from Old Trafford caused me to check up on the four-legged individual that started all this, Rock of Gibraltar (younger readers may wish to consult Google).
I am happy to report that whatever United’s travails may be, “Rock” as he really should be called is hail and hearty at the grand age of 22. He has a job that a good proportion of the F365 readership would be well up for. He is a “shuttle stallion” who divides his life between Ireland and Australia, living a perpetual summer with – how shall we put this delicately – a plethora of female attention. United no longer live the dream, but I think we can all agree that he does.
He is of course oblivious to the footballing carnage caused by an extraordinary row about his stud value but his role in getting United to where they are now is pivotal and a reminder that huge things start as male pride at worst or genuine misunderstandings at best.
Whatever, there is a direct line between Sunday’s events and a racehorse last seen in public in 2002.