Thoughts of a Manchester United season ticket holder
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Does Keith Harris want United fans to cut off their noses to spite their collective face?
When you are on your knees and there is no where to turn, its very easy to grab out to the first person for comfort
Football finance don and general cash geek Keith Harris is the man that the United fraternity have reached out too. A man who has brokered many a takeover. A man who seems to know everyone that you need to know in this business. His little black book is squeezed with names who are more wealthy than we could ever imagine...or is it?
Harris' latest call is for all of us to boycott the club. To boycott games and to turn our backs on the cash cow of Old Trafford
"Getting the money together is the easy bit" says Harris. "If enough people - and I'm talking about thousands - stop turning up to matches and do not renew their tickets then that does it. The supporters have to hurt the Glazers in the pockets. They have to be prepared to take the pain of not watching their club in order to achieve long-term gain. It's a big ask, it's a risk, but that is what must happen. The Glazers are thick-skinned and seem impervious to protest. They will not be impervious to enormous drops in revenue."
They are very big words and very big asks.
You see..if i could clearly see that the path to a post Glazer era laid in the fact of simply chucking in your season ticket and watching United from the comfort of my sofa on the box, then i would sign up yesterday.
But its not the truth.
The fact is that if the base of the clubs fans who turn up in all sorts of inclement weather to watch a team in red decided that they were not going to do that anymore, we would have a Theatre of Dreams full of 78,000 football tourists...and The Glazers would be none the wiser or bothered. That is the truth.
I would rather we kept our tickets..and THEN not showed up for games. An empty stadium will have more of an impact. The reason why we all launched this green and gold campaign was to be vocal and SEEN. A boycott would only make us invisible and insignificant.
Harris proclaims that getting the cash together is the easy bit...oh really? Well lets see the colour of your money! I'm not into all this Red Knights stuff. Either put the cash on the table, or stop the pretence. If this turns into a huge game of United Texas Hold Em Up poker, then the Glazers hold all the cards and they don't buy a bluff.
What we need to do is to actually devalue the product of United..and you don't do that by 'hitting them in the pocket' with a flimsy statement of mis-intent. Firstly you wear your Green & Gold. Secondly, you stay away from 'official' MUFC merchandise. Thirdly, you make as much noise..whether that be with your mouths, your blogs, your twitters or your forums. And fourthly, those of us to have the privilege to go to OT every week...we should sit on the floor outside the ground on Sir Matt Busby way, awash in the colours of Newton Heath, at every game..protesting the way that Martin Luther King did..or the way Gandhi did..peacefully..forcefully..telling those that matter that they cannot win but they can only change. WE are not GOING anywhere. This may sound overtly political, but this is as political as football gets! This form of protest has defeated both racism and tyranny..I reckon it could topple a family of Fat Cat Billionaires
Bar all that, we could all just go for a pint in one of Old Trafs many boozers and sing about Scousers, Bitter Blues and iconic number sevens.
The point is that until a bone fide buyer is found, and that entity has a plan with the fans for the disposal of the Glazers, i am NOT turning my back on United. I will protest til I'm old and grey if i have to. I will wear the Green & Gold with pride. But continued peacefully, attention grabbing events will always outshine gimmicks and hollow statements.
The G&G army has only just begun to fight this fight..there's plenty of legs left in us.
Manchester United fan since the age of 9 when he saw Norman Whiteside curl the ball into a Wembley goal in the dying minutes.
He is an Old Trafford season ticket holder in the North Stand Tier 3...and cried tears of joy, on his knees with the many in Moscow.
Rob is a contributing author/editor at Man Utd blogzine 'The Faithful'