Thoughts of a Manchester United season ticket holder
Friday, 28 May 2010
So Why Does David Gill Want To Make An Enemy Of Us? Here's Why...
So we're a visible minority are we?
Well we've all read David Gill's ill advised comments in recent hours. Pining his colours to the Glazer family mast. And criticizing the Old Trafford Faithful for giving a damn about their club. Nice one David.
In many ways I have had a small amount of sympathy for Gill, and the top brass employees of Manchester United in the last few years. It's their job at club level to makes sure the football operation is executed in such a manner, so that the Glazers commercial ventures have the substance they need to succeed. No trophies means no success..both in terms of amassing pots in the Red's museum and in terms of the Americans coffers. The two are intrinsically linked.
In my opinion up until this year, Gill has been a better chief exec than his predecessor Peter Kenyon. He has been less pompous and flash in his position, whilst still supporting the manager. He was also a defender of the United model pre-Glazers, and there's a dirty great big flag reminding one and all of his words from back in the day regarding the football club and debt. But here we are in 2010. And the man is the Glazer family's 'Go To' guy. He is a PR puppet now, rather than the guy who is the custodian of our football team. And in the stands we all know this.
Respect has been ebbing away from Gill over the past 12 months, passing through his fingers quicker than water. His latest comments are deliberately aimed at being inflammatory to every United fan who wears a Green & Gold scarf to matches, and has been said to create what I believe to be an 'elitist division'
What i mean by this is the first instance is that Gill is attempting to make an enemy of The Faithful...and its like a slick move on a chess board. He would love nothing more than us protesting fans to be so sickened by him and his bosses that we chuck the towel in and walk from the club. He would love nothing more than to leave Old Trafford to the millions of travelling football tourists and the casual business day tripper fans to fill up OT every week. He is not interested in stadium atmosphere. He is not interested in a hardcore fan base. He is certainly not interested in any of us. He is only interested in keeping his pay masters happy..it all sort of reminds me of Baldrick from the Blackadder TV series...coming up with a cunning plan that's just..well...not so cunning.
In the second instance he is trying to divide and conquer the common United fan. He mentions that there are loads of 'fans' out there that don't care about the money side of the business and just care about the football. In layman terms..he is right. But it is not these fans that really concern or connect with us. Yes they may feed the Glazer's bank balances by buying shirts and hats, but they have little connection with the club, or the area. (Note: I am not saying you are not a 'real and proper' fan if you don't come from Manchester, but the culture of the 'glory supporter' is apparent in all major sports. I have followed the Boston Celtics for 20 years now, but I have zero knowledge on the politics of the team or the structure of the organisation and I've been to Boston once. I own a Kevin Garnett Number 5 jersey and my son has a Paul Pierce Number 34. For all I know they could be owned by an alien from Mars.) He knows that if he can keep these 'fans' in check, and divide them from those that live and breathe the club, that he will be quids in. All very devious..but predictable.
None of this is not going to happen.
We are not going anywhere. We will not be divided.
In my opinion, I've heard nothing from the Red Knights or MUST that suggests that they have the power to do anything in the short and medium term. This battle against the owners will probably last years. And we have to be prepared to dig our heels in. The minute we give up our season tickets then the fight is lost. We lose our voice. Permanently.
David Gill wants this.
But he cannot have it.
It is true that the ground isn't sold out like it used to be. And it is true that there may even be a dip in attendances next year. But the club will never see anything below the 60,000 mark..and this will ensure that whoever ditches their ticket, that it wont make a blind bit of difference to Gill or the Glazers..its actually what they crave for. Their massive sponsorship deals will carry them through. And can you imagine if the Glazers took full control of United's TV rights..how much cash they could generate with that? A damn sight more than the current level of debt is at. And what would a European Super League do for profits? It's the reason why they are issuing 'hands off' statements today. They are not stupid.
So I call upon my fellow fans to wear your G&G again next season. We will protest long and hard. Find new ways to show our disdain. I wont be buying the new kit, cos it will be forecasted targets missed like £s from kit sales that will make the Glazers swallow some humble pie. Merchandise is king in the sports world, and this is but one of many ways to still see and support your team, but make life very very uncomfortable for the few that suck money out of Manchester United. Anything with that official club badge on...just avoid like the plague. It may not sound like much...but it is a start..heading in the right direction.
Gill will regret his words one day. Lets hope it is sooner rather than later. Anyone know a good United loving sugar daddy? Cos I think that's what we are gonna need soon if we are to topple these canny businessmen.
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 now a contributing author/editor at Man Utd blogzine 'The Faithful'