Tuesday, 13 July 2010

So Will You Be Buying The New Man Utd Shirt?

I must say Nike have out done themselves this time...a totally 1970s retro cool version of the shirt that we got relegated in back in the day..you know..the one that Macari, McIlroy and Stevie Coppell wore. I think its a great looking piece of apparel...and I'm definitely not buying it.

It's evident that the whole Red Knights saga has left many United fans with a bitter taste in their mouths. From only months ago marching around in Green and Gold and spouting songs about Malcolm Glazers untimely demise, to now eagerly discussing how excited they are about purchasing their new shirt, and defending their right to still be called a real United supporter. It makes me laugh on one hand, but on the other makes me want to break down and cry.

I could saddle you all with a million statistics about the Glazers ownership and the like, but what is the point? The Green and Gold movement is not about bringing down the Americans in a vicious war. We wear these colours because we understand what is happening to the club...the one we love. But it now appears that from myself being a moderate on the subject, as Ive always claimed to be, I am now being aligned with the hardcore element of the support! The ones that stand in front of the club shop and let off gas bombs and spray LUHG where ever they go...well...im afraid to say that ain't me.

What I stand for when it comes to this emotive issue is simple. I want the Glazers to sell. And the reason for that is because we have evidence that we are now their cash cow. When they first bought the club I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I didn't really care who got the profits as long as the club was structured to succeed. But now its clear that Manchester United will cease to exist sometime in the future, if it continues to service an incredible debt, and has the misfortune of a few barren seasons included. Now there is plenty of 20 somethings who have no idea about what it was like to support United in the years we won NOTHING, but those years may only be just around the corner. And if they are, with the debt we now carry, we are on the road too destruction and extinction.

Which points me back to that lovely kit..

I will not be buying it and that is because merchandise is very important to the Glazers business. The obvious reason for this is because it serves their financial model..the one they use when they talk to their bankers and try and attract new sponsors. If I buy that top, which I do so very badly want, then I am condoning that financial model. I am standing up and wearing on my chest 'I may not like the Glazers, but I will continue to fund their fat arses' As a season ticket holder I obviously get the 'oh but you buy your ticket which is the same'...It is not. If I give away my ticket to a fan who will not give two hoots about the survival of the club then it's all over for United as we know it. I pay for my ticket as a minimum, to give me a voice at the Theatre, and to allow me to stand with like minded fans that would bloody die for this club. The days where we once upon a time may have rioted and burned Old Trafford to the ground have thankfully gone..again some younger fans wont have a clue about all that..but the fact that we turn up every week, and dont let the world forget that we are The Faithful and we wont see United die...well, I think that's worth giving the Glazers a few hundred quid for. They hold the keys. It's up to us to rent a seat.

Yet other United fans have the cheek to play the devils advocate roulette wheel and try and use their faux reasonings for buying the top. They claim that they too want the Glazers out, that they care about the club and its future....BUT OH MY GOD they soooo need that new shirt...it's how they identify with the team!!! Utter rubbish. You buy that shirt because you cant resist to buy it. You cant help yourself but to parade yourself in Nike's latest invention, showing the world your 'colours' You think this makes you a Die-Hard..a member of The Faithful..a true Manchester United supporter.

Well I'm afraid to tell you that you are wrong.

If people want to buy the shirt, then personally I'm totally OK with it. But what I will say is please don't kid yourself and think you are aligned with the sort of fan that I am and many of my piers are. I'm not prejudging you. I just don't want you standing next to me the day we get rid of the Glazers, for you to pretend that 'you did your bit' If you want to follow United (not support, but follow) then that is cool. Millions do that from around the world. And if that means you buy United product then fine. But do not think that when judgement day comes at Old Trafford, that you'll be able to raise your hand and say 'I gritted my teeth and did the very small amount that only one fan could do'...because you will be a fraud.

So happy purchasing to the many fans who will wear that cracking looking new top in a few days time. But I will be Green and Gold til the club is sold. Go look in the mirror. If you see a real United fan..one who would walk over hot coals to go watch the reserve team play, then I trust you to do what you know is right.



  1. This kit is already available / leaked on ebay since 2 weeks. I'm pretty sure the manufacturers in Asia are behind this. I'd rather buy it there. All the money will go to the asian manufacturer and not to Nike or the official Glazer store. It's cheaper too ..

  2. Correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression that Nike had already paid Utd (or the evil Glazer empire) for the jersey rights. Hence it really doesn't make a difference to the Glazers whether you buy it or not. Also there are plenty of "followers" and not "supporters" in the world you will get it anyways. The distinction between the two categories of fans as you put it is complete crap. So I don't live in Manchester and I never got the opportunity to "walk over hot coals" to watch the reserves. Doesn't make me any less of a "supporter" than you are or doesn't make a so called "follower". Did you ever wake up at 3am in the morning to watch a United game?
    As for the Glazers treating Utd as a cash cow. FYI, if you treat a business as a cash cow, you are also more likely to take extra care that it does not fail you in the future. Football is a business. Manchester United is a global brand. Football as an industry is suffering from a series from problems which the recent financial crisis helped precipitate. The problems will remain irrespective of whoever are the owners. There is an obvious need for reforms in the player salaries and transfer prices. Till then "support" the team and stop being a sanctimonious ass about the ownership. Thats my personal opinion.

  3. You're absolutely right. I wonna buy it because I buy every United kit but I'll order it direct from Thailand without spendingt money to the Glazers, Nike, AON, or whoever

  4. No i`m not going to by the new shirt, it looks very cheap and ugly.

  5. I’ve agreed with your point on twitter about not giving up your seat because it’s like losing a family tradition if you’ve had it for generations especially; but that to me is essentially because there was at least a hefty waiting list. I got an email on Friday inviting me back to the season ticket gang – if I had got one brand new (or two, really, for me and the missus) does that make me more or less of a fan than someone who has bought the home shirt for years? The worst thing I take from this is that you’re elevating yourself to status of “real fan”, like somehow everything you say is right, and that all the “real fans” agree with you, when that couldn’t be further from the truth, there are so many different fans and circumstances and everyone supports the club in their own way.

    You say if you give your ticket up whoever takes it won’t give two hoots about the club. Why won’t they? What makes you think you’re more passionate than that person, someone who has waited for years in all likelihood to get the chance to get a ticket? When everyone else is trying their best to protest and wanting what is best for the club, that undoubtedly being the Glazers selling up, then how did you end up in a position of judgement or with the higher moral ground by virtue of putting at least 10x times the amount of money into the Glazers pockets at the same time of accusing someone of being “wrong” for giving them far less. Especially when you by your own admission have bought 3 new home shirts under the Glazers tenure. So, were you wrong last year? The year before that? Have you been wrong for buying merchandise since 2005 or is it a knee jerk reaction to us not winning the title and suddenly not having funds to buy it back? Again, I’m not saying you’re right or wrong, but you’re making a strong argument against fellow United fans by questioning their choice – the same choice you have made in a far grander scale but fail to acknowledge any blame for – and by pointing the finger at fellow fans when at the very least you have to admit that you’re giving the Glazers the equivalent of at least every 11 or 12 people buying the shirt, and that leaves you open to accusations of hypocrisy. It certainly doesn’t elevate you to some special section of the “right” United fans, it’s just your opinion. By turning on some of our own fans and questioning their choice to give the Glazers far less of their money than you, well, I’ll take your word for it that there are a great number of fans who agree with you, but from my point of view, you’re the only person who’s ever held this opinion and felt the need to criticise fellow fans. You say “if you buy the shirt then please don’t kid yourself and think you’re aligned with the sort of fan I am”. The sort of fan that will turn their nose down at someone who is giving the Glazers 10% at most of what you’re giving them every year, someone who refuses to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with them. The fan who will refer to the millions around the world as “followers”, not “supporters”? It’s your right to say and do as you want but, well.. Boycott means boycott. Boycott doesn’t mean you choose what is right to boycott and you get to criticise those who don’t boycott the same things. Most of us by definition will be hypocrites on this matter, but if we’re all trying the best we can, then that’s steps in the right direction...

  6. Hey mate – Yolkie here, just responding like I said I would. I know you just told me on Twitter not to and you seemed pretty angry (saying not to “carry it on because you’re bored”) but you have also accused me of sitting on the fence and obviously with the restrictions of Twitter I’ve not been able to fairly and articulately put my point across. Let’s be fair, you can’t just put up a blog which is clearly going to divide opinion and state straight out you don’t want to listen to anyone who disagrees. It’s not just “your say”.

    You know straight up I’m going to disagree with this – but let me say first up like I did on Twitter there is no wrong or right - I'll repeat this again and again- and above all I’m impressed, even inspired, by your passion. If all fans were channelling their passion in the right way we’d probably be getting results as regards getting them out, but we’re not.

    But yeah, my disagreement – with what you’ve blogged in particular – is that it is an attack, no matter how you try and say otherwise, on other fans. You’re calling them frauds, saying some of us “have the cheek to play devils advocate” (which I wasn’t doing, even though you accused me of it), you’re telling people they are wrong, you’re telling people they’re not supporters, after saying you’re not pre-judging them, when that’s exactly what you’re doing!

    In this blog alone you’ve said you “gave them (The Glazers) the benefit of the doubt” when they first took over, and only now are you protesting and choosing not to buy the shirt (for the first time) in some kind of protest. So by your own admission you weren’t part of the protests on the takeover, you didn’t disagree with the principle of us being taken over despite the fact we would be plunged into debt. You say that you could publish all the figures about how the Glazers are destroying the club, but you chose to ignore them when they took over, and essentially by only choosing to not buy the shirt this time around, you’re ignoring the figures now. By publishing the figures we both know in fairness that they would make both buying the season ticket and buying the shirt look like lining their pockets. It doesn’t strengthen your argument either way. I’m not saying you’re wrong or you’re right to have chosen to protest in the way you are doing since, I’m just pointing out something that you have said. It runs deeper than a shirt and you can't just go on about the principle of it now you've decided not to buy this particular one.

    There are thousands of supporters who have boycotted the club since the Glazers took over; a good number who have not visited Old Trafford since, and even a number within those who still bought shirts. People who had season tickets for generations, giving up their seats knowing they wouldn’t get it back. We had radical fans on Stretford-End.com encouraging mass boycott on unprecedented scale. I observed with interest as I was made to consider the several different circumstances of some fans whose perception of the “protest” or “boycott” was totally different...

  7. You’re quick to judge and say in incredibly patronising fashion “enjoy your new shirt”, I haven’t bought it, yet. Does your superiority extend to those who have natural doubts as well? We don’t even have to buy the shirt to become victims of your “I know best and I am right” crusade?

    You told me not to be so serious the other day; to lighten up when I was stressing our financial predicament meant we couldn’t justify spending over £20-30m on another winger when the two we have are perfectly good, or we couldn’t justify spending £25m on a player after one good world cup and is out of contract next year. I was serious because I am passionate about the club and I can’t take it lightly, it hurts me that we can’t take that speculation seriously and when we see players pass us by because we can’t afford them. I can’t understand how you can go from wanting us to spend £25m on a player with one world cup and a good season – overpriced vastly even if he was on a long term deal, which he isn’t – to being so passionately segretational, patronising and deadly serious to fellow fans over their own personal choice on a £40 shirt. Note, I am not questioning your passion or your value of support; I’m questioning your right to do so of others when your own opinion is open to question and built on an argument that can not only be quickly dismissed but also is incredibly flawed. You’re not part of the “right” section, none of us are.

    By creating (or attempting to create) segregation where and when it is needed least, though, you immediately lose the right to challenge other people’s status as “true fans”. (Before you jump – I’m not saying you’re not a true fan)..

  8. Which brings me onto my own stand on the matter. You already know that I have stopped going to games and stopped buying merchandise full stop. Is there a food chain of who is right or wrong – does this make me a better supporter or protester than you? Do I have the right to patronise your choice and say there are a section of supporters who would not stand shoulder to shoulder with you because of the £500+ you have given the Glazers every year since they took over? No, I don’t.

    I told you that since the Red Knights collapse I’ve been disillusioned, considering my own stand in the protest. Am I sitting on the fence? Am I playing “Devil’s Advocate”? No. I had my hopes raised that I would be able to go and watch my club again. Go and watch them and wear the shirt and probably still wear green and gold because it makes me feel proud of what we as fans – fans together – achieved. I thought I’d be able to and do so in full heart. That I could finally return and stand alongside the likes of yourself who had cheered on the club and supported them, both acknowledging that we did what we could. That wasn’t to be. I’d made plans over my wedding this year, was eagerly awaiting the fixture list to plan which games I’d be able to make this season, before the RK started to fall apart spectacularly. It’s with mixed feelings I’m making plans to go to a game early this season. Will I go through with it? Does it make me a hypocrite? Has the time I’ve spent away from the club because of the Glazers been a greater cost already? How can I give the answers to you when I’m going through enduring conflict to which I have no personal answers? It probably does make me a hypocrite but there are undoubtedly thousands of fans in my position, questioning their decision to boycott going to Old Trafford every time they see it full. Our decision short term wasn’t worth it, but we’re making our stand.

    Consider my stand when talking to fellow fans who go follow United home and away, haven’t missed matches home or abroad for nearly 20 years, go to the Far East on the popularity stunts, and buy all the merchandise. It’s their life, their culture. I admire the fact that these people haven’t let the Glazers take their club away and have treated it just the same as they always have. Those that go to the club without casting suspicious eyes on their fellow fans but instead just following the team. If one of those fans buys a shirt with Scholes or Giggs on it because it’s probably their last year, will you consider yourself more of a fan? Will your opinion of them suddenly disintegrate? Surely not, neither will I, I will revel in their tales of those meaningless Far Eastern games since the Glazers have taken over. ...

  9. Great read and a fantastic rally call for the troops.
    I am one of the youngsters you speak of in your article so I dont qualify for some of the situations you highlight as being the stripes to be regarded as a true United supporter.
    But what I am more than capable of doing is reading at great length of the history of Manchester United.
    Back to the chase I will not be buying the new home or away kit from a source that benifits the Glazer.
    As I have already recieved my new kits 2 and 2 pairs of shorts from a wholesaler in China $60 US, inclusive of carriage.
    I will not be denied to wear my colours but I will refuse to give "THEM" the very little disposable income I have, where it can be avoided.

  10. Hypocrite! You know doubt have renewed your season ticket, so please do not preach to others regarding handing over money to Glazier, when you continue to do so

  11. @Anonymous at 20.47 who is being a hypocrite mate?
    Reds can still shout there hatred of the Glazier as you spell there name from within the ground and peacefully protest.
    It serves no purpose for United fans to boycott the matches in my opinion and then watch on Football first or Match of the Day or whatever and sit and cringe and think I should be there.
    I personally do not have the dilemma wether to renew or not because of my location circumstances( and please do not try the plastic fan on me) and financial postion.I respect everyones views in this matter.
    The last game I went to was Blackburn away I hitch hiked to Manchester and back because of limited funds.
    Also I dont believe anyone is preaching its just views buddie.

  12. First off - fair enough with everything you said (pretty much) - that's your opinion!

    My issues are:

    "we have evidence that we are now their cash cow" - as i explained to you on twitter before, the new sponsorship arm of the club, based in London is in fact the cash cow. 22 new sponsors in 2 years, each paying millions to be associated with the club is the cash!! A few fans in the UK not buying the top makes no difference. If you could say to me that you could come up with a way that EVERY united fan in the world would not buy the top i'd join in, but i know that in reality im making no difference

    I accept your reasons for wanting to renew your season ticket but as i've said before, my contribution of £50 to the club for my top is LESS than your season ticket renewal. Surely if you wanted to protest, you'd allow your seat to go vacant. Maybe the true protest is that season ticket holders renew but don't show up for games...surely an empty stadium would say more.

    I do majorly have an issue with this blog in that according to the laws you've made, i'm not a true manchester united supporter! I can count on my fingers the seconds of football down to the academy i've missed in the past few years...i even watch some of the u16s! yet because i buy a shirt im not a true fan!?

    You're argument is logical, it makes sense and i understand it. But, it doesn't make you necessarily more of a fan than me! Because your protest is made with more passion than i've ever protested that doesn't mean i'm no fan. When I go, I usually sit behind a guy who's been going for 50 something years - he saw the G&G and said "load of old rubbish, support the players. It's a fashionable protest, in the modern game we all know nothing will change soon" - he ignores the G&G but you try telling me he's no fan!!

    It's important that fans of the club have differing opinions - allows for debate but you can't go telling me and other fans that we aren't true supporters of the club we love. You can't tell us our OPINION is not valid! Importantly, I didn't realise there were levels of how good a fan one was, "don't kid yourself and think you are aligned with the sort of fan that I am and many of my piers are" - I didn't realise that you were the UberFan - i just presumed you were Rob Blanchette, who supports Manchester United, who has his opinions, some like mine, some not like mine but we accept that because they are just opinions!

    The fact is come Newcastle home on a monday night, you'll be cheering on the same XI as me and you'll want the same winning score as me and if we win we'll be equally delighted.

    If you aren't happy with that - that I can support a team as much as you because I don't protest as much as you, then I believe there is a club called FC United of Manchester somewhere....