Thoughts of a Manchester United season ticket holder
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.
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'