Happy belated birthday – United Rant is ten. Well sort of. Born 9 March 2004, Rant has lived in two instalments: first, to March 2007, and then again from April 2009. The hiatus a story too long to recount. Yet, it has certainly been an amusing if sometimes expletive-laden ride; more than a decade of bashing out copy for the general entertainment, or otherwise, of the Manchester United supporting populous.
Along the way Rant has added three iterations of the now infamously vitriolic Forum, a popular podcast, Rant Cast, and for a short time only, a digital monthly. Occasionally, very occasionally, we’ll send out a ‘weekly’ newsletter. Well, you wouldn’t want Rant to conform to type.
In the meantime there has been the odd special appearance elsewhere – radio shows, copy in print and online, and even the odd video instalment as the site grew in both popularity and relevance.
Yet, Rant was never supposed to be a ‘thing’. No fame, revenue, nor attention has ever been sought, or controversy deliberately stoked, although each has been become a stick which critics merrily wield. In more than a decade online – one of the original United fan sites – Rant has sought only to be an outlet for an honest, usually irreverent, assessment of United’s fortunes. Positive or otherwise.
The now immortal first words published on the site tell part of the story: “Cheating bastards. Diving, time wasting, cheating bastards,” said Rant as United tumbled out of the Champions League to José Mourinho’s Porto.
The site began with a commitment to fight a takeover and, in the later years, sought to bring insight and financial analysis to the damaging Glazer ownership. It is still astonishing quite how many supporters remain ambivalent despite the near-£700 million wasted.
On the flip side, there also came one of the site’s most controversial moments, with a suggestion in November 2005 that the club may be better off without Sir Alex Ferguson. It’s a debate that Sir Alex won, taking the Reds to glory in Moscow and beyond. These are the knots that are sometimes tied when there is no agenda nor party line to hold.
What of the next decade? Well, there is no real plan bar a commitment to more of the same. Join us, if you will.