Sir Alex’ guide to being a “real fan”



“Real fans,” said Sir Alex Ferguson on Saturday, will look at the Glazer family’s debt-fueled ownership of Manchester United over the past seven years and conclude that it “has not affected the team.” It was an assertion made by the 70-year-old manager that sparked a furious debate across social media, with Ferguson, not first the first time, accused of insulting supporters.

It was also news to United Rant, having previously failed to realise that the key tenet of being a Manchester United fan is not, as many believe, supporting the team – home, away, in good times and bad – but obsequious sycophancy towards carpetbagging, tax-dodging, profiteers.

And this new definition of fandom was odd to Rant not solely because United finished trophy-less last season; nor because Stoke City has spent more, net, on acquiring new players over the past five years; nor because the ‘Ronaldo money’ was splurged not on new talent, but on buying back debt; nor because Chelsea has invested around the same amount in Eden Hazard over five years that United spent on debt last season; nor because the Glazer family has wasted more than £500 million on debt-related costs since taking over in 2005; nor, even, because the family has transferred ownership of United to the tax-haven ultra-secretive Cayman Islands.

In fact, this definition is news to Rant for one reason only: we have always believed that it is none of Ferguson’s business, no matter all the silverware and glory he has garnered over the past quarter-century, to define what a ‘fan’ is. Not least because many of the most loyal fans have remained deeply enraged by the Glazer takeover, despite Ferguson’s support of the family these past seven years.

Especially when the former shop-steward, who is paid £6 million-a-year plus bonuses by the Glazers, is so inclined throw insults at whomever disagrees with his assessment that the Americans have been “great” for the club.

“They’ve been great,” said Sir Alex, in a carefully stage-managed attack on the Glazer family’s opponents.

“So if you’re asking me for my views, I don’t have any complaints. I think there are a whole lot of factions at United that think they own the club. They will always be contentious about whoever owns the club, and that’s the way it has always been. There have always been wee pockets of supporters who have their views… but I think the majority of the real fans will look at it realistically and say it’s not affecting the team.”

The real problem with the Glazer family, says Sir Alex, is not the huge drain that debt, which remains at more than £420 million, has bestowed on a once profitable club, but lack of good “publicist.” Rant might conclude that you couldn’t make it up, but Ferguson obviously has.

We have heard much of this before, of course – Sir Alex’ assertion that the family is a “fantastic” owner of a 125-year-old institution, or that there is “no value in the market,” or that fans who don’t like the family should simply ‘f*ck off and support Chelsea,’ or – as in this weekend’s interview with the Mail on Sunday – that it has never been United’s tradition to spend big in the market. That, in fact, the Glazer family is simply holding up a fine United tradition.

On the tenth anniversary of United spending £34 million on Rio Ferdinand, including the £5 million handed to the player’s agent, some fans may have pause for thought on that point. It was a transfer that in today’s terms cost United more than £60 million, according to the excellent Transfer Price Index analysis.

Rant would mention club and British record transfer fees spent on Juan Sebastian Veron, Dimitar Berbatov, Andy Cole, Roy Keane and others during Ferguson’s reign. But that would be too easy.

Yet, while Manchester City is unwilling to countenance fielding young players, Ferguson claims, United is the last bastion of youth – bucking the market to uphold a moral principle dear only to the Scot.

“We buy in the right way and that’s the difference between United and the rest,” Ferguson told his principal cheerleader, Bob Cass.

“We can play 18-year-olds because it’s part of our history. City won’t do it. They definitely won’t play any young players who have come up through the system. Their buys are all 25, 26, 27-year-old established players with a good maturity, experience and good ages.”

It’s an argument that would, of course, have more weight had City’s average player age not been two years lower during the Manchester derby last April. Or if the young United players that started the game – the ones who ‘came through the system’ – weren’t Ryan Giggs, 38, and Paul Scholes, 37.

But all that is a diversion, of course; a deflection from United’s decline, and City’s ascent, in recent years; a red herring, leading the debate away from United’s almost universally criticised Cayman-via-New York IPO. The irony being that hard-nosed US investors will take little notice of Ferguson’s latest Glazer defence – not when the club’s bottom line has been consistently obliterated by debt-related costs since the family’s leveraged buy-out in 2005.

In fact, despite City’s wealth, or the renewed investment by the ‘publicity-shy’ Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, United should remain the biggest fish in the transfer pond given the club’s immense profitability. Only for the profit to be spent almost entirely on debt.

None of that is really the point though. There was time long before the Premier League brought United immense wealth – before all-encompassing commercialisation was even a glint in Peter Kenyon’s eye – that a venerable institution stood on its own feet and competed on a reasonably even playing field. When fans watched football, not bond markets.

Yes, there have been many poor owners in United’s history. As Ferguson asserts, fans complained bitterly about Martin Edwards’ stewardship in the 1980s, and the flotation that took United on to the London Stock Exchange in 1991. This is without mentioning Lou Edwards’ dodgy sausages, or the committees that almost took United into liquidation twice in the 20th century.

None, however, has been so singularly dedicated to extracting ‘value’ for themselves at the club’s expense as the Glazer family. None has ensured United haemorrhaged money in quite the same way.

Nor, Rant suspects, has any manager backed the owners in quite the same way as Ferguson. The world’s greatest living manager, now reduced to attacking supporters who care deeply about the club. It’s no way to maintain a legacy.

But since Rant has never been one to follow Ferguson’s obsequious lead, we’re unlikely to pass the “real fan” test anyway.

Share Button
  • matt

    this is ridiculously well written, the tone is absolutely perfect for the subject matter which is viciously true. i don’t know if “takedown” is the proper adjective but it seems close enough…great job, ed.

  • MK

    Absolute quality…keep it going lads. I can’t believe Fergie would go this far to protect the glazers. I just can’t believe it.

  • Just1n

    Another excellent article Ed. As Alf said in another thread, i’m really losing all respect for Fergie. If he feels the need to suck Malcolms cock then he should do that without involving fans.

    • Daniel

      Dude, chill.

      • Harsh

        ‘Just1n’, seriously, it’s his opinion. And frankly speaking, he deserves one. After all, he has done for the club. Would you prefer the club being mired in debt and enjoying sustained success on the pitch or rather an ultra-profitable commercial venture with no silverware. Think about it, this club needs SAF and needs the fans even more.

        • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

          Harsh – why present it as debt = trophies or profit = no silverware. Clearly nonsense. This isn’t a zero sum game.

          • Harsh

            Obviously, we’d all prefer a successful club ona nd off the pitch. But, my point here is we need SAF really badly. Our squad is better than sum of its parts because of him.
            Moreover, my comment was directed to these lines of “just1n” particularly: “i’m really losing all respect for Fergie. If he feels the need to suck Malcolms cock then he should do that without involving fans.”

  • Crip

    I’d like to preface my comments with the fact my reply does not endorse the Glazers ownership of United but is an attempt to try and put Fergie’s comments and a position into perspective;

    I think in all the bluster it’s important to note that Fergie does state that even those are contentious about the ownership of the club “show good intentions”. He also acknowledges that those fans that have different views, well that “there’s nothing wrong with that”. Of course, neither of these comments make for good headlines so are suitably discarded by those discussing the issue.

    I also would never expect Fergie to criticize the Glazer’s based on the simple fact they ARE the owners. Our club would be in considerable disarray if a journalist could get Fergie to comment neutrally on the ownership, let alone negatively. This is Manchester United. Can you imagine the headlines? Can you imagine how long it would run? Can you imagine the players being asked their thoughts? Can you imagine “informed” opinion pieces from writers all over the globe? Entirely possible we would see Fergie removed from his position by the club and end up being replaced by some Swedish guy. It would be madness and none of it helpful to what takes place where it really matters for many United fans….on the pitch.

    Bear in mind just how many headlines Fergie’s comments have garnered and they simply were the comments of an employee stating he considers his bosses goods owners publicly.

    No, I fully expect Fergie to defend the Glazer’s and no United fan should really hope or expect any different.

    • Steve Roberts

      Excellent reply. Unfortunately most united fans are not intelligent enough to understand this.

      • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

        Steve – so if you don’t agree with the Glazers’ way of doing business you’re not a “real fan” according to Fergie… and lack intelligence, according to you. Stay classy Steve.

        • Steve Roberts

          No, you’re just thick if you really expect Ferguson to say anything contrary to the owners ….. I mean thick, thick thick!

          • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

            Steve – you mean like the time Ferguson sued the majority shareholders in 2004? I await your latest insult.

          • Steve Roberts

            …. look what happened then. You underestimate his intelligence in expecting him to make the same mistake twice. Cop on to yourselves ffs.

          • colum

            ‘No, you’re just thick if you really expect Ferguson to say anything contrary to the owners’

            Is that so? He used to do it all the time under Edwards and the PLC, frequently criticising their investment/the wage scale at the time.

          • Damian Garside

            Sorry Steve, but Fergie does have the option of keeping his mpouth shut.

        • Harsh

          Ed, it’s a well written article, no doubt. But, you and I, both know, Ferguson is a shrewd operator. He also has his ulterior motives here: and in this case, it is protecting his job. I know a lot of people who work in close alliance with the United boardroom, and it is a known fact that Ferguson isn’t considered to be as powerful as the Glazers. His job is still at their mercy, however big a legend he is. There have been numerous instances under the Glazers which have infuriated SAF, like his wages, which is lesser than Arsene ’7 years without a trophy’ Wenger, but yet he hasn’t gone public about it. The statment about the ‘real fan’ is just a method, he thought would be able to unite all of us true fans, in my opinion.

    • jbd

      As Crip says, if he says anything differently he’s out. There’s been a few rumours of his recent dissatisfaction with the situation so it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s been told to say something like that. However, his use of ‘real fans’ is gratuituous and impossible to justify.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    “Real fans,” said Sir Alex Ferguson on Saturday, will look at the Glazer family’s debt-fueled ownership of Manchester United over the past seven years and conclude that it “has not affected the team.”

    I would like to ask Ferguson how he thinks their ownership has affected the “real fan”.

    How the cost of supporting United has become prohibitive for the average working man… especially if he’s got kids to take and kit out.

    Parasites…

    And Ferguson has not only betrayed United and it’s fans in actively supporting the Glazers… he’s even betrayed his own working class roots… shame on the fucker.

    • baldmosher

      I’ve only been going to OT occasionally since 1989, but even in those days it definitely wasn’t a cheap do. It’s not the 1950s any more, when you could get there with your mates on the bus for sixpence, pay a shilling on the gate or just jump the turnstiles if you were a wee urchin. I am not sure that the “working class with kids” has ever been able to go in my football-watching lifetime (I was born 1979). Most of the working classes just moaned about how it was impossible to get tickets without ever being bothered to spend excessive amounts of scarce cash on them. Putting utd on the television every other week just justified the malaise even further. What you’re seeing now is utd as a highly profitable marketer’s dream, not a football club. And it’s exactly the same for most top-level clubs around Europe.

      As much as commentators have been saying “City have it coming to them now” the prices of their season tickets have remained unbelievably low, whilst Glazer has pushed utd’s tickets unbelievably high.

      And yet, on the flipside, it’s still more expensive to watch QPR at home than utd at home, and you can get tickets for OT quite easily if you want to see the odd game. So don’t complain too much – it could be worse.

      • baldmosher

        One more thing… I should add that you can get very cheap tickets for places like the Camp Nou, I looked a few years ago and tickets for the “derby” game against Espanyol were just €18 up in the gods. I imagine that if City ever do expand Wastelands to meet demand, that they will adopt a similar pricing policy, given their reticence to hike prices in the face of the new FFP rules. I don’t see any evidence that utd are making tickets accessible in this way.

      • GameON

        The example with ticket prices is not right. Barcelona are backed by Catalunia, Madrid by the Spanish government. They could charge 10$ a game and still make big transfers. City on the other hand are backed by the Oil money and the owner invest billions, thats why prices are lower. And even with lower prices they still can’t fill their stadium every week.
        And all this hate after ONE relatively bad season. A lot of spoiled fans around here.

        • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

          GameON – lot of ignorance in this post. The old ‘Barca and Real backed by governments’ is nonsense. I charge you to PROVE IT. Nope? Didn’t think so. Barca have a ton of bank debt, I’ll give you that and both will need to make some adjustments when FFP gets into full swing, but equally both easily qualify. Ticket prices are reasonable at both because they pull in large crowds and because they’re owned by the fans. Unlike the Glazers have done to United’s fans, the fans at Barca and Real aren’t about to shaft themselves.

          • GameON

            Ignorance? So you are telling me that Catalunia will let his crown jewel to fall because of bank debt? I expect you are familiar with the term “too big to fall”. And this apply to all big clubs in the world. Especially the top 5-10.
            Don’t get me wrong I am not on the Glazers side, heck I even have a green/yellow scarf.
            I do back SAF though. I dont think his comments were offensive. Its you who are making it sound offensive. And how is it affect the club exactly? 1 CL + 2 finals + 4 PL in the past 5 years or so. Thats not bad at all. Or what you want total dominance all the time with winning everythink every year. Thats not how football work. And heck I want like it that way.
            Is it all about – “we cant compete for big transfers, we suck”?
            I bet the “Stoke has spent more money net than MU” is with Ronaldo money included.
            YES it could have been better without Glazers and their debt but we are not that far off either.
            Sorry for my bad Englis(not a native english speaker)
            PS Greeting from Bulgaria.

          • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

            GameON – well non native English speaker or not you’ve done well enough the read the article aside from the bottom three paragraphs in which I quite clearly say that the important bit is how the Glazers have used the club as their personal piggy bank. And that it was better when United at least stood on it’s own two feet with a reasonably level playing field. Read that bit or did you just decide to interpret the bits of the article that support your fatuous argument?

            It’s not about going out there and spending millions – whatever the figure. Fans are angry because the owners are bleeding the club dry, slowly but surely, to the tune of more than £500 million and counting. For their own personal gain, and not in the club’s best interests.

            And so what if net spend includes Ronaldo – he was a massive talent, worth every penny Real spent on him. I’d rather have one Ronaldo than 10 Bebes any day. And even excluding Ronaldo net spend is nowhere near the figure promised by the Glazers when they acquired the club.

            As an aside, how many trophies did United win last year? And how many of the trophies won over the past seven years are you attributing directly to the Glazers’ ownership?

            To be honest you’re re-hasing every tired pointless Glazer apologising argument ever made. None of them are any good. I suspect that you’re not offended because you’re just the kind of fan the family wants – you know – a “follower”. A complicit customer who shuts up and opens his/her wallet when required. Suppose that’s what Fergie would call a “real fan”.

  • TheHumbleGent

    Hello,

    I’ve never commented on your site before but have read your website articles and listened to your Podcasts since they started and continue to look forward to anything United Rant publishes.

    Your articles continue to set a perfect tone for United fans and, having supported the shirts since 1979′s F.A. Cup Final defeat consider myself to be a lifelong red (I don’t go anymore, I’ve been priced out).

    It disgusts me what has happened to United, what has been allowed to happen to United and ‘Sir’ alex ferguson’s attitude both to the glazers and United supporters.

    This man has become a vile, tyrannical conservative of the worst kind whose motivation is power and money. No doubt when he retires he’ll write his second autobiography slating the glazers and suggest that he didn’t want them there in the first place but his interests was the fans and the performance of the team.

    ferguson has sullied what could have been the perfect legacy had he spoken out. His supporters may suggest that he didn’t say anything in order to protect his job and earn a living but ferguson could have walked into any job he wanted, and how many millions does a person actually need before money becomes totally irrelevant.

    The ‘dodgy’ deals, the obscene flogging of the ‘franchise’, the jobs for the boys that all the ex United players get and the power that ferguson wields means that no one connected to the club will ever speak out against what has happened to our club because there are too many on the inside of the tent pissing out. The only action is to stop going. I’m not against anyone that goes but my own principles dictates that if I have to watch my club destroyed then I will do it from afar. Maybe a few lean years will will separate the wheat from the chaff!

    Rant over!

    Once again, thank you for the excellently written articles and continued success.

    Love United, F*uck Off glazers You Bloodsucking C*unts.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Commenter said:
    I’d like to preface my comments with the fact my reply does not endorse the Glazers ownership of United but is an attempt to try and put Fergie’s comments and a position into perspective;
    I think in all the bluster it’s important to note that Fergie does state that even those are contentious about the ownership of the club “show good intentions”. He also acknowledges that those fans that have different views, well that “there’s nothing wrong with that”. Of course, neither of these comments make for good headlines so are suitably discarded by those discussing the issue.
    I also would never expect Fergie to criticize the Glazer’s based on the simple fact they ARE the owners. Our club would be in considerable disarray if a journalist could get Fergie to comment neutrally on the ownership, let alone negatively. This is Manchester United. Can you imagine the headlines? Can you imagine how long it would run? Can you imagine the players being asked their thoughts? Can you imagine “informed” opinion pieces from writers all over the globe? Entirely possible we would see Fergie removed from his position by the club and end up being replaced by some Swedish guy. It would be madness and none of it helpful to what takes place where it really matters for many United fans….on the pitch.
    Bear in mind just how many headlines Fergie’s comments have garnered and they simply were the comments of an employee stating he considers his bosses goods owners publicly.
    No, I fully expect Fergie to defend the Glazer’s and no United fan should really hope or expect any different.

    I disagree… if Ferguson had shown solidarity with the fans and even some leadership in the first place… I think we could have prevented the Glazer takeover… but anyway… to stick with your point…
    “This is Manchester United. Can you imagine the headlines? Can you imagine how long it would run? Can you imagine the players being asked their thoughts? Can you imagine “informed” opinion pieces from writers all over the globe? Entirely possible we would see Fergie removed from his position by the club and end up being replaced by some Swedish guy. It would be madness”…
    Absolutely… and that’s the stuff revolutions are made of…
    What we have now is an apathetic majority, willing to accept what they believe is just the way of the modern game, and the words of wisdom from the “Great One” aren’t just calming the restless and undecided… but casting doubt on the motives of the dissenters.
    What we need is clear and defined words of defiance from Ferguson… he has the United masses in the palm of his hand… if he said boycott… Old Trafford would show football to nowt but pigeons.
    Manchester United needs to get these parasites off its back… that’s not going to happen with patience… it will either happen when the Glazers fully realise their ultimate goal… and at the current rate, fuck knows how long that could take… their greed knows no limits… or…
    It will happen when enough “REAL FANS” have had enough of their malignant ownership and force the cunts out of the fucking club… whether by riots or financial starvation.
    But one thing is for certain… as long as Ferguson keeps singing their praises… most fans, who can afford to pay the Glazers bills for them… will keep doing so.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

    • Andrew

      Alfonso, Intrigued to hear your views on how SAF could have prevented the takeover….apols if youve addressed it further down

  • Pikey McScum

    While supporters continue to support the club financially worldwide ie merchandising, tickets, TV etc then there will be no revolution

  • Mikey t

    I fear the problem fergie had when the gimps came in was that had he opposed the take over there would have been a massive the civil war that the club would have experienced.

    With fergies green light to revolt there would have been a lot more than just blocking the gimps cars in a tunnel with a few fences.

    The problem is now that we fans that highlight the threat these twats pose to our club’s future, are preaching to those who simply don’t care. They are taken in by one or two signings every 2 seasons and show no interest in the cold hard data staring everyone in the face.

    I gave my ticket up 4 years ago, continually frustrated by the increasing prices, lack of atmosphere at OT, not being able to enjoy a reasonably priced beer outside the ground or sit with my mates in the stadium….. Fuck that list just keeps growing!!

    The point is that the dicks that buy into statements like fergies recent one now have the cheek to turn round and give me shit for being negative and not supporting the club. To not be pro glazer is apparently now to be anti utd.

    The problem we face as we have always known is that so long as we stand our ground and fight for our clubs future we will be out cast. Johnny come latelys and the Korean brigade that now make up the majority of match day goers are now supposedly the real fans.

    The type of fans the club want, come in spend big money and fuck off. Don’t take an interest in anything other than match day, believe the hype and keep servicing the debt.

    And they see their false case is further strengthened by more rumours that we have had a £26m bid for moura accepted.

    Having fought for so long I am now beginning to lose patients with these clowns and am becoming more resigned to match days in the pub reminiscing with a few knowledgable reds of how much fun it used to be goin to OT.

    And at 28 yrs old that depresses the fuckin shite out of me

  • iDon

    Shame on him … He has lost his head, after loosing two times from the same club on the same stage “CL finals”, after lossing 6-1 in home, after loosing from Basel and yet not being able to build a solid team … He has guts to insult the “real fans” who sacrifice everything for this club, and have no profit watsoever

    I’m very disaapointed in you Sir

    • jbd

      Not being able to build a solid team ? We’ve won 4 of the last 6 titles, and missed out on the others on goal difference on the last day of the season and by 1 point. Three CL finals in 4 years, winning one and losing to the best team in the world at that time isn’t so bad either. There’s bound to be dip from time to time.Add to that the otehr trophies and yet again it’s been a period that any club, in terms of onfield success can be proud of. Yes, he says the wrong things from time to time,as if he had any option, but his record is still second to none. It’s a tribute to him he’s kept things going with the carper baggers bleeding the club dry.

  • Phil

    excellently written, well researched article…fergie really is damaging his ever lasting legacy he will 4ever b a legend in the fans eyes but the glazer episode will 4ever leave a bitter taste in the mouth

  • John C

    Fergi will not criticise the owners , as somebody says, well it didn’t stop him taking on the Irish owners over a horse!!! And this led to the Glazers taking over let’s not forget.

    • Leif Sward

      My thoughts exactly. I have always felt that the only reason Fergie is still there is because he knows it was his fault the Glazers took control and stitched the club up with debt.

  • http://twitter.com/dosdamt Ben Hulston

    Very well written piece, Ed. My frank opinion of the Glazers has always been that they are the vilest of cretins and the quantity of cash that has flowed out of the business since they took over – well over £500m on non-value adding cash servicing debts and professional services – is mind boggling.

    Now, in Fergie’s defence, I do agree that the transfer market has most likely been distorted by activity from clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, and more lately Chelsea and Citeh. However, if we weren’t so hamstrung, we could actively compete, paying the top dollar fees that are required to prise players from their clubs.

    As Alf says, the worst thing Fergie has done throughout this is betray his working class roots.

  • Dimo

    That is some big-balls rant, congratz.

    I cannot agree more, its a pity that a profit machinery like MU is feeding one’s debt.

    My are losing competitiveness on the market, especially on the market of young players. We lost our top prodigies, and we are left with youngsters that will soon finish up in Championship teams. And our first team is far from “Babes”.

  • zee

    Woow, great reply this should be posted on every fan site.

  • Maz

    Say what you want about the owners, say what you want about the debt, but don’t you dare insult SAF. Not you Ed, but some of the replies. Calling him vile just shows lack of respect and ungratefulness I can’t fathom.
    Raise your hand if you were not in a job with a boss you didn’t think was great but had to put up with it. It’s a normal thing everybody has, or continues to go through it on a daily basis. Now imagine reporters just waiting on every word you say, hoping, just hoping you say the wrong, or to them the right thing that will sell papers for weeks.

    I don’t like the Glazers, I won’t defend them, but just remind yourself, it could be worse. While we may not able to get the best of the best, we have a manger, that can make those players beat teams that have the best of the best. We signed a top, young goalie last year. We seem to be signing top young talent this year.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he says those things on the same day it is rumored we have signed Lucas.

  • http://amanmittal23192.blogger.com Aman Mittal

    It has to be said that the article is obviously well written, but one should try and understand Sir Alex Ferguson’s position with the owners too. Last season was a debacle and well this season might not be wonders. Almost every fan hates the Glazers, but I don’t see SAF going against them ever. If only it was possible for fans to make them fuck off.

  • John

    Sorry guys but I disagree with majority of views here and with the author. Fergie is correct with most of his comments. Since the glazers have took over united have had their most successful 7yr period in their whole history. Winning 4PL, losing another two by a total of one point, with last season’s loss on goal difference at least in part, due to thr worst injury list in the whole league:

    http://injuryleague.com/2012/05/man-united-top-final-injury-league-table-of-the-season/

    Losing to a team that had the best injury record in the whole league with a squad that cost more to assemble than all of uniteds 20 PL squads put together. Also during this period we won 1CL and got to two more finals. Does anyone disagree with that? No, people on here can’t disagree, so they trot out the old favourite it was done “despite” the Glazers and when we don’t win anything it’s “because” of them! That’s pretty much a lose-lose situation.

    People bang on about ticket prices, but ticket prices have risen everywhere where there is demand. Last season united were 4th in the value for money league:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18115990

    Try arguing about ticket prices with arsenal fans!

    The debt that the Glazers imposed on the club by the way they bought it is abhorrent, on this point I agree with the rest of you. People going on about £500m going out of the club to service this debt, have a point, of course. However, through the strategy of the Glazers, increasing the number of people working on the commercial side of the club from just 3 in 2005 to 80 or so nowadays. With a super-aggressive strategy of monetising our huge world wide support (shirt sales just weren’t working with the number of fakes on the market), they have increased commercial income from £25m in 2005 to over £100m last year. That’s an increase of over 400%! This has brought in an extra approx £300-350m over that 7yr period. That has helped keep ticket prices down and has offset a lot of the £500m debt payments, with further increases in commercial income expected over the coming years.

    Fergie states that he has always had the money he needs for transfers when he’s asked for it and the evidence is there for that. £30m for berbatov in 09, £47m net spent last year. This year united have spent £14-19m already on kagawa and powell, with bids confirmed (if you believe reports) of around £30m and £10m on Lucas moura and rvp, that’s a total of up to £60m that could be spent this summer, with about £7m taken back from sales, mainly Park to QPR.

    Finally I think that a lot of us go onto blogs like this and in newspapers etc. The journos try to paint the most negative view possible, it sells, rival fans like to take the p***, it’s their job, and I think some united fans get wound up to the point that the believe all the negativity and lose their objectivity.

    As for those of you slagging SAF off then I warn you to remember the sayings “be careful what you wish for” and “you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone”. When I started supporting united in the sexton years, followed by big Ron, united were shit. SAF has re-built this club to what it is today, the biggest, most supported, most valuable sports team on the planet. That’s down to one man, Alex Ferguson.

    By the way, if half of you on here were as vocal with you support of the team at Old Trafford (the fans who go to away games are absolutely brilliant) as you are moaning about the owners and fergie, then perhaps the atmosphere at home games wouldn’t be so shit.

  • http://aryora.wordpress.com Ary Ora

    It’s sad what has become of united! But I don’t really expect Fergie to speak against the Glazers, but at least I expect him to act out by at least demanding more funds for the best players, instead of settling for average and ‘future talents’. If truly the Glazers’ ownership hasn’t affected united spending coffers, I’d like to see him land both Lucas Moura and RVP. At least that would get panicking fans to shut up! But as we all know…….

  • Sajjaad

    I hate Glazers as much as you do or even more,but if anyone expects SAF to be neutral or speak out the consequences maybe just too great! This is not a perfect world so deal with it.But i sincerely do hope Glazers repays the whole debt of our beloved club,if not for the debt you cannot argue against the fact they are great owners, better than Roman in my opinion.

    So lets stop this nonsense and get behind the team.The last thing we need is this.Good times are ahead just be patient.
    i am just Reiterating Crip says:
    July 22, 2012 at 11:26 pm

  • Dave

    As a Blue, it’s great to read an honest assessment of the situation from a red perspective that isn’t just blinkered propaganda. Great article.

  • Waxfoot

    Excellent article Ed. Well written, and the scorn is very well controlled! “It’s no way to maintain a legacy.” So very true. I think we can stomach a lot of what SAF says because he’s just appeasing the owners, meaning he can just get on with his job the way he likes to. However, I never thought he would go this far.

  • Peter Hall

    Morning guys.
    Lifetime City fan, but I come in peace. I saw the article via a link on Twitter. Congratulations on such a well considered piece-its obvious the pain you are going through.Considering that both Fergie and Arsene are the most successful manager in PL and both have a tendancy to play younger players, its obvious why City have adopted the policy of buying players in their early twenties(certainly under Roberto), because the UK coaching syatem is not producing 19 year olds good enough for the PL. These players cost, but what else do you do?

  • Dorris

    Good article. I think people are forgetting how shrewd SAF is. He has to keep the owners happy if he wants to keep his job and also if he wants to get a player in. I think this is Fergie trying to keep the attention away from what Uniyed aretrying to do in the transfer market.

    He was insulting towards the fans, but i’m sure he thinks the fans willnturn arond once the new signing get unveiled. That is of course if any more arrive.

  • RJWonder

    I know blogs like this have to write articles like this to keep the page hits up, but its pretty sad that people actually believe it. Whats funny is that the arguments about money leaving the club immediately crumbles when you realise its money that WASN’T THERE before. Too many ignore how much the Glazers turned a “Steady Eddie” company which signed an awful (from a business side) 15 year deal with Nike purely because they had no ability to realise the true business potential, into a worldleading BUSINESS not just a retirement fund, which is basically how the PLC had managed it up to that point. Does this mean its great the money is going out? Of course not, but to talk as if it would’ve been there without the Glazers is plainly ignoring the facts. And lets be clear of one other thing on the business side – there’s not a single business analyst worth his salt who would say ANYTHING they’ve done has been negative in a BUSINESS sense. The strategy they’re using has been faultless in that regard, do lets move onto the one thing fans think they know something about – football.

    We know for a fact that transfers can be acheived quicker, as its just a simple phone call as Fergie has mentioned before. In terms of money though and attracting the best talent, thats where we’ve faulted right? Because it was under the Glazers that Zidane refused to sign for us multiple times, finally before he went to Madrid. And Figo. And Thuram who the papers said we had “signed” for about 3 years straight. And Kluivert who turned us done and meant we went for Yorke instead. And Batistuta. And we sold Stam because we needed to balance the books after the Glazers had raped us for money right? And our famed number 7, one of the world’s best players we sold to Real Madrid to balance the books and completely failed to replace him with someone of equal talent. We pretended to be bidding for a South American world star who decided to go to Barcelona instead of us, so we picked up someone completely unproven at the highest level instead. No, I’m not referring to selling Ronaldo and then our failed chase for Sanchez, I’m talking about Beckham and our failed chase for Ronaldinho.

    The simple fact is we have NEVER been able to attract worldclass talent in their prime and we’ve ALWAYS had budget constraints in terms of transfer fees and wages (not over 50% of turnover remember). These things were in place well before the Glazers came in, and considering they’re looking to maintain the business (which btw is the only way we can compete, by continuing to prove ourselves as a BUSINESS especially with the new rules coming in) and take profits for themselves, while allowing the business to remain successful. The only real change now of course is that with Chelsea and City, its clear that we’ve struggled with the finances as much as with the draw of Spain or Italy in the past. Again though, this is NOT NEW, its just now more obvious. We’ve signed only ONE worldclass player that wasn’t in England since Fergie took charge (Veron), and that was as much down to the support we gave him during the trial than anything else (RVN was not worldclass when he came and had yet to prove himself at the highest level). Beyond that, the only worldclass players we’ve signed have been in the PL, so its been easy to convince them to move to the biggest and best club that they’ve probably admired over the years.

    Whats really sad though is that in the desperate attempts to find an enemy, not only have these facts been lost, but fans have also ignored one of the key criteria that always made a United player special – he WANTED to be here. Frankly its embarrassing that blogs like this and the fans demand we fork out for people like Nasri or Sneijder when they’re so clearly more interested in the £££ than specifically playing for United. How can a fan be so desperate to want players with this mentality? Aren’t you happy we waited and got Ronaldo (who wanted to be here when he was here and ALWAYS had his plan for Real) than splurged on Ronaldinho? SHould we really have pushed and given Tevez everything he wants rather than signed Hernandez? Look at the players that follow the money and it takes no time at all to recognise those are NOT the players we want at our club. Of course nobody is saying we shouldn’t pay whats necessary to get the best, but thats different to a player jigging to whoever offers the most money. At United we should be hoping…DEMANDING a better class of player, and we should be supporting Fergie in his attempts to bring that kind of player in. We paid buckets for Veron but he clearly wanted to stay when we let him go. Berbatov turned down City’s mega money and despite his treatment (right or wrong) he STILL would prefer to stay. Spending money isn’t the problem, its spending the money for the right type of player and mindset. The fact is that the Glazers haven’t changed this approach.

    I think the worst thing about fans right now is their inability to take a long-term look. They say they want the best for the club, but then want us to break the bank to bring in poison like Nasri. A short term possible gain and long term issues when it comes to how that type of player affects our squad. Long term though… Long term the Glazers always planned to put us back on the market and wipe out the debt, but what the short term thinkers forget is that once that plan is achieved, with the FPL in play we would be able to spend more money than ANY other club in the world without risking the business (and thus the long term future of the club), which would put us in a position we have NEVER been in before. That is the long term picture, a future without debt (which we didn’t have before of course) and with way more money than we’ve EVER had, and the ability to comfortably outspend ANYONE. Of course the immediate response is “But we’ve sold our soul to get there!” and that may be true, but thats also reality, and it didn’t start with the Glazers, it started with Edwards and co who tried every which way to sell up to whoever with no care for our future, and when they put us on the exchange.

    The fact is that the Glazers want a successful business and are trying to (and already have) take it to new hieghts the PLC never even managed. If what they do is successful blogs like this will be obsolete and they will be recognised as the perfect example of how to maximise the business potential of a sports club. They have not tried to get involved with the football side of things nor have they changed the restrictions Fergie has always worked with, so what reasons does he have to complain? In his day to day, all he’s seen is a restriction in the barriers to getting an answer on a purchase, which makes his life much easier. Its really about time fans stop this short term thinking and start really looking at the whole picture, as its nowhere near as bad as you think.

  • Dinkinflicker

    http://www.manutd.com/en/Tour2012Teaser/Tour2012News/2012/Jul/sir-alex-ferguson-confirms-interest-in-lucas-moura.aspx

    Fuck me, not like Fergie to speculate publicly. Season Ticket sales must be really down…i’ve already had 2 begging letters to come back and I gave mine up 4 years ago.

    • John

      So your support depends on who united sign then does it? You would base your season ticket renewal on signings? Absolute bollocks. True fans support the team through thick and thin……the trouble with most united fans is that due to the lack of “thin” for 20yrs they think success is a given.

  • Dave

    I’m a Liverpool fan who read this on a Liverpool fansite where we were discussing the Glazers and their affect on United. I’m probably going to get slated for this, but fuck it.

    Just wanted to say it is a fantastic piece of writing sir. After the experience (and christ what an experience it was) of our own parasites taking money out of the club to service their buying of the club in the first place, I just wanted to say I’m right behind the United fans who don’t trust the Glazers and want them gone.

    No one within a football club has the right to dictate who is a “real fan” and who isn’t. Even someone as legendary to your club as SAF. Just because he is trying to appease his paymasters to keep running things his way, doesn’t mean he can take it out on those rightly distrustful of a family who are taking money out of the club not only to finance the debt, but also take “consultancy fees” as payment to themselves.

    This probably doesn’t mean much given who I support and where I’m from, but just wanted to say Good Luck in getting rid of the parasitic, blood sucking, only in it for themselves c*nts.

  • Danielle

    Hey all. I’m a Liverpool fan, and while I obviously don’t like United, I feel for the fan base as LFC fans know all too well what this kind of ownership & debt can bring about. For Liverpool, Without the strong actions of the support and most importantly our manager being vocal about his disapproval of the owners (despite what that meant for him personally), we would have been up shits creek.

    Benitez put his job on the line to try and standup to Hicks and Gillette. He fought tooth and nail to help the club first and foremost, and in the end he was up against such strong forces that he lost the battle. Whatever else Benitez did or didn’t do, he stood up for the club & fans. He knew how bad things were and instead of trying to save his job by standing by the owners, he did what was right.

    I find it very surprising that someone as successful as Fergie would put the fans down and defend the blood sucking owners. That’s why I feel for the supporters. They deserve better from a manager like that.

    I only hope for football’s sake you don’t have to go through what we did, but stay vigilant and don’t buy into AF’s BS.

  • Pingback: Lucas Moura, Robin van Persie and The Glazers: What’s Ferguson up to? | Can They Score?

  • Peter K

    I’m impressed with the article but struggle to see why only 16 or so people comment on the issue, especially given the sports drivel in most of the daily rags and they’re read and believed by so many sheepeople its mind numbing. I’m a Liverpool supporter (not fan, never been fanatical about anything so don’t get them same immense hatred for United that most do) and have noticed for years the decline and luck (fergie magic) that has won them premier leagues over the last few years, my dad/unlce are loyal United fans and I’m constanly in their ears about how poor the team has been (although still winning), I mean seriously, Bebe aside, there are too many players that would have never been allowed cut the grass at OT never mind run around on it, Carrick isn’t a United player he’s got no flair or imagination, if it can’t go backwards or sideways he lost, Fletcher although trustworthy isn’t a United player, then theres Rafael and his Bro, Evans, Macheda and Anderson who really don’t strike fear into a opposition reading the teamsheet, Berbatov is looking at the exit and Giggs and Scholes although still got great footballing brains are close to the glue factory as far as football is concerned (no disrespect intended there), Thats 11 players out of 34 listed at the moment and Smallings out for the start of the season, its crazy to think Fergie believes he has the squad and ability to get whats left to win the league/champions league/FA or Worthless Cup. Where is the Cantona/Keane type player to control the game, where is the back 4 that stand up when the likes of bruce/pallistar and Irwin were around and goalkeepers are fundametal, but what you’ve got just seems to be mental. I’ve been watching United (because of said family members) since the days of Gary Bailey and Jesper Olsen, when Bryan Robson was still young and I have to say that the problem the club has is the clingers on, the fans that have supported them whilst winning so have no knowledge as how to loose gracefully, thats the future of United now, these are your ambassodors for the future. I know as a Liverpool supporter we’ve been muck, but at least the second coming is “maybe next year”- 20 years and counting

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

      Peter K – I was out all day and had forgotten to approve all the comments. Sorry.

  • Twisted Blood

    Watch out Dink. You almost sounded like a fan interested mainly in success on the pitch. We at Rant aren’t concerned with that stuff. It’s all about crumbling empires, the manifest superiority of the sovereign wealth funded club model, Fergie’s political beliefs, the woes of capitalism, the glory of United F.C., and supporters like some posters who are this close to leaving the club. Posting about buying a CM who will wow and delight us? For shame.

  • sidney

    Jesus, Van Persie, now Modric…
    Fergie talking openly about potential big name transfers…
    It’s with an eye on the IPO n all. That’s why he has come out and reconfirmed his support for the Glazers regime.

  • Sahil

    and the article doesn’t even mention two names that give a lot away about how the youth at United see the club: Pogba and Ravel.

  • Sheffield red

    Hard to believe this man use to be a union militant and dedicated socialist. The bottom line is that Fergie has always put himself before the good of the club. There’s no doubt in my mind that had he spoken out we wouldn’t be sitting here strangled by a half a billion pounds of debt. Instead he alienated the two largest shareholders for his own interest and sat on the fence when the gimps appeared in order to protect HIS position.

    The people he dismisses as not ‘real fans’ are probably the people he told to fuck off and watch Chelsea, or the ones who now have been totally priced out of watching their club, or the ones who made Old Trafford the most intimidating ground in the country. In other words the people who have been shafted hardest by the gimps and haven’t been prepared to sit by whilst Rome burns.

    Great manager. Despicable man.

    • shuggie

      Not hard to believe at all.

      Just read animal farm.

      Human nature.

  • 19 and Counting

    Excellent article Ed! Sums up real United fans’ feelings I think. Well done

  • 19 and Counting

    19 and Counting said:
    Excellent article Ed! Sums up real United fans’ feelings I think. Well done

    sidney said:
    Jesus, Van Persie, now Modric…

    Fergie talking openly about potential big name transfers…

    It’s with an eye on the IPO n all. That’s why he has come out and reconfirmed his support for the Glazers regime.

    A lot of talk but little action I’m afraid. And by some miracle we do sign a player like Moura or Modric, we can expect the sales of Nani and Rooney anyways.

  • http://www.kicboy.com Kicboy

    Bravo – I was astonished when I saw another defence of the Glaziers’ strategy in the press over the w/end.

    Utd’s near neighbours to the north might describe this situation as the chickens coming home to roost!

  • Damian Garside

    What a call to arms! You guys deserve a Pullitzer Prize for this piece.

    Ferguson is beginningn to sound exceptionally threadbare: like a ham bone that has been stewing away far too long.

    And Justin — who, when I commented on the poor United performances in South Africa, asked which `retarded part’ of South Africas I come from — actually I live in Mafikeng but was born near Manchester and studied at Manchester University — I would ask you to be a good little boy and keep quiet because who knows how long this nightmare will take before its plot completely unfolds.

  • dws

    ed, well done mate, never give up the fight against these scumbags from Florida. The venom and hatred which so many of us feel is proof of the Glazers poor management of our club and disgraceful attitude to the fans

  • yok

    This is taken ridiculously out of context. This was Alex Ferguson’s comment:

    “So if you’re asking me for my views, I don’t have any complaints. I think there are a whole lot of factions at United that think they own the club. They will always be contentious about whoever owns the club, and that’s the way it has always been. There have always been wee pockets of supporters who have their views… but I think the majority of the real fans will look at it realistically and say it’s not affecting the team”

    Sorry, but that doesn’t equal

    “You’re not a fan of Man United if you think the debt has effected how we compete”

    You’re nitpcking word choice in a comment that wasn’t meant to provoke much media attention.

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

      Yok – no, he quite specifically said “real fans” will conclude debt hasn’t affected the team. The inference is clear, in the context of yes another defence of the Glazers, that you’re not a “real fan” – whatever that is – if you don’t agree with Ferguson’s assessment. In any case it’s not even nearly “out of context” whether you agree with me or not. Almost the entire interview is copied here and even more is printed in almost every major media outlet in the country.

      As for the assertion that it wasn’t meant for media attention. HE WAS TALKING TO A JOURNALIST! You get that, right?!

      • http://theonlyunited.com theonlyunited

        If the above comments are what Ferguson said, then I do think it was taken slightly out of context. He didn’t even say “real fans” full stop, he said “majority of real fans”, and he said this because he knows that the fans’ opinions mean 100x more than his own and it gave his comment some backing. If you want to fault his diction, then I’m with you on this one; it was bad. But I’ll tell you what, it isn’t easy speaking extemporaneously, and he didn’t mean to criticize his fans in order to protect his boss.

        I think it’s ridiculous to even consider that the Glazers haven’t affected our spending, and I also don’t think Ferguson is a saint by any means. He’s susceptible to saying some ridiculous things, but do I think this is one of them? Nah, and I don’t think he meant this to be any different than any of his previous defenses of the Glazers.

        • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

          theonlyunited – do you know what “out of context” means? I’m not being facetious. I’m serious. The context of the article is Ferguson’s defence of the Glazers and his willingness to 1) discuss fans, 2) categorise what fandom is. The whole conversation is there – by definition my discussion of it is very much in context.

          Perhaps you mean that you don’t agree with my interpretation of the phrase “real fans”.

          Ok, but it’s completely disingenuous to pass it off as some stylistic thing – he appended “real” to “fans”, as opposed to it’s literal opposite – fake. It’s not just the use of the term “real fans” – he adds to it by saying “there are a whole lot of factions at United that think they own the club.” It’s an arrogant dismissal of fans who care about the club and feel they are stakeholders.

          More to the point – there is absolutely nothing extemporaneous about a Ferguson press conference, let alone an interview with a seasoned journalist like Bob Cass.

          But I’ll give you one thing. Unlike you I’m not a mind reader – lines 2-4 of your post are real crackers, it’s a special skill – my interpretation is based on what he actually said and it’s context, not some half-baked guesswork.

          • http://theonlyunited.com theonlyunited

            You say my interpretation is based on some half-baked guesswork, I say it’s based on Ferguson’s tenure at the club. This is the same man, who in the very recent past, has defended and almost sounds like supported the fans right to protest. Here are some quotes (from different times as well)

            “When we see fans protesting we understand where it is coming from but we carry on with the football side.”

            “I have no problem with the green and gold campaign. Fans are entitled to protest as they see fit. But not to the detriment of the team.”

            “Fans have a right to complain about whatever they think is right. It shows we have fans who care for the club.”

            This is why I think he didn’t mean anything by the real fans comment. I wouldn’t be able to define a real fan any more than you, but if I had to decide whether caring about the club was a characteristic of a real fan, I’d probably say yes (“It shows we have fans who care for the club.”). Why would he be able to empathize with the supporters (“we understand where it is coming from”) unless he himself isn’t a real fan? Unless you’re reading off a sheet or have what you’re going to say memorized, it’s easy to say something you don’t mean.

            I could just be mind reading again though…

          • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

            theonlyunited – hahahahaahaha. Oh give over. How stupid do you think we are? He’s also aggressively dismissed fans views on more than one occasion in the past seven years and refuses to meet with any of the supporters groups. His views are not in doubt – he’s made his bed with the Glazer family, and those who don’t support his view are the opposition.

            I’ll also say this too – you’re a hypocrite – in order to prove a fatuous point you’ve taken a bunch of one liners OUT OF CONTEXT!! Just give up now!

  • Damian Garside

    What amazes me is the sharp Liverpool and City fans posting here not to gloat but to sympathize and add their own analysis of the situation. Who would have thought?

  • squigs

    I’m split on this one. The debt is going to have an effect but the squad hasn’t really felt it’s effect yet. A couple of midfielders aside Since 2005 we have on the pitch performed way ahead of expectations and that’s tribute to the manager. It’s going to effect the clubs on pitch performance eventually but it hasn’t so far.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    To those who always seem to find some weird logic to defend, or at least explain why, owners that have taken half a billion quid of “OUR” money and pissed it up the wall, are just businessmen running a business…
    You always try to simplify the debate, to a level that ignores a fundamental issue… a football club is NOT just another business.
    You can use all the business-speak you want… you can call United a franchise, and the players assets, and match day is product, etc… but there is one big difference between any other business and a sports club… fans are NOT typical customers!
    In the relationship of business and customer, and the exchange of goods/services for currency, there is a simple set of rules that is supposed to favour the customer… treat the customer with respect, give him what he wants, and charge him fairly… or else… the customer will simply take his custom elsewhere…
    Fans can’t do that… their “custom” is bound to the club… they can’t just decide that a better product can be had elsewhere, and switch… to the Glazers, fans are the ultimate customer… squeeze them till their eyes pop, they’ll still come back for more… they have no choice.
    And that’s not fair at all… this isn’t a business transaction… it’s extortion… and of all the people involved in this rip off, the one person who, based on past allegiances, you would expect to know the difference… is Ferguson.
    Ferguson is a lying, two faced, back stabbing, treacherous cunt! And I, like many it seems, have had enough of his bullshit!
    I hope he is one day exposed for the traitorous rat that he is, so that his “legacy” as Uniteds greatest ever manager is forever tainted!

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

    • the kaizer

      best post ive ever seen.reading this post stirred up so much anger i was almost in tears. i never thought i could hate a human being soo much. god i hate the glazers and to fergie…

  • DamnedUnited

    It’s ironic that the article slates Fergie for trying to classify ‘true fans’ when the posters on here routinely ridicule the Londoners, ‘the Korean brigade’, the tourists and the ‘prawn sandwich eaters’.

    Get a grip.

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

      DammedUnited – I’d look up the word “irony” – it being the literal opposite of the true meaning. Since I have never ridiculed “Londoners, ‘the Korean brigade’, the tourists and the ‘prawn sandwich eaters’” but I did write this article, which supposedly “slates” Ferguson, your post is rendered meaningless. Mind you I’m quite happy to ridicule those patently talking out of their arses.

      • DamnedUnited

        And you’d find I said ‘posters’ and not the ‘editor’.

        Give me another vocabulary lesson, why don’t you?

        • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

          DammedUnited – and that was significant, because there’s no irony in the article. Which you still don’t get. Perhaps you’re accusing some posters of hypocrisy, which is a whole other debate. By the way, my name is Ed.

          • DamnedUnited

            Seem pretty anal about vocabulary when you shouted down a commenter for correcting a line in your article.

            It was funny because I couldn’t even see the original comment, censored I guess?

          • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

            DammedUnited – It’s there, nothing is censored unless 1) there’s deliberate personal offence, 2) threats of violence. You’re a real smart one aren’t you. Always the same with posters who don’t want to/can’t hold a debate. It gets debased to name calling.

            Aside from the fact I’m not the only moderator, what would be the point of censoring when we can enjoy the wit and intelligence you bring to this forum? See ya, bye.

          • DamnedUnited

            Don’t blame me for not being able to hold a debate when the response I got was for correcting my vocab.

            Grammar Nazis everywhere.

            Now, are you going to point out the historical, contemporary and colloquial difference between ‘grammar’ and ‘vocab’?

          • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

            DammedUnited – could you sound any more like a whiney teenager. Not doing yourself any favours.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    @RJWonder…

    “I think the worst thing about fans right now is their inability to take a long-term look. They say they want the best for the club, but then want us to break the bank to bring in poison like Nasri. A short term possible gain and long term issues when it comes to how that type of player affects our squad. Long term though… Long term the Glazers always planned to put us back on the market and wipe out the debt, but what the short term thinkers forget is that once that plan is achieved, with the FPL in play we would be able to spend more money than ANY other club in the world without risking the business (and thus the long term future of the club), which would put us in a position we have NEVER been in before. That is the long term picture, a future without debt (which we didn’t have before of course) and with way more money than we’ve EVER had, and the ability to comfortably outspend ANYONE.”

    Where the hell do you get that nonsense?

    What started out as such an intelligent post, turned into a grubby little sales pitch…

    Are you working for the Glazers by chance?… hmmm?… charged with shifting a few of those pointless shares, maybe???…

  • King Mob

    Being a lefty carries a certain kudos; it has connotations of integrity, of principle. It is an image that many feel comfortable with. Indeed many use it to underpin their whole identity. These uber proles are pretty common. Perhaps the finest exponent of the art was, and still is,.Ricky Thomlinson. The man who insisted on going to award shows where there were oceans of free plonk to be nailed, with a four pack of bitter in a plastic bag. Fergie was a brilliant exponent of uber proledom. And we all loved it: principle, fight, disclipine, stoic self-improvement -Fergie in a nut shell. The blood red counterpoint to the decadence and venality of the Edwards family. Then he was faced with his crowning glory. The personification of everything Fergie hates – junk bond capitialist, enemies of organized labour-were begining to circle and were hungry for the kill.They were going to feel the full force of the hairdryer. Fergie was proven to be a fraud. There’s no shame in the this, most of us are..It’s a post-modern free for all and people change characters as of often as they change their underwear. And there’s no doubt true principles were played out, and continue to be, in the whole sorry affair. By whom? Why the real fans of course. Fergie knows this; he realises the disparity between his form and his true content and he is ashamed by it. Thus he targets those who are the real deal, casting us a disloyal and naive -notice how he didn’t do this at the height of the green and gold campaign, when we were portrayed as righteous bastions of football’s soul by most parties, bad for the narrative,see. So cmon Fergie leave us alone; its not our fault your greedy. .

  • Denton Davey

    jbd @ 1:48: “Not being able to build a solid team ? We’ve won 4 of the last 6 titles, and missed out on the others on goal difference on the last day of the season and by 1 point. Three CL finals in 4 years, winning one and losing to the best team in the world at that time isn’t so bad either.”

    Arguing with that record of success stems from a “deluded sense of entitlement”.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Commenter said:
    jbd @ 1:48: “Not being able to build a solid team ? We’ve won 4 of the last 6 titles, and missed out on the others on goal difference on the last day of the season and by 1 point. Three CL finals in 4 years, winning one and losing to the best team in the world at that time isn’t so bad either.”

    Arguing with that record of success stems from a “deluded sense of entitlement”.

    Repeating a flawed argument, shows a deluded sense of intelligence.

    • Andrew

      Ed, solid article thats generated probably the best debate ive read here. Some great responses from lads on both sides of the fence – I know this next comment will be unpopular but until now ive never actually read strong arguments FOR the Glazers and what they’ve done until now. Keep up the good writing and appreciate all the effort you put into the blog.

  • bman

    Fergie’s just an old man who’s a lot closer to the end of his career (and life) than to the beginning. He’s gotten used to certain comforts and he knows that he has to pick his battles. Most of all he fears that if he’s not getting up every day to be the manager of United, he’ll be in the ground in a matter of months. He’s far from a perfect man, but I can’t judge him too harshly for putting a brave face on it and getting on with it – I know plenty of people who work for assholes, but they don’t shout it from the rooftops.

  • the kaizer

    there are three kinds of ubited fans
    1) The Glazers are bad and you should not give them one penny. If every United fan stopped going to games the leeches would have nothing to suck on.

    2) The Glazers are bad, but I’m still going to go to games. If you stop supporting United then you are even worse.

    3) The Glazers are not that bad.
    if u fall into number 3. ur a cunt

  • the kaizer

    the glazers have adopted a divide and conquer approach. they have managed to fool some mugs that they are good owners. so fan power is non existent. i give it to them they are brilliant. capitalists of the highest order. THE THIEVING CUNTS

  • Dave

    Crip is spot on with his comment. Just want to add;

    - It’s a shiyt state of affairs no doubt, but when u’ve been dealt a shit hand u have to make the best of it. Plus if u r getting offended by SAF saying u r not a real fan, then u need to grow up.

    The only time you are going to get the truth from SAF about the Glazers is when they are gone, and if the Glazers are here for the long term, don’t be suprised if we never hear the truth….

  • Damian Garside

    Just a small issue but significant nonetheless: the argument that we aren’t in such bad shape because we only lost out last season is really pathetic: the fact we came so close makes it worse : it says everything about will/morale/bottle being lacking when it counts. It should be an argument one would hear at City worried about us coming close: not from us to justify not strengthening the team in a substantial way in all key areas because of the cost

  • Damian Garside

    I meant to say because we only lost out ON GOALDIFFERENCE

  • Just1n

    Commenter said:
    And Justin — who, when I commented on the poor United performances in South Africa, asked which `retarded part’ of South Africas I come from — actually I live in Mafikeng but was born near Manchester and studied at Manchester University — I would ask you to be a good little boy and keep quiet because who knows how long this nightmare will take before its plot completely unfolds.

    I suggest you keep quiet with your juvenile reaction to a pre-season friendly. How old are you anyway? People in SA are not putting any stock into this friendlies. You say you went to Uni but i have to wonder if it was for special people.

  • Damian Garside

    Give it up Justin, whilst you are ahead.

  • Damian Garside

    Oh and Justin: it’s “these” friendlies not “this friendlies”: be a good lad and read up on concord between noun number and the number of the demonstrative adjective

  • Just1n

    Commenter said:
    Oh and Justin: it’s “these” friendlies not “this friendlies”: be a good lad and read up on concord between noun number and the number of the demonstrative adjective

    Fantastic. Your Uni education must work wonders when checking spelling and punctuation on internet forums. Well done.

    • Damian Garside

      Not as well as my Ph D in literature in detecting scraping-the-barrel sarcastic irony

  • Damian Garside

    I think most of us here support United because our grandfathers and fathers did. My dad was at the 1948 cup final v Blackpool.

    Some of us though (no names mentioned) probably support United because red was the colour shirt they could find closest to pink.

  • Just1n

    For such a well educated person you sure do get upset over meaningless results in 3rd world countries.

    • Damian Garside

      Justin, you may well be right. If we go from this icky moment with the Glazer issue and shabby performances in the friendlies on to win a trophy– any trophy — this year then I will public ally apologize to you. And if I do get to apologize then no doubt it will feel better to think it is coming from someone other than a third world “retard”.

  • Just1n

    Commenter said:
    Justin, you may well be right. If we go from this icky moment with the Glazer issue and shabby performances in the friendlies on to win a trophy– any trophy — this year then I will public ally apologize to you. And if I do get to apologize then no doubt it will feel better to think it is coming from someone other than a third world “retard”.

    I just dont understand why you seem so upset with the pre-season games. No Rooney, Nani, Evra or Vidic. Not close to been full strength or match fit. Nothing more than a marketing opportunity. And i agree that we probably wont win anything this year but the games in SA is no reflection of that.

  • Damian Garside

    It was our chance to start to put things together in style and we decided to forgo that and go through the motions: almost losing to Ajax CT : which the media (SA and British) would have made a big deal about, further damaging the confidence battered by the inept run-in in May. We need a morale boost especially if we don’t get a marquee player and we need to develop rapports and understandings in the team/squad otherwise we will be caught cold at the kick off. Just because u and I both are pessimistic about the new season doesn’t mean that the team shouldn’t at least strive to be champions

  • Peter K

    I didn’t realise you could use foul language on this site, and Ed thanks for stepping out when I obviously creeped in yesterday, was nice to get my point across. Someone mention the Liverpool and City commentors on here, well it was linked within a yahoo page so I had a look, found it to be a really interesting read too. So anyway, bad language, Fergie is the biggest cunt out there, he’s proved his ego controls the club and has contantly said nobody is bigger then the club (except him of course), this guy chased away your beckham/Keane/Stam/VanNistelroy, he’s insulted opposition managers/players/owners, shit he even insulted Germany “well you know what you get with the Germans” and many many more because the “Sky Sports” proclaimed greatest manager of all time couldn’t actually manage these situation and more, Now, look at the youth team, many deciding to go else where, alot bought in and not as he proclaims prodogies, look at Rooney holding the club to randsom and winning a million quid a month, this isn’t the work of a great manager, he has got to the point where he’s coasting now, not really steering, just letting it go where it takes him, and my thinking is its going to hit a fucking iceburg buddy. The Glazers are a shower of Yankers, greedy, profit hungry and failed at so many other business its only a matter of time before they fuck this up too, but thats Yanks for ya, couldn’t give a fuck about anything but money, and when they have, will fuck everyone over who helped them get it. The Green and Gold turned into a joke, imagine protesting by going to the game, how fucking stupid is that “Where so unhappy we’re willing to pay the people we hate to show them” fuckin eijits.

  • madmax

    Considering how many people still think that ‘it could have been worse’, I would not mind a few more trophy less years.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Commenter said:
    Alfonso, Intrigued to hear your views on how SAF could have prevented the takeover….apols if youve addressed it further down

    I know that I’m in the minority in my opinion on this.
    When Glazer made his move, both Gill and Ferguson opposed the take over… fan dissent was very keen at the time… but nothing concrete was ever organised.
    Ferguson could have been the focal point… if he’d have publicly called for protests, Old Trafford would have been overrun by angry fans, and I don’t think Malcolm would have bothered… and even if he had… had Ferguson then asked the fans to boycott, they would have, in their thousands… and anyone who claims the Glazers would have just sacked him, is incredibly naive… there would have been riots.
    Fergusons standing in the eyes of many fans has faded drastically since he chose to side with the Glazers… but before the Glazers, Ferguson was untouchable.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

      Alf – it’s even simpler really. Gill and the board put in writing their rejection of the bid, as was their fiduciary duty with an offer they felt under-valued and a business model they couldn’t back at the time. Ferguson refused to back the board publicly. He could have, but didn’t. Self preservation.

  • Peter K

    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the old chestnut “and the only lost the league on goal difference” bolloxology, Ferguson has been spouting that too yet failing to mention when City looked to have imploded and handed United a 10 point lead his wonderful managment fucked that up too. Poor Fergie must be struggling for money these days after the Rock of Gibraltor spunk money dried up. To think, if Fergie hadn’t of been so concerned with his own interest (via, horsespunk) Magner and McManus would still be there, and if he hadn’t been so selfish as to ignore the BBC for so long because he son couldn’t fight his own battles he probably wouldn’t be regarded as that much of a cunt. He chased away a combined wealth of 2 known sports winners Magner & McManus (all be it horse racing), Magner estimated at €910 million although this is very conservative as Coolmore Stud is valued at more than €4 billion alone (4 times what United think they’re worth) not to mention his extensive personal property empire across the world and other investments and holdings, and McManus’s personal fortune is estimated at €775 million but at its peak was probably closer to €2 billion, and this was then to put the club in the hands of nothing more then property speculators

  • sidney

    Bolloxology lol I’m using that

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    I don’t know what you’ve done Ed, but this latest Rant has gotten around… brought a few more “brothers” into the “Rant” family.
    “Welcomm to de dark side me bredren”…

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  • sidney

    Commenter said:
    Alfonso, Intrigued to hear your views on how SAF could have prevented the takeover….apols if youve addressed it further down

    Maybe not prevented, but he could have thrown a massive spanner in the works. The power of Fergie shouldn’t be underestimated. The Glazers needed his consent because the fans hang on every word he says and act accordingly, and, he guarantees the Glazers success; success that is needed to make their financial plan work. If the greatest manager ever doesn’t approve of your takeover, and refuses to comply, and in doing so converts the neutrals and galvanizes the protests (which were already quite well organized and violent at the time), then as owners of a football club you’re pretty much fucked and you might as well not bother.

  • http://damiangarside.com Damian Garside

    I may be wrong, but I think the season will be a mixed bag for us: we will play really well in some games and there will be excited cries of `United are back’ from the terraces, but we will lack the team/squad cohesion to do this on a consistent basis. We will probably either be runners-up again, or third or maybe fourth. Obviously we will not get far in the Champions League. Any lower than fourth and the United management will expect he fans to be holding public executions in front of the Stretford End. With possibly only one quality player coming in, and given that this player may take time to settle down or may not even fit into United at all, it is possible that we will not witness any kind of transformation in play but more of the same old same old that has looked dodgy for a couple of seasons and fell short last season.

    Time was, we used to look forward to a new season full of expectation as to how the new signings would fit into the team and how, if it went well, we would be off to a blistering start and leave the rest of the field behind (as it was in the 2006-2007 season, if I am right). Now we have to pray that the new signings others have made (one thinks immediately of Chelsea) don’t work for them, otherwise they will be the ones blowing everybody else out of the water.

  • Peter K

    @Sidney- I don’t hold the patent on bolloxology so please be my guest brother and use the fuck out of it. Glad to make you laugh, as my old mother used to say “If you’ve put a smile on someones face, you’ve done your job for the day”. But then again she was a hooker, and the 1 a day didn’t really put food on the table.

  • mansuy united

    If Ferguson’s got no right to give his opinion on what being a good fan means, then you’ve got no right sharing your opinion on what being a good owner is.

    The fact is, SAF is the manager but also a United fan through and through — I dare someone to contest that. He knows what it feels like. Do any of you own a footballing club? If you do, step right up and have your say…

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

      mansuy – what an utterly ridiculous, and frankly embarrassing, argument. Do you know what it’s like to run a Manchester United blog and get comments the “real fans” like you? No, then you’ve no right to comment on one either…. I’m sure you get where I’m going with that analogy.

      Has Ferguson stood on the terraces? Has he paid through the nose for tickets? Has he invested hopes and dreams in something he has no control over? He’s not even nearly a fan in the same sense as those attending games. He can say whatever he wants – with you living in the ‘Land of the Free’ you should know all about freedom of speech and all that… doesn’t mean it’s right for him to segment fans into the good (those who agree with him) and the bad (those who don’t).

      The comment of somebody who has rarely, if ever, attended a United game I suspect.

      • BiscuitBarrell

        Ed- I’ve read your site for a while and really enjoyed it, but never felt moved to post – until now. Great piece of writing, which has clearly captured the feeling amongst a large section of reds.

        It’s been said before by other posters, but warrants repeating. Fergie is a truly great manager, but a substandard human being. Any chance of a lasting legacy went when this already multi-millionaire had the choice of backing the fans, he purported to represent or keeping his nose in the trough. He chose the latter. He wouldn’t even have been choosing unemployment, as he would no doubt have picked up a high profile job elsewhere.

        My own interpretation is that there has been an element of carrot and stick with the way the Glazer’s have controlled Fergie. The carrot is the generous salary he’s received from them. The stick? I’m sure most reds can fill in the blanks.

        I don’t believe a word he says anymore. I’ve gone from a 30 match a season red, to the point at which I thinking of getting my kids into rugby because I don’t want them going to OT.

        Considering I’ve never met a match-going red who’s got a good word to say about the Glazers, the number of posters on here defending them, probably suggests how big Uncle Malc’s family is.

        Anyway, keep up the good work. Can I suggest a piece on translating FergieSpeak. I’ll start you off.

        “There’s no value in the market” – We’ve got no money

        “We’re really interested in Moura” – Season ticket sales are a bit low this year

        “Our priority is the league” – we’ve no chance in Europe

        “We focus on developing youth team players” – until they’re 37

        “City are just buying the league” – when I did it it was different

  • Pingback: July 24 – suspending disbelief and hailing Tim Cahill - Sofa Ball

  • Andrew

    Ed, solid article thats generated probably the best debate ive read here. Some great responses from lads on both sides of the fence – I know this next comment will be unpopular but until now ive never actually read strong arguments FOR the Glazers and what they’ve done until now. Keep up the good writing and appreciate all the effort you put into the blog.

  • sidney

    Commenter said:
    @Sidney- I don’t hold the patent on bolloxology so please be my guest brother and use the fuck out of it. Glad to make you laugh, as my old mother used to say “If you’ve put a smile on someones face, you’ve done your job for the day”. But then again she was a hooker, and the 1 a day didn’t really put food on the table.

    You’ll fit in well here my friend

  • marlon

    Fergie didn’t protest the Glazer takeover because he cared more about getting rid of the current owners. Future of the club was definitely not his no.1 priority.

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    hehe, bolloxology

  • jo jo jr

    good rant

  • Nathan

    Im more worried about the fair play that comes into affect next year with are level of debt we may lose are Champions League spot also we will only be able to spend what we earn and no Champions League spot means even less money we are taking in which means no more buys and having to rely solely on youth which is not going to make us the great club that we are, challenging for trophies every season, we will fade into a mid table team with youth alone we need some form of spending power but we are crippled by foolish american owners whos debt level could bring the club to it knees and we dont want to end up like Rangers or Portsmouth.

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk Ed

      Nathan – FFP basically says nothing about debt it’s all about income versus spending. No chance of United doing Rangers at all

  • Pingback: Can They Score | Lucas Moura, Robin van Persie and The Glazers: What’s Ferguson up to?

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Someone explain to Nathan how he’s got everything so wrong… I can’t be arsed…

  • Paul E

    This scary thing is if Sir Alex Ferguson actually believes what he is saying and he isn’t just covering for the owners. He’s being a model employee, right? Maybe it is time for him to go. The owners will never get rid of him though, so I think we are stuck with him until he wants to leave. The future does not look bright.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Commenter said:
    Ed, it’s a well written article, no doubt. But, you and I, both know, Ferguson is a shrewd operator. He also has his ulterior motives here: and in this case, it is protecting his job. I know a lot of people who work in close alliance with the United boardroom, and it is a known fact that Ferguson isn’t considered to be as powerful as the Glazers. His job is still at their mercy, however big a legend he is. There have been numerous instances under the Glazers which have infuriated SAF, like his wages, which is lesser than Arsene ’7 years without a trophy’ Wenger, but yet he hasn’t gone public about it. The statment about the ‘real fan’ is just a method, he thought would be able to unite all of us true fans, in my opinion.

    I don’t agree with that at all… of course Fergie isn’t as powerful as the Glazers… they’re his employers… but I don’t believe the Glazers would dare sack Ferguson… they’ve obviously found his sweet spot, and made a convert… but he could be their worst nightmare as a disgruntled ex-employee.

  • Just1n

    Commenter said:
    Obviously, we’d all prefer a successful club ona nd off the pitch. But, my point here is we need SAF really badly. Our squad is better than sum of its parts because of him.
    Moreover, my comment was directed to these lines of “just1n” particularly: “i’m really losing all respect for Fergie. If he feels the need to suck Malcolms cock then he should do that without involving fans.”

    What do you take issue with exactly? Why should Fergie get my respect when he has sold out to the capitalist cunts. He talks about principles and working class roots of Govan and youngsters and loyalty but that has proven to be nothing more than bullshit. The man is an A grade hypocrite who tells real fans to fuck off and support Chelsea.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    “Obviously, we’d all prefer a successful club ona nd off the pitch. But, my point here is we need SAF really badly. Our squad is better than sum of its parts because of him.
    Moreover, my comment was directed to these lines of “just1n” particularly: “i’m really losing all respect for Fergie. If he feels the need to suck Malcolms cock then he should do that without involving fans.””
    He’s right… Ferguson is a traitorous fuck… he goes on about how no one is bigger than the club… well he seems to have forgotten that, THE FANS ARE THE CLUB… players come and go, managers come and go, even parasitic owners come and go… only the fans stay till they die… the fans may not always be right, and there’s no doubt that only one man should be in charge, but whatever happens between the fans and the owners… Ferguson should ALWAYS side with the fans… ALWAYS… and if that conflicts with his allegience to his employers, then he should say nothing at all… and anyone that says Ferguson HAS to do what his employers say, is full of shit… he’s not some young ambitious upstart… he’s Sir Alex Ferguson… the man has a fuckin Knighthood, and over 25 years in charge of this great club… the Glazers should kiss his ass, for not turning on them from the start…
    Only Ferguson knows why he’s done what he’s done… but in my, and many others opinion, he’s burned his bridges with many fans.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Just1n said:
    What do you take issue with exactly? Why should Fergie get my respect when he has sold out to the capitalist cunts. He talks about principles and working class roots of Govan and youngsters and loyalty but that has proven to be nothing more than bullshit. The man is an A grade hypocrite who tells real fans to fuck off and support Chelsea.

    Too right!

  • Pingback: Pressure Growing On Sir Alex As Supporters React To IPO

  • http://www.manutd.com Mark Lawrenson’s Tash

    Completely agree and I’ve been thinking the same about Fergie for some time now. Again, he’s a great manager and it genuinely saddens me to say it, but he has been propping up the Glazers since they arrived and only ever seems to act in his own self-interest. He’s the centrepiece of their PR offensive and it’s time the fans called him out on it.

    Every year he bluffs the fans with the prospect of new signings, when the reality is that the club is being pillaged by the American owners (as the Guardian has repeatedly reported on while every other news site appears to be happy to go along with being manipulated by United’s PR people).

    Anyone who genuinely cared about the club would have come out against the way the club is being exploited, but Fergie’s a business man first and a United manager second. Which I think is deeply tragic considering all the success he has brought to the club and that this is being done by a man who really doesn’t need the money.

    Old Trafford needs to be empty – completely empty, no more of this green and gold nonsense – and then perhaps they’ll start to listen. And regardless of how good Fergie is a manager, he’ll be useless to us when the club is broke and we find ourself mid-table with the Scousers who have suffered a similar fate.

  • bman

    Actually I think the Guardian’s reporting on the financial side of the club has always been very poor. Nothing produced by the sports side of the paper is any use on those matters, they don’t know what they are talking about and it’s very sensationalist. They make a big deal out of things like registering the business in Delaware, which is completely unremarkable since every company, self-employed person, or freelancer in the US lists in Delaware unless there a compelling reason or legal requirement not to. Another example was the claim that the IPO was only looking to raise $100M, because football journos obviously have never read an American IPO statement before. Never have I, but I’m not the one with the brass to start gobbing off about it in print as if I know what I’m talking about, knowing that it will all be lapped up by concerned United supporters.

  • bharat

    What can Sir Alex do in this circumstance…
    He can’t attack glazers or bad mouth them in any way…
    If he does that like every fan wants then there will be utter chaos…And know one wants that..
    It’s only because of the great man that utd managed to do what utd does best..
    With our squad last year name one epl manager who could have competed last year.

  • Pingback: Can They Score? | Lucas Moura, Robin van Persie and The Glazers: What’s Ferguson up to?