Remembering why we’re here.

With the sale of Manchester United to the Glazers, many United fans felt they’d been shut out in the cold and were no longer part of the club we all felt was ours, even though it hadn’t really been “ours” at any stage since its conception. Yes, it is our club in one sense, that we’re the people responsible for its life, but we’re not really – and never have been – the ones who reap any sort of financial reward. That’s always been the guys with the money and we all know much makes more. Louis Edwards made money from United, his son did the same afterwards and the little shareholders after him made a quid or two here and there while the mega shareholders made a lot. I know that as a shareholder myself I wasn’t ever arsed about getting a dividend, I wanted whatever money was made to be ploughed back into the club and I’d rather have seen the best players in the world at the club than people making money off the back of my team’s success.
When McManus and Magnier sold their shares to Glazer, it made no difference to you or me. Not one jot, other than what was going on in your or my head at the time. I honestly don’t care if the Glazers are making a shed load of money from the club as long as the team is successful and let’s face it, it has been pretty successful since the Glazers took over. For me though, the best thing to come out of it was the formation of FC United of Manchester; a real football team run by real fans who provide a real atmosphere at the games.
My first match was FC’s second competitive game and it was at some shed of a ground that I can’t even remember where (someone will put me straight), and it was fantastic. There were real fans who sang for the whole game! Real fans who stayed right to the very end of the match (unlike the part timers at Old Trafford) and real fans who wanted nothing more than the chance to support their own team that they truly felt part of. Now they are a real determining factor in that team and it is brilliant.
There were many knockers from United, and although I’ve never seen or heard the remark from him personally. Fergie was alleged to have said, “Go and support Chelsea,”. If he did he was way wide of the mark.
It wasn’t about supporting another team, it was about having control of your own team, the team you love, it was about being in charge of your own team’s decisions and nothing more than that. I hadn’t felt like I was a real part of United for quite a while before the Glazer takeover and prior to that, the whole Rock of Gibraltar thing with Fergie and the two Irish guys detracted from the game and I felt United had either lost or were losing their way a little. What FC United of Manchester did for me was give that little something back. It gave me a sense of purpose with my team. I truly felt part of it and even though I haven’t been for a while ( I now live and work in Saudi Arabia), I still feel part of it. The atmosphere at Gigg Lane knocks the crap out of the Old Trafford crowd who, as previously stated, are more like zombies than proper fans these days. FC has injected life back to football in Manchester and it’s right down there at the bottom, real grass roots football (although some would argue it’s even further down than that), where it counts. As a fan, I don’t think you can go much lower down the league and have that same passion that you can with a team like FC and they demonstrate that with the right will and determination, you can have your own club; you just need the right circumstances and timing to do it.
If you’ve never been to an FC game, go. If I’m wrong about the atmosphere and passion, if it isn’t one hundred times better than at Old Trafford, I’ll even give you your money back. Now I can’t say fairer than that, can I? Football is big business and it has been a growing business since Edwards’ days too and if we’re being completely honest here – and we didn’t want “our” club sold – then we fans shouldn’t have sold our shares should we? I know loads of fans who sold out way before Malcolm Glazer took control, so tough luck. I’m just as guilty as anyone when I say we should have acted sooner and bought more shares but as I say, we’re not in a crap position anyway. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that the Glazers are here and it keeps up the “us v them” idea going and that’s always a good thing. It keeps “them” on their toes. And let’s face it, without them, there would be no FC United of Manchester, now would there?

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About Pac

I'm an author of I Was There When We Were Crap, a story of our football before and during Fergie's early years and how my relationship with him grew through supporting him through rough times. I've also written a biographical account of the SAS raid in Sierra Leone, codenamed Operation Barras, and sometimes referred to as Operation Certain Death (though not by any member of the forces). I have commented on Danish and English TV, as well as the British press regarding United and FC United. I am currently in Saudi Arabia, as Senior Art Consultant for Artzu Project, which is a high end international art consultancy.

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