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Fit and proper…

Submitted by on August 29, 2014 – 7:55 amNo Comment
Picture by Eddie Garvey

Picture by Eddie Garvey

By Andrew Rhodes
A bit like baking and doing-up houses, football’s something that everyone’s an expert on these days.

I much preferred it thirty years ago when the middle classes looked at you as some kind of social leper if you spent your Saturday afternoons on the terraces.  Now we are saturated with it and everyone has to have their say.

There was a time when the student returning back to University on the train would have their nose in a Penguin Classic or the Melody Maker but now they’re more likely to be filling in the coupon or talking about their fantasy football team – full of players I’ve never even heard or let alone seen play.

Watching events unfold at United recently, it seems to me that it’s these Playstation prodigies and Twitter masterminds who now appear to be dictating United’s transfer policies.

It’s frightening how sudden and smoothly this mentality for instant gratification has taken hold of many United fans as the club in many ways is slowly becoming like any other.

Of course history can’t be rewritten and the players and style of football we all fell in love with will always make the club special – the army of fans that poured through the terraces home and away even during relegation and the dominance of Liverpool. The wealth these working class supporters created that is being squandered on interest payments and business transactions thousands of miles away.

Its saddening also that it’s the Glazers’ lack of spending in the transfer market which has got the masses hammering their keyboards – as if Ed Woodward spending £500 million on the world’s best players would suddenly make them fit and proper owners. Nine years on and around £700 million pounds syphoned and it’s the fact that United haven’t signed a Chilean midfielder that is supposedly spurring a period of unrest at Old Trafford.

Buying a team of superstars from every club in Europe and hiring the most fashionable coach in world football doesn’t make United special, it makes them ordinary. There’s something slightly unrewarding to me about employing a coach that’s already been and done it at the other biggest clubs in Europe.

To me United is where people make their name – not the other way round. Of course United always spent when they felt the need – always a strong central defender and then a marquee signing, but other than that the only transfer news I remember looking back on was the annual panic about Robson going to Italy or report about Maradona signing for Leeds or Doncaster.

I only hope this trend and mentality is not irreversible and one day United can take pride in a team that represent what made them special – emerging talent. If the Glazers spend some money that’s not even theirs then great – but personally, I was more excited by Mike Norton making his 200th appearance for FC United than a superstar signing for big United who might not even play a hundred times.

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