THE two halves of Manchester’s footballing divide have never seen eye-to-eye.
Now Blues and Reds are at each others’ throats again following the season’s second ‘mini-derby’ between FC United, the team formed by disillusioned Manchester United supporters, and Maine Road, which was set up by Manchester City fans.
After the match, which FC United won three-nil, an article appeared on the official Maine Road website predicting their rival’s bubble would soon burst and claiming that FC could find themselves playing on Sunday league pitches in Chorlton. It even branded the breakaway team, formed after the Old Trafford club was bought by American Malcolm Glazer, as FC of Bury - a sly reference to the fact that the Reds play their home games at Gigg Lane in Bury.
The author’s fury appears to have been aroused by a cheeky dig at the Blues by FC’s stadium announcer during the North West Counties League Division One game.
He told fans they could buy plastic fruit after the match, mocking Man City supporters’ habit of carrying inflatable bananas.
The article said: "FC’s foul-mouthed fans sang their way to a hard-fought victory.
"The PA annoucer attempted to goad Maine Road supporters with his ‘hilarious’ repartee.
"This, of course, will be the last mini-derby for a while but we look forward to playing FC of Bury in the not too distant future when the bubble has burst, the money has gone and they are playing their home games at Hough End."
Around 3,600 fans watched the game on Easter Monday.
Phil Power, FC United’s assistant manager, dismissed the article as ‘Blue bitterness’ saying Maine Road were jealous that FC’s home games were attracting an average of 3,000 people. He said: "I think because we get bigger crowds than anyone else and, because we have been successful, a lot of the teams have been jealous."
FC, who in the pre-season train on the sports grounds at Parrs Wood High School, were promoted to the Unibond League two days before the game after beating Ramsbottom.
The club now needs just six points from its last five games to become champions.
Maine Road, who were formed in the 1950s and play their home games at Brantingham Road, Chorlton, are lying sixth in the table.
Maine Road captain Neil Chappell hit back at FC United. "They’re too cocky for their own good," he said.