Friday, March 26, 2010

Has the Man United green and gold campaign become little more than a fashion statement?

Source: Daily Mirror

By Simon Mullock

Published 12:30 26/03/10

Manchester-united-green-and-gold cropped

There have been some pretty powerful images generated by the green and gold campaign undertook by Manchester United fans to show their opposition to the Glazer family’s continuing ownership of the club.

We’ve seen the Stretford End transformed from is usual sea of red; there was the impressive unified show of dissent at Wembley.

But you have to wonder whether the scarfs being worn around Old Trafford during match-day have become a fashion statement rather than a genuine sign of support for regime change.

Why else do you see so many United fans around Manchester wearing a green and gold scarf over a Nike-manufactured replica shirt with AIG splashed across the chest?

Surely that defeats the whole object of the exercise.

I always though that wearing the colours of United’s founding club Newton Heath was to show support for the team without pouring money into the coffers of the American family who are pillaging the club.

That it was about paying your dues at the turnstile but refusing to pay into the other revenue streams which enable the Glazers to service the debt. Things like official club merchandise and even food and drink.

Last weekend, after the game against Liverpool, I saw a couple walking through town sporting their anti-Glazer colours.

The man was clutching a Manchester United megastore carrier bag.

He obviously didn’t see the contradiction.

A couple of months ago I met Andy Walsh, the man who refused to step foot inside Old Trafford the day the Glazers took over and hasn’t been back since.

In fact, he was so disillusioned that he helped to establish a new club, FC United of Manchester.

Walsh had been instrumental in the campaign to keep the Glazers out of Old Trafford in 2005.

He had seen the future – and it prompted him to turn his back on the club he had supported all his life.

Walsh has been impressed by the green and gold campaign orchestrated by the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust.

But he told me that the only thing the Glazers understand is money.

Walsh still believes that fans – and not just United supporters – can force a change of club ownership by following his example.

He knows from his own experience that boycotting matches is the ultimate sacrifice for a football fan.

MUST have said they are going to step up their campaign against the Glazers and talk of fans giving up season tickets is rife.

There’s little chance of that happening when many supporters can’t even bring themselves to lay down their replica shirts.

Meanwhile, back in Florida, you can be sure that the Glazers will be stepping up their plans to launch a range of merchandising in green and gold.

After all, it’s the must-have colour amongst United fashionistas at the moment.