Tag Archives: glazer

The People’s Game is Back

Many have proclaimed the modern game as lacking passion, characters and the representation of what it really means to us. Strutting superstars devoid of class have divided us, the fans, from the reality television world of the pitch.

As events at Toronto FC have recently shown, the gap between supporter and club has become a huge gulf. Organisations have taken the proverbial “mick” for far too long, pricing fans out of the game they love. None more so than at Manchester United, where the takeover by the Glazer brothers has left a bitter taste in the mouths of so many. Saddled with huge debts and a lack of understanding for the inner workings of football, the buyout caused a huge rift that left to the Green and Gold Brigade, a band of hardy supporters who adopted the club’s original colours to protest the Americans’ manner of running the club.

These efforts are admirable. However, they are a shade of the passion and determination of a group of former Manchester United fans who’d had enough. They were so angry, they decided to form their own team that embodied what they once loved in their club.

The name? FC United of Manchester.

Being an Arsenal fan, I naturally find it difficult to agree and certainly empathise with someone who thought it was once a good idea to follow the Red Devils. But what these supporters have brought back to the game, in the form of their own ‘people’s club’, is the faith and love we once had for our sport.

Basing themselves out of the suburb of Bury, a hotbed of red Mancunian passion, they formed as a semi-professional club. They were shrewd, too. Players were signed on loan from the local big boys, and youngsters were recruited from nearby Rochdale and Stockport for almost next to nothing prices.

And new supporters, sympathisers in the views of this new team, flocked in droves. Average attendances reached 4,500, and a shirt sponsor was banned in the interest of ethics.

Last Friday FC United reached its greatest height so far. Away at Rochdale in the first round of the FA Cup, they scored in the last minute (having thrown away a two goal lead already) to progress to the next round. 3,500 fans ran on to the pitch to celebrate amid wild scenes. It was raw chaos, and I loved it.

It’s corruption in football that led to the existence of this club. But I tell you what, I’d turn a blind eye if the FA announced that instead of the traditional lottery method of deciding who plays who, they’d gone against morality and fixed for Manchester United to play FC United of Manchester in the second round.

We, as fans, would all win.

Sam Saunders

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Filed under English Football, FA Cup, Premier League

The Kids Are Alright

Macheda has a habit of scoring big goals for United

Twenty-four seconds. That’s all it took for Manchester United’s Federico Macheda to score against the best that the MLS had to offer. The creme of North America had done well versus international competition over the last six years, winning five of those matches.  But facing Sir Alex’s youthful juggernaut — a team still smarting from a weekend loss to Kansas City — the league’s best players ran into trouble after 24 seconds… and likely sealed their doomwhen they allowed the 18-year-old Macheda to score again just 12 minutes later. 

A massive crowd was on hand in Houston — 70,000 plus — but put that down to fans wanting to catch a glimpse of the Red Devils, rather than a show of continentalism.  Toronto FC’s Dwayne DeRosario managed a goal, as did hometown hero Brian Ching.  However, United’s “B” side are as good as any team in the MLS and that’s why the end result was 5-2.

Macheda and new signing Javier Hernandez seem to be the vanguard of the new Busby Babes, with Ferguson looking for both players to help Wayne Rooney with goal production this year.  Sir Alex hasn’t been at the helm of Man U for a quarter of a century for nothing.  Look for them to challenge for the Premier League title again this year, with a young and mainly British team in support.

Fergie Glazes Over Fan Unrest
Sir Alex says he’s quite happy with the Glazer Family ownership. Even though the club is a billion dollars in debt, Ferguson says they basically leave him alone. Just one more reason for Liverpool fans to envy hate United.

Lennon's miserable European run continues

Champions League
Two former European club champions are fighting to keep their infant CL campaigns alive. Celtic were handed their sheleighlies in Portugal on Wednesday, losing to Braga 3-0. The Glaswegians failed to get a single shot on net, and have been woeful on the continent underneath Neil Lennon.

Meanwhile, Ajax’s Champions Leagues hopes hang by a thread after PAOK Salonika scored a valuable away goal, to end the match 1-1. At The Rails’ own Late Night Lenny Grammenopoulos has been kidnapped by his new wife back to Greece… but we know the long-suffering PAOK fan is licking his lips at the thought of European football.

Woy's Liverpool wins with... That Guy... and Whatshisname...

Europa League
Roy Hodgson’s gamble paid off, as Liverpool’s youthful side comfortably beat Rabotnicki Skopje in Macedonia 2-0. Maybe it was the harsh lighting and concrete decor of the Soviet era stadium… but that might have been the most boring match this writer has ever seen. Oh well, expect Rabotnicki to get a whomping at Anfield next week.

Irish eyes were not smiling, as Juventus beat Shamrock Rovers 2-0 in Dublin. Amauri scored for the Old Lady two minutes in, and it’s basically curtains for Rovers.

Other scores: Goteburg lost 0-2 to AZ Alkmaar, Galatasaray drew OFK Belgrade 2-2 in Istanbul, Red Star Belgrade lost 2-1 to Slovan Bratislava, and Greek powerhouse Olympiakos beat Maccabi Tel-Aviv 2-1.

Sin Citeh
Former Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has signed a two-year deal at Fulham.  Meanwhile the most expensive player he ever signed — Robinho — has been told to report to camp.  The Brazilian was loaned out to Santos last year.

Brent Lanthier

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Filed under Champions League, Europa League, MLS, Premier League

Hey, cool it lads!

So, England trots out against the mighty and shining Platinum Stars and comes away with a relatively lacklustre 3-0 victory just five days before their World Cup starts against the Stars and Bars crew in which we see both the good side and bad side of Wayne Rooney, who US defender Jay DeMerit already thinks he can goad into trouble on Saturday. What, with Watford is better than Man. Utd. taunts? Maybe they can just have a pleasant chat about American tycoon Malcolm Glazer’s balance sheets.

There’s still no clear answer on Fabio Capello’s plans for goal, with David James rested today and Joe Hart starting behind what looks like the first choice back four in Glen Johnson, Ledley King, John Terry and Ashley Cole.

The old midfield problem children Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard shared the middle of park without much success after the first two minutes, when Gerrard set up Jermain Defoe, paired with Tottenham partner Peter Crouch in the dreary first 45. Joe Cole played all 90 on the left, the only man to play the full match, proving he’s ready for a start on Saturday.

On the other side, it seems Don Fabio and El Tel think Shaun Wright-Phillips provides better defensive abilities than Aaron Lennon, who came on as one of the 10 halftime substitutes.

The 10 switcheroos, the gents Capello spent his halftime chatting with on the pitch, included Robert Green in goal, Stephen Carragher, Michael Dawson, Matthew Upson and Stephen Warnock at the back, Lennon, Michael Carrick and James Milner in the middle and Emile Heskey and Rooney up front, with Rooney setting up Cole and firing home the third with a cannoned volley after Milner pulled it back to him. Rooney is sure to start Saturday, and Heskey, it seems, may be alongside to begin. Still no idea how Gareth Barry fits into this team, if it all, against the American. I’m guessing he’ll be on the subs bench.

Rooney’s solitary performance in creative flair depth in attack might be less of a concern if Don Fabio had thought about giving Mr. Scholes a ring a bit sooner, thus allowing him more time to decide that yes, he did want to take the squad position of someone who had helped the team throughout qualifying. And since when does the Oldham Evening Chronicle get a Paul Scholes exclusive? Can’t believe I let my subscription lapse.

Ian Harrison

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Filed under World Cup