Sunday, January 17, 2010

Supporters' Trust Misses the Boat on SAF Resignation

Part of the fun of writing for Pitch Invasion is to get to unabashedly wear my anti-neoliberal hat when discussing European club finances (see today's Sweeper to get a taste of what I mean). That said, my sympathy for the methods of some supporters trusts has limits.

Witness the news today that Manchester United Supporters' Trust is pushing for a letter-writing campaign to get Sir Alex to resign in protest of recent news that the Glazer family has been treating Manchester United in much the same way I've been treating my line of credit since my wedding. I can't get on board with this one, for the obvious reason that Sir Alex Ferguson acquiesced in their takeover, and shouldn't generally be considered a Bill Shankly socialist on matters of foreign investment in English clubs.

This is one of those stories that's a load of second hand hearsay (libel lawyers take note), so take it for what you will, but I won't forget the time I went to a house party and met a Glaswegian who had a friend who'd known Sir Alex from his Aberdeen days. His friend said he could not bring himself to worship at the feet of Ferguson the football coach, such was his perceived avarice while at the club. I only knew of the Rock of Gibraltar story vaguely at the time.

Whether or not the portrayal of Sir Alex's character is entirely accurate, I somehow doubt SAF is the sort of character to be welcoming Supporters' Trusts requests to quit over a matter of principle. He is the highly-successful manager of a club synonymous with wealth, enormous transfer payments, and global branding. His views with respect to FC United of Manchester are there for everyone to see. I think the Man U Supporters' Trusts might instead ponder a trip to see a match at Gigg Lane rather than waiting for Fergie to quit.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Maybe they could saw off their own noses while they're at it. Take that, face!