Fall of an empire

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AS A Manchester United supporter I thought my season couldn’t get any worse but then I read that contract negotiations were at an advanced stage which would make Wayne Rooney the best paid player in the history of the Premier League.

Remarkably the deal would mean that Rooney would earn some £300,000 a week; I wanted to reach for the bucket!

For those of you who think my reaction is a bit dramatic, well you just don’t get football.

Football is tribal, it is instinctive, and you never change your club… no matter what. You support a team and if your children want to eat they support the same team too.

On the first day of any holiday I wear my red United shirt. It distinguishes me from the rest.

I bond with the other Reds and feel like a real man. Those not intelligent enough to support Man U simply whisper stuff like “glory seeking bast*rd.”

That swagger has gone and now people look at me and laugh. Times have changed and fast. We are no longer the standard bearers.

We have lost the greatest manager ever in Sir Alex Ferguson and acquired a man in David Moyes who has won nothing; something which looks unlikely to change any time soon.

We are sixth in the table with no chance of Champions League football next season, far less retaining our title.

We are out of the FA Cup and got knocked out of the League Cup by Sunderland in the most embarrassing penalty shoot-out ever, and only a fool thinks we have any chance in Europe’s biggest tournament, the Champions League.

Do I sound unhappy? Good because I am.


HEAD SCRATCHER: Old Trafford boss Moyes

I used to be able to sit in a room with Arsenal and Liverpool supporters arguing.

I was always above it all. Nobody would bother to say anything to me. I, like my team, was the don.

Now I am nothing, nobody. Even Tottenham are above us in the league and they are rubbish.

In various competitions this campaign West Brom, Swansea, Sunderland, Newcastle, Everton and the aforementioned Spurs have come to our house – Old Trafford – and embarrassed us, and most annoyingly won.

We decided to swim against the tide, invest in youth as opposed to buying the finished article. Take a punt with a safe, stable manager as opposed to one who had won something.

Change the whole backroom team for coaches who had never coached millionaire, highly strung individuals.

United have run around Europe pretending to look for the crème de la crème and end up with Marouane Fellaini for £28 million when he could have bought him for £5million less a few weeks before.

We now have the man who was destined for the exit (Rooney) holding all the cards – and admittedly playing extremely well – in a team that is failing most weeks.

Empires never last. I know that from history but I – and most other Man U supporters – had no idea the fall would be this rapid and this painful.

The chief executive says it is no biggie if we miss out on lucrative Champions League football.

He says Manchester United is still a global brand; but who among the world’s best players will come to Old Trafford if we do not have the attraction of the premier club competition?

Is this the end of a dynasty? Will we ever recover?

Well, it’s not over until the fat lady sings but I hear the sound of her clearing her throat and I for one fear the worst.

In : Sports

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