Watching the Manchester United against Chelsea match on television this past Saturday, it was clear to see that there were more green and gold colors in the stands at Old Trafford than the traditional red, white and black of the Red Devils. It made me wonder what’s more important for Manchester United supporters — their movement to force the Glazers out or the support of the club itself?
In a match where the Manchester United players needed the support of their fans more than any time this season to lift the team up for a massive game, the fans at Old Trafford didn’t do their part. For a match of this magnitude, the United supporters were relatively quiet. Listening to the crowd on television, it sounded as if the Chelsea supporters were far more vocal and this was even before the Blues tool control of the match.
At the same time, the amount of green and gold scarves around Old Trafford sent a clear message that the supporters don’t support the ownership of the club by the Glazers. But we already knew that. So other than showing solidarity and telling the world what we already knew, what good did it do at Old Trafford?
The focal point for Manchester United supporters should be on supporting their team. If the majority of supporters wore red scarves and focused their energy on getting behind the team, it could have made a difference. By focusing so much on the “Love United, Hate Glazer” movement, the supporters are not getting behind the players and team as much. I don’t believe that United supporters can have their cake and eat it too. They either need to wear the colors of their club and support their team, or they need to wear the green and gold of Newton Heath.
My personal viewpoint is that everyone has gotten the message about wanting the Glazers out, but continuing to wear the green and gold is not doing anything for the movement. The “Love United, Hate Glazer” campaign needs to make the next move which is either to stop going to the United matches and hurting the Glazers where it counts in terms of lost merchandise and concession sales (the tickets after all have already been paid for because they’re season tickets). Or they need to pack it in, wear the colors of Manchester United and then figure out a Plan B when the season is over.
To make it clear, I do support the green and gold brigade in terms of wanting the Glazers out because they’ve taken a club and have poured massive debts on them. I don’t support the Glazers in this case, but as a neutral observer, I think everyone has gotten the point about the green and gold movement, the Glazers aren’t budging from their stance and United — the team — needs the support of its fans and not an Old Trafford that is splintered.
The concern among the United faithful may be that if they stop wearing the green and gold that it’ll signal a win for the Glazers. That may be true, but at this time in the season where Manchester United has the opportunity to become the most successful club in the history of English football and stand in a pivotal place where a Champions League trophy is a possibility, the players and managers need the Manchester United supporters united.