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Time For Man United Fans To End Green and Gold Brigade

 Time For Man United Fans To End Green and Gold Brigade

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.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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34 Responses to Time For Man United Fans To End Green and Gold Brigade

  1. Matt says:

    Gaffer, you should stick to commenting on other issues that you actually do well – such as coverage of soccer in the USA. The issues you actually have first hand experience of.

    Im not sure why a non-Man United fan who hasn’t attended Old Trafford but merely watched from a few thousands miles away would try to tell Man United fans what they should be doing for the good of their club.

    Trust me, Im no Manc but if I was id be telling you were to stick your nose!

    Sorry but you’ve had a nightmare with blogs post-Chelsea match!

    • The Gaffer says:

      Matt, I’ve been to Old Trafford a couple of times before, but haven’t been this season. Nevertheless, I honestly feel it would be best for the green and gold brigade to put their support behind the team instead of focusing on something that will not change (the Glazers).

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  2. mARTINS says:

    The Gaffer,
    Please write your articles after doing some research or better still concentrate on matters soccer. This club we dearly cherish for more than a century was debt free before the Glazers got in. Look the direction the finances are taking? At some point the movement will be so strong the Glazers will have to bow down. Love United Hate Glazers.

  3. John Smithers says:

    I don’t thing I’ve read an article so out of touch with what’s been happening at Old Trafford.

    Just before the Green and Gold movement we were beaten by 1st division side Leeds United. Old Trafford was like a library.

    What EVERYONE who has attended games has been saying is the the Green and Gold has actually brought the atmosphere back to Old Trafford.

    It has actually lifed the team that previously had been performing very flat. One of the problems at the Chelsea game was the ‘Glazer Police’ that surpressed the atmosphere by blocking the gangways.

    Sorry Gaffer, your article is so out of touch and ill informed with the reality of what is happening at Old Trafford. Maybe you should chat with match going reds before you write something so confused. I think you also underestimate the integrity of real United supporters. We won’t sell our history down the river for an extra couple of trophys. The most important thing now is to get the Glazers out of Old Trafford. If that happens we will hve had a great season.

    • james0309 says:

      I agree. Short-term success on the field is less important than the club’s long-term future. I attend all home games and I plan to wear the green and gold until the carpetbaggers from Florida sell up.

      As for the writer of this piece? Sorry to say this but you really have NO idea what is going on here, do you?

    • The Gaffer says:

      John, I haven’t been at any Old Trafford matches this season, but if the crowd is louder this part of the season than earlier, it’s not coming through on the television, that’s for sure.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  4. A Simpson says:

    Press box is 5 yards away from the away end and the TV control the crowd noise to suit them. What you hear on tv isn’t what you hear inside the ground. Fact.

    • The Gaffer says:

      I’ve been to Old Trafford before, and the away fans that day (Man United v Chelsea a few years ago) were louder than the United supporters. For a stadium with a capacity of Old Trafford, the home supporters are extremely quiet.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  5. Crispin Nisbett says:

    What a load of rubbish you wrote how can wearing the original colors of the team in protest to the Glazers mean they aren’t supporting the club? The same fans in the green & gold were cheering on the team and singing the chants jus like the ones in red, black or white so this blog is complete BS

  6. Evan says:

    Great article. Seeing as how most United fans are Glory Hunters, they jumped on the bandwagon of the Green and Gold because it was the new big thing. It makes no sense what they;re doing anyway; They all paid for a ticket to go to a game which supports Glazer.

    • Fred says:

      I agree.

      • Duke says:

        I don’t know about “glory hunters” or “bandwagon jumpers,” but I do know this: The only vote a fan has in this situation is with his dollar/pound/euro. If you’re unhappy with the way the Glazers are handling the team, STOP GIVING THEM YOUR MONEY. There is a lot of down-side to this tactic, but what other options are available? If the only tickets being sold are to visiting fans, the team ceases to be a cash cow, and management has to change the way they operate. As long as you keep buying tickets, the Glazers keep laughing all the way to the bank.

  7. LGHU says:

    When did yellow turn to gold?

    • The Gaffer says:

      …ever since the British media started calling it the “green and gold” — http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/feb/28/manchester-united-green-gold-wembley

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

    • Ardwickian says:

      The protest aimed at the (Thank you God for the)Glazers is just a smoke screen for the years and years they’ve spent in denial of the fact they are not Manchesters team,the green and yellow is a sad atempt to disguise an identity crises which sees them cling patheticly to a time when they did reside in Manchester and thus prove how Manc they are. Has for the noise factor,its proof how the Tower of Rabble(stretford end) is a confusing set of diffrent tongues(tourists) and is the reason why they’ve sung the same two nursrey rhymes for the last forty years.

  8. Gary says:

    Gaffer, I fully agree with your assessment. The green and gold movement is an attempt on the part of United supporters to “have their cake and eat it too.” It is the height of hypocrisy to be wearing the Red’s AIG kit with the green and gold scarf draped over it.
    If half as many of these supporters through their weight behind a protest of massive corporate bailouts, indeed, financial capitalism, I would applaud their efforts. However, the message that the scarves over the AIG kit send is: “we’re fine with the systemic inequities in the global economy that are bolstered by financial capitalism with the exception of our sports-entertainment and the insanely wealthy club that we support. That’s off limits.” It is the position of spoiled brats. If you can afford a ticket to Old Trafford, a red kit and that sharp-looking scarf (which is simply an edgy piece of merchandise), you are likely a beneficiary of the world-system which should be the true target of your critiques, not the Glazers who are merely the current face of corporatization and privatization in every sector of global politics, economics and society. It’s appearance in the realm of sports-entertainment is certainly the least worrisome of all it’s manifestations. It’s a shame that such a massive social movement should be so narrowly focused as to miss the true scope of its own critiques. Until this green and gold movement can connect the dots and gear its protests towards the causes and not simply the manifestation of corporate excess most obvious to them, it will remain entirely ineffectual. The Green and Gold, like the Glazers, are going nowhere fast.

  9. Matthew N says:

    The “green and gold movement” is the type of thing that epitomizes everything that is wrong with the world. Instead of actually doing something about the thing they don’t like (Glazer ownership), these people throw a green and gold scarf around their neck and bitch, but don’t do anything of substance. If they actually took some action like, I don’t know, NOT COMING TO MATCHES AND PAYING HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS TO SIT IN THE FIRST ROW, then maybe it would make sense, but if they are paying the Glazers boatloads of money week after week, your green and gold scarf is simply an empty statement. If you actually care, you should do something. Cancel your season tickets, stop showing up, stop buying apparel, etc. You can only effect change if you are willing to take action, and I’m sorry, but putting a green and gold scarf on while you put money in the Glazers’ pocket is pretty much the most hypocritical thing imaginable. The green and gold people alone probably put more than a million dollars into the Glazers’ coffers every week…

    • Duke says:

      Whoops!

      My comment above was made before scrolling down far enough to see this one, so: Yeah, what Matthew N. said!

      Sorry for the duplication.

  10. brn442 says:

    Gaffer, you certainly didn’t get enough chocolate in your easter eggs this weekend.

    I’m not going to use the tone of the other posters but their point of having to be at Old Tr afford to really gage the atmosphere and its supposed effect on team morale is well taken. Also, your suggestion that someone who (you acknowledged) already paid a ton for season tickets should stay away at this point of the season to hurt the Glazers, or should I say – the Club seems to undermine your whole thesis.

  11. ruffneckc says:

    The supports are all muppets as they continue to buy tickets and go to the matches, which is all the Glazers care about – bums in seats!

  12. Jason Gatties says:

    How many trophies have been lifted since the Glazers took over again? I’m not a fan of Liverpool but at least they have a legit gripe. Most sports teams go into debt. Until you are threatened with administration, shut up.

  13. Jesse says:

    Well written article, but I must respectively disagree, if only slightly.

    As a United supporter, I feel like a lot of the comments here are “all or nothing” on an issue that is more gray than black and white.

    First off, I feel like the supporters who wear the green and gold are doing it to unite with each other in regards to what is best for the club – which of course is the Glazers leaving. By wearing the colors, they are in fact supporting the players and the history of Manchester United.

    What else are they supposed to do?

    More specifically, what is the average Joe who doesn’t sit in the first row, pays his hard earned money to support the team he loves supposed to do to tackle the Glazers? (answer: he’ll do what everyone else is doing. So, who in fact is leading this revolution?)

    Wearing a simple scarf compared to not going to watch your club is too “all or nothing” for the average fan. There’s got to be some better middle ground that will eventually turn into phase 2 of this project.

    The movement MUST is trying to undertake is a small first step in a massive project to force the Glazers out. Movements like this take loads of time, money, organization and patience.

    If the green and gold brigade continue to wear a scarf of a different color until something else happens, then so be it. The leaders will lead (which I imagine they are doing quietly, behind closed doors, with large calculators, books and balance sheets) and the followers with follow (the average fan who dons a green and gold scarf).

    The very idea of supporters not going to a match to protest contradicts the idea of them not supporting the team by wearing different colors yet still attending. Isn’t the definition of support actually going to watch in person?

    Imagine Old Trafford with 30,000 people instead of 75,000+. That would kill the atmosphere quite a bit more, wouldn’t it?

    Love this movement or hate it, one thing’s for certain, it’s going to take a lot more time to organize a relevant bid or takeover than we all think.

    I guess we better get used to the green and gold.

  14. Floridagooner says:

    Do these Green and Gold scarves have the Man U logo on them? If they do, they have to pay the team for the rights to produce them, which would in turn, be putting more money in the Glazers pocket. Boycotting the games when the vast majority of the seats are season tickets, is also stupid, and can only hurt the team. As far as the league goes I’m ABC (anyone but Chelsea)

  15. K says:

    As stated above, if these people are going to pay money to attend, which goes to the owners, they should be supporting the club while they’re there. Not attacking the ownership. There are other and better ways to protest that(like not paying money to protest). But while at the game, at least support your club.

  16. dlink09 says:

    great article gaffer.. oih manu/glory hunter fans if you want glazers out just stop going to the games or raise 1.5 billion pounds to buy the club.. if you don’t do that there is no way in hell they will leave …

  17. EPL Troll says:

    Manc U fans should support the Glazers. If you don’t you are not a fan. Simple enough.

  18. leeboy says:

    gaffer you are turning out some tiresome shite on here lately. you dont seem to live and breathe the english game rather comment when it suits your viewpoint so im going to ignore your ‘analysis’ from now on. thats no dig but sometimes like on the usa chant blog you come across as a naive observer rather than a participant. this is no dig to the rising population of clued up fans in the US who keep this site interesting

    • The Gaffer says:

      Leeboy, sorry to hear that you feel that way (honestly). But there’s no way you or anyone else is going to agree with everything I say or everything you guys say – which is what keeps it interesting. We win some, we lose some but hopefully in the long run there are more quality articles than not.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  19. Gious says:

    Why would you understand?

    You live in the USA and have never been to a United game

    • The Gaffer says:

      Gious, I live in the United States but I’ve been to a Manchester United game at Old Trafford when they played Chelsea a few seasons ago.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  20. Damian says:

    I can,t believe all these people there is no debt on Man U the debt is on the Glazers the so called debt is not the problem its the owners idea how to run the club the supporters want profits used to buy more players spend on the squad if the Glazers paid the money owed on the books would they then spend more on the squad i don,t think a lot The supporters think a break even year winning the PL is a good result i bet the Glazers think coming 3rd with 50M profit is better

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