Manchester United fans are starting to get a bad reputation.
Not only do the rest of us have to listen to them being insufferably smug because their team is awesome and has won yet another competition, but we have to put up with the fact that many of them are balls-out glory hunters from Berkshire or Shropshire or wherever-the-fuckshire.
They’re not the only ones who have bad attitudes though. Arsenal supporters are widely disliked for being elitist. Liverpool fans can be amongst the most nauseating because of their feeling of entitlement. Tottenham fans are definitely the most deluded. Stoke supporters don’t seem to mind rotational fouling/cheating. Chelsea and Man City fans frustratingly don’t seem to find it objectionable that their teams are corrupt and immoral. The list goes on and I could point out something negative about every single club and their faithful support.
All fans enjoy a bit of banter. All fans can be a bunch of morons. All fans can be unforgiving and disrespectful. It’s part of the game after all. We pick our corner and we fight it to the end. Sometimes it leads us up an alley from which there is no turning back: I don’t expect Chelski fans to renounce Abramovich, nor do I expect Tottenham fans to give up hope when they’re always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
The banter, the frank exchanges between supporters is the corner stone of the sport. It provides colour to the game. It gives us something to invest in, to believe in, to revel in. And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.
But there has to be a line.
Earlier this month, a small section of the Manchester United faithful took to the internet and tried to incite violence between their neighbors Manchester City and Napoli during their first Champions League game. They did this by posing as City fans and going on the Napoli forums and trying to pick fights. I don’t think there are many people who would call this acceptable behavior. Click here to see my article about it. To sum up my thoughts on the matter; secretly trying to cause violence against your local rivals, regardless of the acrimonious history, is disgusting and immoral and needs to be met with the full force of the law.
Sadly, it seems that lightening has struck twice. This time United fans decided it would acceptable to take with them to Elland Road, home of their fierce rivals Leeds, a banner reminding them of the time in Istanbul where two of their supporters were killed. What kind of c u next tuesday thinks that this is fine? Even against one of your old enemies, to revel in the murder of two of their supporters is morally reprehensible behavior.
Let me get one thing straight; all the United fans I know are decent people (smug, but decent). It‘s a tiny minority who are doing the damage to the reputation of the main body of support. But why is it constantly the following of the same club that are having such serious behavioral problems?
I don’t have any answers to this one. What I can tell you is that United fans have much to be proud of, but today (and recently) they should be pretty ashamed. These kind of actions have no place in the modern game and we need to make examples of these giant f*£kwits so it doesn’t keep happening.