Time to Listen

11 02 2010

Something seems to be stirring in Stretford. Caernarfon Town scarves have appeared and they have multiplied like mildew on a shower curtain. Keen social scientists will begin to wonder if this suggests something. A little research will uncover that the scarves are  a manifestation of protest. Protest is in the air!!!

Those with even a modicum of memory will recollect some form of “protest” at Manchester United in the last five years, so why are these protests so prominent in the media? Well, it seems that these protests are not like the earlier ones, these protests are serious. This has shocked several commentators. It seems that the original protests were not to be trusted; Firstly, they were planned and carried out by the horrible working class oiks, secondly, the foundation of FC United of Manchester was a juvenile reaction. 

The main reason that these protests can be taken more seriously is that “the movement has now grown up”. The maturing of the movement is mostly due to the involvement of the sainted middle classes (As with everything, news only becomes proper news when it affects the middle classes in some way). Now you could regard this as a load of shit written by a passenger on the glorious gravy train but that would just be jealous carping.

Now that the protest is the potage de jour we are reminded constantly. This story turned up yesterday in the Times for example.

“The scale of the anti-Glazer movement has been laid bare with internal divisions over the Americans’ controversial ownership of Manchester United beginning to emerge.

A steward with 19 years of service at Old Trafford has been sacked for siding with the Glazer protesters. He has claimed that growing numbers of people employed by United are becoming increasingly opposed to a regime that has left the Barclays Premier League champions £716.5 million in debt.

Granville Boden, 53, was dismissed by CES, the security firm employed by United on match days, after attempting to return an anti-Glazer banner, confiscated by stewards during the league game against Burnley at Old Trafford last month, to the supporters who displayed it.

Boden said that he was appalled at the heavy-handed tactics employed by CES staff to remove the banner forcibly — and the fans responsible for it — from the Stretford End and revealed that a 20-man stand-off later ensued between those stewards sympathetic to the anti-Glazer movement and those enforcing club policy.”

As you can see this story revolves around a banner. Basically a steward was sacked because he tried to return property to the rightful owners of it.

Several things struck me about the story. First of all I felt angry over the treatment of the steward. He became a steward at a time when only fans did the job (and missed watching the game because of it), a time  before private security companies became involved, so he’d been there for ages. He’d probably turned out in all weathers yet he got the sack because he transgressed against transitory plutocrats. Then I wondered about the kind of person that chooses to enforce the Glazer doctrine without question, how do they feel when gazing into a mirror? Then I thought; “Christ that’s another civil liberty eroded”. You can’t take pictures because it erodes copyright, you can’t stand up because it’s against health and safety legislation, now you can’t even get your property back because it’s offended some bald Americans.

Despite hailing from the land of the free the owners are blocking free speech, and it’s just because they don’t like what’s being said. What is it with these bloody plutocrats? They seem to think that they can do as they please because it’s in the search of greater profits (Well governments permit them to do it I suppose). Then if people try to expose their methods to the public they soon play the privacy law card.

On the other hand maybe the Glazers could consider the following point;

If you want to buy something that means a lot to a lot of people then be careful. If you choose not to act in a thoughtful manner, or a sensitive manner, or even a sensible manner  towards that something then you’ll have to live with what people say. Just a thought lads.

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