The 20 odd balaclava-clad so-called “fans” who attacked Ed Woodward’s home Tuesday night are disgusting human beings. They are not fans of Manchester United, and when they are caught they should be punished severely. They should never be allowed back to Old Trafford, or to sit amongst this club’s fabulous away support.
The club agrees.
'Anybody found guilty of a criminal offence or found to be trespassing on this property, will be banned for life by the club and may face prosecution. Fans expressing opinion is one thing, criminal damage & intent to endanger life is another. There is simply no excuse for this.'— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) January 28, 2020
This is simply ridiculous. This is sport. It’s a game, a form of entertainment, a brief escape from our regular monotonous lives. It means a lot to us, but ultimately it’s trivial.
The fact that this comes just two days after Kobe Bryant tragically passed away in a helicopter crash makes it all worse. Kobe’s untimely death shocked the entire sports world. Not just the United States, not just basketball. It was everywhere. Tiger Woods, the Australian Open, European soccer. Manchester United, Barcelona, and AC Milan are just a few of the clubs that put out statements about Bryant.
Our own Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Jesse Lingard were just some of the players who posted about Kobe’s loss, and how he had inspired them.
A true inspiration in the sporting industry. RIP legend. pic.twitter.com/riqBbwRfDc— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) January 26, 2020
If nothing else, Kobe’s death made us all take a step back and realize how trivial sports are and how important life is.
Two days later this happened. And for what? Because Ed Woodward isn’t closing a transfer of a millionaire footballer from one football club to another? Are we for real?
I get it. Especially in England, our clubs are more than just a few hours a week of entertainment. We elevate them. It’s more than a club, it’s a religion. We care too much. There are weeks where we lose the early kickoff (7:30 AM Saturday for me) and my whole weekend is ruined. I’m bummed. And this time to myself away from work, that I’m supposed to enjoy, I don’t enjoy. I shouldn’t care that much — it’s not healthy — but I do. And I know for a fact that I’m not alone. There are plenty of people who care just as much as me. There are some that care more.
But to threaten someone’s life? Are you serious?
This season has been tough on all of us. If you follow my posts you know I’m one of the most pro Ole Gunnar Solskjaer people out there, that I look to see the positives in every game. He talks of the club building something, and every game I look to see that it’s there, then I try to show you why we need to look past the results sometimes.
That doesn’t mean the results don’t get to me. I don’t just watch every match, I watch every match and then I watch it again, regardless of the outcome or performance. It’s been draining.
It’s been draining because ultimately, no matter how good or bad the tactics are we just have crap players. We have crap players because our recruitment over the past six years has been awful. We spent tons of money on players that didn’t fit the system or didn’t want to be here. We spent tons of money on players who were at the end of their prime, meaning two years later they’d be immovable pieces who can’t contribute. We let good players leave and we didn’t replace them.
All of that ultimately falls on the head of Ed Woodward. There are some that say our manager is out of his depth, but Woodward truly is. He’s a banker who stumbled in to a high profile football job.
Woodward is a smart man, probably a brilliant one. You don’t become the successful banker that he was if you’re not. He was then offered a job as the Executive Vice Chairman of Manchester United. What a job! Of course he took it, it’s a dream job. You would take it too.
What Woodward has done in his time at United on the commercial side of the club is nothing short of fantastic. United are still one of the biggest clubs in the world — they were ranked third in the Deloitte Money League for 2019. When Lego release their new stadium set, it’s an Old Trafford model that’s hitting shelves, not the famous stadium 31 miles away that happens to house the European Champions. That’s all Woodward, and that’s despite being mostly shite on the pitch for the last six years.
We know that Woodward isn’t going to get fired and thus I’d like nothing more than for him to step down from the football side of things. All I want from this club is to have a modern structure in place with a director of football and a centralized system. So that if we don’t have the right manager we can hire someone else, but someone that fits the overall plan that the club would have in place. Not a situation like we currently have, where the overall plan changes based on the manager.
That’s why I support every protest that goes on. Go on, protest your hearts out. Be loud, voice your displeasure with Woodward, the Glazers, and the current regime. Call for change, sing loud, wave your green and gold scarves. There is never anything wrong with peaceful protest and those of us that live in countries that allow it should be extremely grateful. But that’s it!
We already know that January transfers aren’t easy. I can’t imagine Woodward isn’t trying his best to get these deals done. Unfortunately, his best isn’t good enough in this line of work, and he is completely out of his depth. That’s not his fault. He doesn’t have a background in football and yet his bosses gave him the job anyway. It’s on the Glazers to address that.
Educated fans know this, and they know the market has changed making it harder to get any deal done. That doesn’t make it impossible, but if you’re already an over-promoted banker playing at being a director of football, it certainly doesn’t make it easier. Unfortunately not enough fans know this, and this morning I read some words that sum up this whole thing better than I ever could.
“If anyone has used me as a reason to create any anger towards Ed, they are totally in the wrong because my relationship with Ed is good, it is professional, and we don’t always need to agree but that’s normal. What happened last night is not normal. It is violence and I condemn any type of violence. These guys are morons and this is criminal behaviour.
“These people need to be locked up and re-educated. This cannot be part of sport. This is sport — S P O R T. This is not a question of life and death. It is EN-TER-TAIN-MENT.
Those words are from Mino Raiola speaking to The Athletic. Here are some more.
“I am behind Ed 100 per cent and I think everybody in football should stand in support, whether you agree with him or not. It’s not important if you agree with him or not like in business — this is not business, it’s violence and everybody should stand with him. Nobody has the right to attack your house and menace your family. What would have happened if his children were home? Are we totally crazy? Is this England?!
We all hate Mino. He’s the antithesis of Manchester United, but he’s 100 percent right about this. It’s sports, it’s entertainment. Rarely do you get a player like Marcus Rashford, who grew up supporting the club and would do anything for them, or a manager like Solskjaer who just desperately wants this club to get back to it’s glory days.
Most of the time you get players who are here because it’s their job. They wear the shirt and they give their all, but they’ll hug rival players after a derby because they’re international teammates. Eventually they’ll move to another club and we’ll still be here.
That makes it harder sometimes. Knowing that we’re ultimately rooting for laundry and that we care more. We need to remember that, though. This isn’t life and death. We may feel like crap when going to work on Monday after a bad result, but life will go on.
As for those 20 idiots. Let’s never call them fans again, because they’re not. True fans know this is just a game, and we know that if you agree with those 20, we don’t want you amongst our ranks.