Why United’s Impending 20th Title is a Triumph for Football

Recently I have been very critical of Manchester City’s approach to football. Being raised as a “die hard” Evertonian if you like, my principles regarding football are rather different to that of the way the game is headed. These principles are defined by Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure at Manchester United.

You see, the stigma that currently plagues the game is that if you sell your soul to a rather wealthy generally Middle Eastern business venture, you will be catapulted to the stars and secure yourself a place in the history books. However, gladly, this just isn’t the case.

Before the infamous buyout at Eastlands, I had the utmost respect for Manchester City fans. They operated in a way similar to that of my fellow flock of Toffees. Admittedly we both shared a nagging downfall in that we were both overshadowed spectacularly by our fiercest rivals. With Liverpool and Manchester United being two of the most successful teams in world football, we always had our backs against it. However this in itself bred a rather bittersweet pride. It’s usually spite that this is misinterpreted as, especially with Everton’s faithful, however I can assure you it is wavering pride that we still carry traditional values that have been unaffected by the modern game’s disease. Shame there is no vaccine then, as City have been infected beyond repair.

Alex Ferguson’s dynasty at Old Trafford however has shown that in the face of adversity, football has triumphed. The devil’s deal to sell one’s soul for instant success has been thwarted. Overpowered by the Glaswegian’s genius honest philosophies instilled at Old Trafford. He consistently gels a team that is capable of winning the Premier League year in year out. Admittedly the playing staff at United may not be as accomplished technically as their noisy neighbours, however individual inconsistency is a problem that Ferguson rarely has to deal with. There is no doubt that players have prolonged periods of bad form, and United are not immune to this. However Alex Ferguson’s delicate stitching has ensured the fabric of the team is representative of a tight knitted unit, a unit capable of repeatedly being crowned Kings of England.

Of course there’s no doubt that Manchester United have spent big in the past, however they have earned the right to spend this kind of money. The gradual brick by brick evolution of Manchester United has brought them the money in which to strengthen there squad and most of the time buy correctly. A far cry away from Eastlands, in which team chemistry seems not to be of concern from the hierachy, as summarised by the purchase of wild child Mario Ballotelli. A collection of inflated egos, who no doubt believe that they are the best players at the club individually, contrasts Ferguson’s togetherness across the city, a togetherness which grinds out results.

The achievements of Sir Alex Ferguso are not only honoured because of their consistency, but because of the manner in which he has achieved them. He has kept the soul of the football club in tact, with class and elegance, something Manchester City will never grasp. And that is why Manchester United’s soon to be secured 20th League title is a triumph for our national game.

14 thoughts on “Why United’s Impending 20th Title is a Triumph for Football

  1. I have read you whimsical comments with interest. Comments to which I feel I have to reply. You praise of Alex Fergussen is grudgingly accepted. BUT…I am old enough to remember when supporting your local team was the norm. If you were patient…. you got a chance of winning trophies. ( Leeds, Derby, Forrest, Villa, Everton, City, Liverpool, United, Spurs, Arsenal… all winners in the 60’s & 70’s).The manager had time to develop a good squad. this got your team challenging for a few years when an ageing squad had to then be replaced. For the past few years this has changed as the Champions league/ TV money has skewed this to the extent that it was impossible to break the glass ceiling for teams such as Everton, City, Villa, etc etc.
    THE ONLY ROUTE is now to get a big sponsor. I know that fellow Everton fans would be dancing in the streets should this happen to your team.
    To sum up:-
    I was very bitter about this….. my sport has been prostituted by big money. The teams who were at the top when Sky came into the game have been artificially kept there by the extra funds recieved. I hope that now we have broken this glass ceiling that others will have the opportunity to follow… Spurs, Newcastle etc… even Everton

  2. What a load of old tosh! Quite how United have earned the “right” to spend mega money while City are expected to feed off scraps quietly in the corner I can’t fathom. United have consistently spent vast amounts over more than 50 years, breaking the British transfer repeatedly. As for Everton fans, how many would honestly prefer to scrape by year on year rather than have the money to compete for the big prizes? About as many as would turn down a lottery win I suspect.

  3. Where do we start? A pride in a club that was notorious in its approach to black players? A pride in a club where a section of supporters have rather dodgy links to far right groups and certain organisations in Northern Ireland? Pride in a club that is currently being hawked like a some tired hooker around all and sundry in the business world, looking for the kind of investment that went to Chelsea and City?

    And what of Manchester United? A club that spent £30m on a defender 10, that’s right TEN years ago. A club that badgered and bullied Everton into parting with their greatest prospect in decades? A club that, whilst having 333 million fans worldwide is generally loathed for their bullying approach to the game and officials? A club replete with role models that screw their brother’s wives, miss drugs test for fear of failing, screw OAP prostitutes as their wives are due to give birth imminently? A club whose manager still hasn’t satisfactorily answered questions over his transfer dealings, particularly those where his son acted as an intermediary? Or the club whose manager practically delivered it into the hands of the current owners (and so into huge debt due to the leveraged buy out) over the head of a spat over a horse?

    Plenty to be proud of there! I think Moyes is doing a fantastic job at your club, but let’s face it, the only way to compete nowadays is having the financial muscle to buy quality and resist offers for your best players. Sad but true.

    Not sure what planet you’ve been watching football on for the last 25 years.

    I don’t begrudge City thier investment and the inevitable success that will bring. I wish it was us rather than them and we were shut of Ashley. But to say, or intimate it is neither as valid or relevant or classy as any other club’s success is, if you’ll excuse the pun, a bit rich!

    H’way The Lads.

  4. I’m not even a City fan, but Mr Williams, had the Abu Dhabi based Sheikh Mansour bought into your club, as he very almost did it has been reported, would you not be absolutely over the moon that you would now have a chance of toppling your greatest rivals? I don’t think that City, as a football club can be accused of losing any ‘class’ as you so distinctly put it, what is the difference between them spending money to buy players and any other club spending money to buy players? How exactly have United earnt the right to spend money, but no one else can? It is perhaps unfortunate that football has become a game where you have to spend to be successful, but if that is the way it is then City have every ‘right’ to spend money themselves. Just look at where ‘class’ gets Arsenal every year. Below ‘cash’ that’s for sure. Please take your bitter, Everton tinted specs off before your next article sir.

  5. What you are suggesting is that the status quo should last forever. The only way teams like City and Everton can become successful is with a massive injection of cash. There is no other way. This is recognised by the legions of Evertonians you see bleating about Kenwright’s tenure and bemoaning the lack of investment. Your position smacks of jealousy – you cannot bear to see another club taking the path you desperately want and need Everton to take, so you would prefer the ‘Old Order’ to prevail. Utd spent £50m in the last close season. This was on top of the many hundreds of millions they have spent in the past. As for Utd having ‘Earned the right to spend’ etc – they floated the company in 1993 raising huge sums of cash. Investors were taking a gamble on Utd’s future and as it happens, getting it right. There is little difference between this and what is happening at City – they just have one investor rather than several thousand. That investor is also spending £1 billion on the surrounding area and new Academy, therefore securing the future. City’s time will come, and it is true that spending doesn’t guarantee success, but it is equally true that not spending does guarantee failure. As for Everton – you need to brace yourself for decades of struggle, starting with the disappointment of a defeat at Wembley on Sunday – that is of course they can secure the type of investment that City have got.

  6. Idiotic, parochial nonsense. Manchester United epitomise the soulless nature of corporate football: a club ‘owned’ by Americans on borrowed money, supported by a tribe of wandering glory hunters, from Brighton to Singapore.

    This is a club up to its eyes in serious debt. This is club that splashed nearly £30 million on Veron over 10 years ago, spent £32 million on Hargreaves & Anderson, £30 odd million on Berbatov and over £50 million more recently on Jones, Young & De Gea, quite apart from the £60 million (in 03 and 04) on Ferdinand and Rooney. I could go on. United have spent heavily for years using ‘borrowed’ cash. The suggestion that they have ‘earned the right’ to do this is ill-informed rubbish.

    City, having to conform the hastily concocted FFPR, had no choice but to spend big and do it quickly. There was simply no other option, as FFPR is simply a mechanism for maintaining the status quo; for keeping the big clubs big and the small clubs in their place. How ironic that an Everton supporter fails to see the financial reality of modern football. With current regulations, even with the richest owner on Earth, Everton could never aspire to even compete to win the league because the new rules would not allow it. Some triumph then for fair play and football!

    The tone and content of this article summarises the short-sighted, envious, one-eyed nonsense that is often spouted in the tabloids. Enjoy City’s ‘demise’ whilst you can. This is early days in the building of a dynasty. Not only that, had the Arabs looked towards the Blues of Liverpool, as opposed to City, do you really think that the Board would have said no?

    No question that Ferguson is a remarkable manager, irrespective of his intimidation of officials which brings its own seasonal award (about 10 points a year) but whatever the disappointment this season, the Club will continue to make good progress. Even Ferguson knows that his noisy neighbours are here to stay. Remember, it took Ferguson nearly seven years to win the title and five years to win a trophy!

    As for the dig at City’s fans, what a sad, pathetic attempt to denigrate the remarkable loyalty of a fan base that has proved extraordinarily loyal over many years in a way that few others have matched. The only ‘infection’ here is one of misguided jealousy. Understandable perhaps but a million miles wide of the mark.

  7. After reading the comments, i agree this was a little “out there” shall we say, and slightly biased. Just i believe strongly in a football club having a soul, a charecterstic widely credited with Everton.
    I stand by the sentiment of this, could have been contextualised very differently, but i wrote this in the aftermath of the City Arsenal game, so i suppose my heart and passion spoke before my brain had chance to intervene.

  8. Sorry, but that whole article reeks of sour grapes. I am sure that if a similar takeover came along for Everton, you and your fellow supporters would be estatic.

    Then this silly notion that all united’s wealth is ‘self generated’ and ‘honestly’ aquired, is simply a myth. From the day Newton Heath (my hometown by the way) was formed (ironically by a scouser….lol) they were backed by a string of sugar daddies, through moving to OT, and up through the Edwards dynasty, (and the tragedy at Munich further gaining them sympathy fans and more cash) which saw them grow in wealth throughout their history….and wealth so clearly DOES breed success as they proved. So this holier than thou stance taken by their fans is just bull…..they ‘bought’ it just as much as City are doing.

  9. You are on drugs if you think Ferguson has done it the right way, how many time has he broke the transfer record ? Now if you had said to me Wenger of some one of his type (maybe even Moyes) I would agree BUT Ferguson REALLY……

    Us City fans have never changed we might have some hangers on now, but we are still the hardcore same fans who put up with years of misery. It seems to me the more toffee’s I speak to, the more bitter they are.. The shame is we used to be the same the only thing is now you lot are a very bitter team. By the way think Moyes has done an excellent job for your club

  10. Having watched Man City for more than 45 years it saddens me to read the kind of article written by Ben Williams. It is full of predictable cliches and simply re-hashes the standard drivel poured out by the national media. Quite frankly, as a piece of work, it is ill thought out, poorly written and smacks of a deep rooted dissatisfaction in the fortunes of Everton. Man United are a corporate entity, their club has no soul because their fan base is so diverse. They have been placed in huge debt by their owners who view them as an asset on a balance sheet. Man City are simply a football club with a loyal and local fan base who have been fortunate enough to receive a massive cash injection from owners who appear to want to build a club that will contribute to the community. I have always felt an affinity to Everton, as the writer points out, we share the same values and, had Man City fans been born down the East Lancs we would be supporting the blue half of Liverpool not the red. What Ben Williams has surmised is that City have foresaken those values. He could not possibly know that or be more wrong and I, like most City fans, still hope that Everton are the recipients of the next ‘sugar daddy’.

  11. To be honest, articles like this are like water off a duck’s back to me these days. I admittedly still get annoyed on occasions when I read this kind of stuff but given we’ve had to put up with such misguided comments ever since September 1st 2008, as time goes on I and many other City fans have become more and more immune to them.

    There isn’t much I can add to what other fans have said in response but a bit of research into the history of both City and United would’ve been invaluable as it might’ve stopped you coming out with such ill-advised rubbish.

    It becomes even more ironic when you consider that it recently came to light that just before MCFC was taken over, the modern day Peter Swales – Bill Kenwright – seemingly kiboshed any possible interest in acquiring Everton FC from none other than City’s current owner, news which infuriated a large section of Everton’s support base.

  12. Exploiting an air crash for financial gain and image building, now that’s classy!

    As is throwing the widows of victims from said crash out of their club homes, leaving some of them homeless. Classy!

    What of Louis Edwards, just one of several sugar daddies United have benefited from in the past when times were tough?

    I pity you people who have been trained like sheep into believing football has existed no more than 20 years and who believe every well doctored piece of tripe you read from News Corp owned media.

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