Manchester United Football Club - what does it mean?
What images does it conjure up for you?
Sir Matt, the Red shirt, the blue '48 Final shirt, the "birth of the Babes"
at Huddersfield, a snowy night in Bilbao, Roger Byrne lifting two
successive championship trophies, Munich, the king's goal at Wembley in
'63, the trilogy of Law Best and Charlton, 1968, Doc's Red Army, the '85
Norman conquest, Alex Ferguson, the second coming, the tears after a very
long 26 year wait, the double, Eric's double-double scouse buster or the
youthful team of today?
Memories of a club which has it's roots - deep, deep roots embedded in
A very special tradition that has spread far and wide around the globe.
Even in the 60's you could go anywhere and mention Manchester United and
whether you were in the remotest part of the Andes or deepest Brazil, the
name would be understood and the names of the trilogy recited back to you.
With modern communications the message has been received and understood by
more and more and each of those people wants a part of the club. The global
appeal has spread ever wider.
It's that very global appeal which has attracted a rather infamous Australian.
The difference between you and me and him though is that he is not
attracted by a football team in Manchester with a rich tradition, he is
attracted by the opportunity to make millions out of that rich tradition by
using us as a "battering ram" (his words) to further his TV empire.
Bastardisation is what I call it.
Do you really think he cares?
He cares so much that he didn't even bother to brief his Chief Executive,
Mark Booth about who plays at left back for the team. And Booth couldn't
even be bothered to find out.
Now that's caring.
So - judge the book - not the cover.
Take the News Corporation Annual Report with it's corporate full colour
glossy cover - "spot varnish sir?" "cover up the cracks sir" "yes please".
Peel back the cover and look at the pages. Examine the words. Read between
the lines and look a little deeper. Perhaps a different vision will reveal
itself to you.
We are all flawed in some way, we know that. You either choose to ignore
those flaws or choose to ignore the person. Sometimes, however, the flaws
are so conspicuous that they are impossible to ignore, problem is you can't
ignore the person either.
And what about our dear Martin?
"I have to think about the pensioners who might lose out if I don't take up
the best offer." He said.
"Is he really concerned with the former state workers in the USA whose
pensions are managed by Marathon Asset Management? The current pensioners
reduction on a season ticket at Old Trafford is 10 pounds per season.
Perhaps Martin should have shown his concerns for the elderly nearer to
home." From the latest editorial in Red Issue.
"I will sit in front of anybody and argue the toss. Nobody will convince me
that I have done the wrong thing." Martin Edwards stated in the Times. So
why has he steadfastly refused to do so ever since?
"I am not about to do anything that destroys the health and tradition of
this club. If I do then I deserve to be strung up". Martin Edwards again.
He has proposed the selling of Manchester United to Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB
- read on................
From India's Economic Times: "In Bombay there are now three outstanding
warrants for the arrest of K. Rupert Murdoch. The first stems from a talk
show that defamed Gandhi, the second came about because the first was
ignored, the third issued in December 1997 is for the telecast of obscene
films on the Star TV network."
Is this the man who will look after the tradition of our club - he doesn't
seem to have bothered about India's tradition does he?
The following statement from Russ Baker's article in the Columbia
Journalism Review, May/June 1998 entitled "Murdoch's Mean Machine" just
about sums it up:
"Murdoch uses his diverse holdings, which include newspapers, magazines,
sports teams, a movie studio, and a book publisher, to promote his own
financial interests at the expense of real newsgathering, legal and
regulatory rules, and journalistic ethics. He wields his media as
instruments of influence with politicians who can aid him, and savages his
competitors in his news columns. If ever someone demonstrated the dangers
of mass power being concentrated in few hands, it would be Murdoch."
Do we need to read more? If we do, this is from the same article:
"Murdoch's British tabloid, The Sun, recently reversed its opposition to
the controversial Millennium Dome - an enormous exhibition hall ("the
world's largest dome") to be built in London - after Murdoch's British Sky
Broadcasting (BSkyB) satellite service became a key investor. The English
reading public had seen this before. Murdoch's firing of editors Harold
Evans of The Times (in 1982) and Andrew Neil of the Sunday Times (in 1994)
were both widely felt to be over reporting by the papers that angered the
Tory governments -- during a period when government decisions were
massively enriching the tycoon."
Does he seem the right man for the job?
The whole article can be found at:
Or perhaps you would like to read this, from the Los Angeles Times Monday
August 1997: "Playing by His Own Rules" by Michael A. Hiltzik:
It starts: "Potential Dodger owner Rupert Murdoch already knows the power -
and perils - of pro sports. His foray into Australian rugby sparked a civil
war that threatened the game's future."
And if you do, go to: http://www.csun.edu/~kab42291/latimes1.html
If anyone then has any doubt at all about the pages of this particular book
or it's cover, there's plenty more where that came from.
Now let's get back to supporting Manchester United, after we've made sure
it still exists.
"If you want to control a people all you have to do is remove their
memory." George Orwell.
But remember, "He who owns the past controls the future". So let's keep
© Copyright Paul Windridge 1998