Isn't it revealing that despite all our efforts to encourage respect on February 10th ( see the Archives for January - MUNICH 50 YEARS ON ), the only comments we've received from any Utd fans have been disgusting, insulting, provocative, and totally irrelevant? (see the comments following the It's a Fix - Arsenal)?
Nevertheless, we soldier on.....
The following is part of an article to be included in the next issue of KOTK, by COLIN SAVAGE
Let’s get one thing straight. If Manchester United want to have a minute’s silence for the players and staff who died in the Munich air disaster then that’s their business and theirs alone. They shouldn’t have to worry about some idiots disrupting what they deem an appropriate tribute. So I fully understand the request to have applause instead of silence but why should the decent majority be dictated to by the mindless minority? Let’s at least make sure that anyone who does disrupt that silence has nothing more to do with our club. However, having heard the all-too-familiar songs on the concourse at CoMS recently without any apparent action from the stewards then I can only cross my fingers and hope.
Whether this game should have been played at this time can be questioned however. I don’t believe it was an unhappy coincidence – I believe that teams have the right to request certain outcomes before the fixtures are produced and the Premier League do their best to take these into account. They also have a period before the fixtures are made public to ask for revisions apparently. So, for example, knowing that we were hosting the UEFA Cup final, it was imperative that we left a period of time between our last home game and the final so the last game (or couple of games) for us needed to be away. The club surely made this clear to the Premier League fixture planners but we ended up with two home games we had to re-schedule. Whoops. I’m sure the message got lost in the post somewhere as our totally professional administration would never have overlooked something so obvious.
It’s still not clear but I believe that it was requested (and both clubs were agreed) that this match should take place when it is doing so the commemoration of the 50th anniversary could be a “Manchester” event. Though how that can be when most United fans would struggle to find Manchester on a map I’m not sure. I (and most other City fans I know) think that City’s management should have resisted this very strongly. The Derby is an emotive match at the best of times but playing it in this context is plain silly. The potential for trouble is enormous; in a silent stadium you only need one person to make a noise to set off a chain reaction that will lead to City fans being branded all across the media and the rags reaping yet another boatload of sympathy. They simply should have played somebody else and our management team fell into what now looks like a big trap by agreeing to this.
Let’s hope our fans behave themselves (and I’m confident that they will) but people at our club surely had their heads up their backsides when they let this happen. I know, I know, I know that it isn’t much to ask people to keep quiet for sixty seconds but it’s also not a lot to ask that they don’t deface war memorials, mug poppy sellers, desecrate graves or put obstacles on train lines. But some do anyway.