Jamaica Gleaner / If you know me and this little piece of the universe I reside in, you know that I’ve expressed devotion to one particular football team.
I started following Manchester United basically after the 1994 FA Cup final where, battered and bruised in the first half against Chelsea, United stood firm and ran out 4-0 winners. That kind of tenacity and the ability to overcome adversity (trust me, Chelsea was by far the better team in the first half) made me a United fan. I didn’t watch much football outside of Jamaica at that time (I was about 22 years younger and about 150 pounds lighter). I never really had a team, so I became a Red Devil.
We’ve been through much, me and Man U. Plenty of league titles, a couple of League Cups, a few FA Cups, and two Champions League titles including the ‘Miracle Against Munich’ (two goals in stoppage time to beat Bayern Munich). But we’ve had our disappointments. Finishing seventh in the league, getting hammered 6-1 at home by Manchester City, losing the league title in the final seconds to the same team, and losing the title on the final day to Blackburn in 1995. There were some heartbreaking Champions League losses, too. But I’ve always stayed put. And it’s been fun.
I say ‘been’ fun because I’m done with United. Finish! Lef’ dem! No animosity or anything like that. It’s just that I see the team and, by extension, world football, heading in a direction I don’t like. Been heading that way for a while. It’s all about people with big money but zero football sense and team managers who think they’re bigger stars than the players they guide. Manchester United was a team I always thought was above that. We grew talent, we didn’t buy it. We developed players, rather than focus on jersey sales. I’ve been feeling a little queasy over the years, but the past two summers have convinced me with all the money spent foolishly.
CLUBNOWACORPORATION The Glazer family has come in and turned the club basically into a corporation (I guess professional teams are, but you get what I mean). I knew things were turning dark like Anakin Skywalker morphing into Darth Vader in Star Wars. To top it off, JosÈ Mourinho, arguably the biggest egomaniac not named Donald Trump, was named manager. Like Belshazzar in the book of Daniel, I saw the writing on the wall. So after the third game of this season (a game United WON against Hull City) I called it a day. There were hard times with managers David Moyes and Louis van Gaal. So the ship has kinda levelled off. For now. So I decided I’m leaving BEFORE the sinking starts for good!
I said I would support Stoke City for now. But I’m not even really doing that. Nice team, nice town, long history. But I’ll just hope they don’t get relegated. But that’s it. Now I’m just watching football for fun. And hope my beautiful game, stays just that, corporate influence aside. Later.
? Link me at [email protected] .