In a move befitting of something former Soviet authorities would try to pull off when Stalin was about to attend a public event, Manchester United have gone to extraordinary lengths to not upset club owner Avram Glazer.
United face Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley this afternoon and for just the third time in five years, Glazer has chosen the occasion to attend the match.
Avram is one of the two Glazer siblings rumoured to still be clinging on to power at Old Trafford and looking to refinance the club rather than sell. The family are hugely unpopular with the fanbase and subject to ongoing protests in which fans demand that they leave the club.
Yesterday it was announced that rather than the usual plastic flags given out at Wembley finals, United are issuing all their attending supporters with a commemorative scarf.
This has been couched as a wonderful gesture to fans, but in truth it looks like a sinister device to silence anti-Glazer protests.
United fans in their thousands wear green and gold scarves at matches to protest against Glazer ownership. The green and gold relates back to United’s origins as Newton Heath, when those colours were worn. So by issuing the free red and white scarves and instructing fans to create a wall of red and white, the club presumably hopes to subdue and hide the green and gold.
The tycoons have tried to obliterate the green and gold scarves from events before as well.
Last October, American broadcaster NBC refused to televise any fans wearing the green and gold at a Philadelphia fan-fest, giving rise to an outcry about censorship.
Supporters group MUST at the time issued a statement saying “to silence our rights as United supporters to protest against the Glazer ownership. We have heard and experienced all this before, right?
“Our fellow fans in the States decided that they will continue to don Green and Gold and take their banners to the fest. However, as expected little or no coverage was available on the NBC official channels.”
But there is no way the club can prevent fans at Wembley from wearing the green and gold, so to achieve the same objective, the club would have to think of another method.
In case fans were in any doubt about what they should be doing with the scarves today, the club has tweeted a video featuring Bruno Fernandes, imploring them to don the red and white:
You got it, @B_Fernandes8 🧣
Location: Wembley 📍#MUFC || #CarabaoCup pic.twitter.com/xxN9EIZqlW
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 25, 2023
However, one quick-witted fan noticed that United’s social media admin had added a silent protest to the tweet, inserting a green and gold scarf emoji:
United admin even put the green & gold scarf for the post 🤣🤣🤣👏🏻
Bring all your green and gold scarfs for Wembley, United fans! 🧣🧣🧣
Green and Gold until we're sold!!!!#GlazersOut #GlazersSellManUtd#GlazersOutNOW #MUFC pic.twitter.com/u8vaN6Fdbl
— Killian MUFC🔴🔰 (@KilliaKelly) February 25, 2023
This was clearly subsequently removed.
The Peoples Person congratulate the intrepid admin who had the courage to make their true feelings known in this brilliant manner, along with the fan who captured it for posterity with the screen shot.
United fans lucky enough to be at Wembley today are urged to wear green and gold and let their sentiments on Glazer ownership be heard loud and clear on this major occasion.
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