Manchester United supporters around the world have reacted to their side’s humiliating derby defeat yesterday by issuing the club with the dreaded vote of confidence.
After watching Sir Alex Ferguson’s previously rampant Red Devils go down 6-1 at Old Trafford against bitter rivals Manchester City, fans who have known almost unbroken dominance over the last twenty years have made it known that, while their every instinct urges them to switch allegiances to Roberto Mancini’s unstoppable money machine, they are prepared to stick it out in the mean time in order to avoid potentially costly exchanges of merchandise.
With many column inches this morning devoted to the notion of a power shift in Manchester, and therefore at the top of the Premier League, a mass, virtual defection of international United fans to their “noisy neighbours” had seemed inevitable.
But, according to a succession of statements, it would appear that they are prepared to wait until the situation is hopeless before seeking glory in pastures news.
Ravi Azad, a United fan from Bangalore, said: “I got a text from my Liverpool-supporting friend Rishi suggesting that I call a helpline for beleaguered Manchester fans on 0161 616 1616 – I rang a couple of times but couldn’t get through, so there must be a lot of upset people out there.
“No-one could possibly understand what us Manchester fans are going through right now. Success is pretty much par for the course here – sorry, there – so that result really ruined my weekend, at least until I numbed myself with FIFA 12 and illegal downloads of American sitcoms featuring large-breasted women.
“Please, whoever you support, spare a thought for us at this time. Your team may have always been rubbish but this is an entirely new sensation for Manchester fans like me. Obviously the new, blue Manchester team is attractive but, at this moment in time, I’m not prepared to discuss a change.”
Suparman Saputra, a United fan from Jakarta, said: “Switch sides? I’ve thought about it, of course, but it wouldn’t be practical right now.
“After all, I’m twenty-four seasons into a hugely successful Football Manager game as Manchester, so I can’t just abandon that and start again with New Manchester. That would be ridiculous.
“Mind you, if New Manchester offered me the job, I would find it very hard to turn down. I’m in talks with the letting agents about repainting my walls, so Blu-Tack residue from torn-down posters shouldn’t prove too much of a problem.”
Michael Forster, a United fan from Swindon, said: “I actually kind of want us to go a bit rubbish so that it makes getting a ticket a bit easier.
“I’ve long been ridiculed by my friends for never stepping foot in Manchester but, as long as I’m part of a large football crowd, I needn’t be worried about having my internal organs carved out by a heroin addict or being exposed to workmanlike indie music at particularly close quarters.”
He added: “Having said that, I do like how ‘Mancini’ reads a bit like ‘Man City’. I used to support Arsenal for that very reason.”