Sunday, May 22, 2005

Spot the Difference

I was watching the Aresenal versus Manchester United in the FA Cup Final on TV yesterday and I noticed something I thought slightly amusing. A quick background for anyone who might not be aware of it:
Manchester United have been bought by Malcolm Glazer, the US tycoon who also owns the Tampa Bay Buchaneers. Manchester United fans are not very happy about this. They've been protesting rather a lot saying that their team is not for sale. I don't really want to go into any detail about the rights and wrongs of this except to say that the team clearly was up for sale and Mr Glazer did clearly buy it.

What amused me was that a number of Arsenal fans had taken American flags to the game to taunt the Man U fans. They could also be heard chanting USA USA USA USA! I'd imagine that the Man U fans didn't really find this very funny. I did.
But it also got me to thinking about the contrast between Mr Glazer's takeover of Manchester United and the takeover of another premiership team by a foreign investor. Two years ago Chelsea was bought by Russian billionare businessman Roman Abramovich. Mr Abramovich has amassed his vast fortune through *ahem* totally transparent and legal means. He is undoubtedly very very rich. The Chelsea fans welcomed him with open arms, he is their football messiah. Fans of opposing teams are unlikely to succeed in taunting anyone at Chelsea by waving Russian flags at them or by chanting Russia Russia!

I don't really know why this should be the case. Perhaps it's because the Russian ganste tycoon has so much money compared to Glazer. Perhaps there is more to it. It's a curious state of affairs though.

Edit: I did mean to mention that I'll only be blogging about trivialities until I'm back up to full operating temperature. And now I have.

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