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  • Reditor's Blog

    Though I question it, and existentialism, when I'm soaked to the skin barely 10 minutes into selling, envying my mates nice and warm (and thirsty!) in the pub, I do realise that editing a United fanzine is an honour.

    As I race towards my mid life crisis; sadly unable to 'lose it' by buying something as daft as a Porsche (I reckon I could muster the price of a toy one), it's scary to think that as I approach 40, for 23 years and 5 months of them I have been obsessing over a tiny universe off Beetlejuice called Red News. It's cost me more than I could ever dare list, but has given me such joy; in friendships won and earnt, sights seen, goals celebrated, triumphs toasted. I would have done all these things without RN of course; I've been fortunate enough to be going since I was but a nipper with hair (that hair now sadly deceased), but certainly I wouldn't have missed the buzz that producing a fanzine during these soap operatic yet glorious times has provided.

    As the years fly, and yet the ability for people to still think that shouting 'Big Issue' at you is either funny, or the first time you've ever heard it (that'll be ‘non’ to both then), I've learnt that I have become so sad eyeing weather reports for selling days that I've become almost anal in my talk; like a sea faring man contemplating his next deep fish. The rule of thumb seems to be if they say it'll be warm and sunny; get the waterproofs out.

    I remember one night match - I've forgotten the opposition much as a Vietnam vet would blur out the horror - where it was so cold hunting for change it was like being on the coldest peak of Denali in Alaska. If I thought Rapid Vienna in '96 was freezing, this was something else. I'd say my knackers were numb cold, but as I couldn't feel anything, not even Katie Holmes could have roused me for a medical check and cough. After the game I saw another seller - all we could do after ignoring our own selfish needs for warmth was be warmed by the team, and we drew 0-0 in a dour game normally associated with that lot across town - and we just hugged. To strangers this would have seemed odd. We just felt that we'd shared something sinister, together. I wonder if Australian fanzine sellers ever got bored of the warmth?

    Hugs are something I like to do. Within reason, of course. For one of the main buzzes, still, of doing the mag is the opportunity to interview past and present players. We've done over 70 now; proper legends, too many to mention all but the two Kings, Denis and Eric, Norman, Robbo, Fergie (twice), Paddy (3 times), Skip to my Lou, Nev (twice) Giggs, Scholes and many others of such note. Only two players have ever said no. Keano and Berbatov.

    It takes time to build up trust but where when we first started a player we approached may want to check us out by speaking to someone we'd done before, now most know we are not journalists here, just fans doing a mag for fellow Reds and that reputation and our history speaks for itself. So if they say something they regret, or could be twisted against them in the papers (who usually nab our exclusive quotes and don't even credit), they are open to get back in touch and we'll take it out. Most are comfortable with what they say because they feel comfortable to start with. One real legend said something that would have caused major ructions, but he needn't have asked us not to use what he'd said, we'd taken it out that very night. We are not into stitching our own; we'll leave that to the tabloids.

    So being fans of course we don't follow the journalistic practises, whatever they may be (urgh). When I met Steve Bruce in 1994 as he did a 'press' day for his new book after our Double win, seeing us lift that majestic duo just the week before was too much, I hugged him, and thanked him. And then sat down. Balls to convention when you've finally started winning things. Teddy Sheringham around the time of Monaco when we got knocked out by them hadn’t had the best of starts to his United career, and was getting a bit of stick from the press for his England displays. I wonder if it was revenge because he sat each journo waiting (again to plug a book) right next to the speakers of this club he’d hired out; meaning their tape recorders were all but redundant. We’d given Teddy stick, but he appreciated where we were coming from and moved us to the quiet area upstairs where our tape got the juciest quotes of the day.

    Eric was always a hero. Slightly in a stalking way of course, though no injunction served, I did eye a friendship with his Dad and chase him around Wembley at the '96 Final proclaiming that his seed had given us God, but I'm sure he liked it (his eyes said scared, his body warm!). But we chatted to Eric too via getting to know Joel; and at one of his beach football tournaments when RN founder Teresa nabbed both his shorts and underpants (which I wore at my wedding, no joke) I finally had the chance for the photo I'm looking at right now; me and Eric. In perfect harmony. Someone get the guitar, Gareth,
    Some media girl, so posh sounding that she had surely seen her plums rise 4 feet north into her mouth, suddenly leapt into focus just as I said to Eric that: 'no, really you changed our lives back in 1993, nothing was or will be ever the same because of you'. No more Mr Nice Guy I'm afraid as she got into our shot. 'Eff off and do one' as I glared at her like the man himself confronted by Neil Ruddock shifting his collar. The great man gave a nod that showed he understood, she departed thus preventing any international incident, and I had his pants, my photo, and memories to carry a lifetime. Did I watch Looking for Eric again last weekend? I'd probably watch Eric going to the toilette. Too much info?

    But it is the former players who I really enjoy talking to these days. Don't get me wrong, Nemanja Vidic was a joy to interview last season, probably one of the best, giving up more than his time and being open and honest as he disputed media talk about his wife being unhappy, and saying, as proved despite many press writing it off, that he wanted to stay if given the right deal.

    But the problem with an ever prying press is that the players are too reserved at times, or too little now remains unsaid because they fear it being blown out of all proportion; when a great openness can be found with those who have done their time and don't have to worry about the repercussions.

    As I dreamt on my school playground of being Gordon McQueen or Frank Stapleton (depending on where I was shoved in the team, as various managers treated me like Eric the early years, failing to acknowledge my true position in the side!), my visions always turned to what it would feel like running out of the tunnel and seeing the Stretford End in all its glory.

    And these players we chat to have done just that. Even one game played at United is a story in itself. I had a relative who was so unsympathetic towards Garry Birtles that he thought he - despite only playing pub football standard on a Sunday - could do better and wanted to write to Big Fat Ron to tell him this, demanding a place in the United side. It was Tony Smith in his excellent articles for Red News who first made me realise that Birtles, a European Cup winner after all, had been a more than decent player who just found himself at United at the wrong time. Many are those who have not realised their potential at Old Trafford, and the fall-out can be brutal, especially those with a large fee on their backs. Talk of a different time is but a ‘what if’, but nobody does not want to succeed at United.

    Birtles' autobiography is a fascinating one. It's open and honest, which you can't always rely on these days (if you want proof, go back even to Kanchelskis' one published during his time at United which detailed his bread making skills!), but also gives another perspective to his United time; we were playing a system that didn't suit him, especially that first year alongside high balls to Joe Jordan, he had a long term injury which he played on with, and a daily commute (which he admits was wrong) back to Nottingham. He doesn't deny the jokes at his expense, but just provides some interesting background to a career that got slightly derailed in Manchester. When the crowd call out their catcalls, not every player is the excuse of a player that some see him as. Darren Fletcher's improvements, when given time that many didn't want to see him get, suggests patience sometimes pays off. And finally I got the answer I'd been waiting for - just why was it two 'r's' in Garry?!

    And this week I spoke to a former player now living in South Africa. What a tale. Coaching in South Africa, a former room-mate, buddy and team-mate to the Busby Babes. He may not have played as many games as he may have liked, as Tommy Taylor came in to the side, possibly at his expense, but a local lad, he loved every minute of it and lived the dream. Not just his dream of playing for the side he had supported all his life, but his Dad’s too. A local lad made good. This interview will feature in a future Red News, but what a story Eddie Lewis has - and at 75 he's still coaching, helping out with Moroka Swallows of which he says there are several players coming through who could become very well known. Not only that, but he was a delight to speak to. Sadly I missed out on the euro millions, preventing this being face to face, but it need not matter, the evening flew by chatting.

    Lewis, like Birtles has published his own book. These former players have fascinating stories to tell. They may not be the here and now but they are tales of the United some of us grew up with, or heard tales of, and still do. What was it like to share a house with a Babe? What was Jimmy Murphy really like? Why in the case of Birtles, does no player ever have a bad word to say about Dave Sexton when his relationship with the fans wasn’t great (and many of them put that down to his lack of communication skills and relationship with the press).

    How many more stories are still out there, lost in the midsts of time? How many other players who have worn the United shirt have not told their story, or have been forgotten about? Older Reds still attending Old Trafford walk by us every match; how many have their own tales, of travelling around seeing the Reds? How many just get ignored. Be they 80, 40 or 20, every game we attend is a tale to tell, and usually more than that if it’s a euro away! I hope they get the chance to be heard, for a Red still going at 90 would have seen Rowley play to name just one. What stories lie buried?

    We should pay more attention. The here and now is always the most important of course, but our history is there to be learnt and educate. It is sad whilst our squad of players' are paid £130m a year that they are now banned, on the whole, from signing autographs in public for fear they will end up on ebay. Better to take that risk then deny the next set of kids hero worshipping as we all did. Who will they look up to like we did? Rio asked this question, the decline of the fan/player relationship, via twitter. He once admitted to going into normal boozers after a game and not getting mither. Many do though, but equally fans can’t take all the blame, the gap has developed because of failings on both sides, and the game is worse off for it.

    But if we can't get close and personal with those we cheer on this season, let us never forget that there are scores of former players who have their tales to tell, who may even be walking down the same roads as you or I, and this fanzine for one will track as many as we can down, so we can to publish their stories.

    You can read Garry Birtles' interview in RN171.
    You can read the Eddie Lewis interview in a future Red News.
    You can bag the new RN172 out on Saturday 16th October at
    You can order either of their books through the links below.
    You can wear Eric's underpants... er, no you can't!

    * Apologise for the cheesiness of the title, but I like cheese, so there.

    Barney. Friday 15th October 2010

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  • #2
    Great post Barney. Do you think you will ever get an interview with Rooney?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by M5RED
      Great post Barney. Do you think you will ever get an interview with Rooney?
      cheers Rob, we did hold a while back preliminary discussions but were told for any interview there would be one, possibly two, of WR's people there during the interview, which could mean questions and answers being blocked, interrupted, for content before we've even done it, and that's something we'd never do, making it a glib manufactured pr interview on all topics they want to talk about. Sad, really.
      New Red News 263 out 12th May 2019 http://www.rednews.co.uk/current-issue.php
      Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php
      The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
      RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
      Become an online VIP - full news on one page and forum access http://www.rednews.co.uk/vip.php
      Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
      Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
      A FREE PDF download taster of the mag via http://www.rednews.co.uk/downloads/free-red-news.pdf
      Donate and help the cause at http://www.rednews.co.uk/support-red-news.php
      Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
      Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

      Comment


      • #4
        I got an email yesterday from the Fred Perry mailing list. Get me, all trendy. It was the chance to meet Amy Winehouse at a viewing of her collaboration collection with FP. I couldn't think of anything worse. Well, that was until talk grew in the aftermath of Fergie's stunning press interviews yesterday, that no player helps push a move away from a club like United unless he has a deal lined up, and that deal could well be with city. He couldn't, could he? We’ll stop taking the mick about you being ugly if it’s just to join a team of the foul looking.

        The texts were coming through thick and fast in the aftermath of Fergie’s words, disbelief the general consensus amongst United fans, unadulterated glee from ABUs, and the mocking telling moral high ground from a decent Everton fan who knows exactly what this feels like. We rarely feel like that, because we sit, at times aloof, on top of the mountain. It is a strange sensation and one I do not want to get used to.

        So, I was asked, how did I feel? Numb, for sure, as this is not a nice story, obviously, and the timing is so bad that you can't not see it affecting every fabric of the club until it will be resolved one way or the other by the January transfer window. I also have to admit to feeling a strange sensation; actually tired with it. A week old and the story has tired and worn me out. I tire easily with many of the excesses and worst aspects of modern football, sounding like one of those old codgers in the pub wanting 'the old days' back, but this is truly an unedifying spectacle. We say United is a never ending soap opera, but that does not mean we have to enjoy it. Especially when our own are stoking the story.

        If it is just about the money, which you can't seem to reason it is about anything else, Lou Macari asked, somewhat startled yesterday: "How much money do people want?" Judging by the host of sponsorships - I didn't even know Rooney had adverts with Tiger Beer in the Far East until they binned him, what a strange tie-up that is - the magazine deals, the wedding snaps, take everything you can, while you can, could well be the motto. Perhaps that’s what led to those errors in the Lowry.

        Who would have thought Yaya Toure may have so much to answer for. His obscene signing and wages across town have led to the cream of footballers in this country raising their noses to the shop window and wanting some of that. They love de cake. Feed me, feed them. But where does it end? How high can wages go before the whole thing crumbles, because the very people funding it all, us, have just had enough. You can’t relate to that, so you will stop doing so.

        It felt and feels like being taken for a mug. By someone. By everyone. United should never, after endlessly talking about dates in the future when the deal would be completed, have left it this late. And whichever way you look at it, despite the fact that if he does depart, they will have to find funds or face a rebellion from even those who cover their ears and eyes to all other actions by the Gimps, but you can't tell me right now they aren't stroking their abacuses at the thought of the fee they might garnish as suddenly another Ronaldo sale falls into their laps.

        We can call Fergie for tactical mistakes this season, for his inability to criticise even the most stand out aspects of the Glazer debt, but, writing this before the inevitable right of reply by the Rooney camp, he was aligned with the majority of Reds as he sat, bewildered, his deflated tone yesterday was that of a man who did not want to lose the player he helped nurture; such that he hadn't even contemplated it. So if we don’t blame SAF, how did we get here then? Who knows what went on during the summer. We may start to find out morsels, but from the end of the season when Rooney talked of his future at United, there is now doubt, first publically mentioned by Paddy Crerand, that maybe he'd been got at during the World Cup. Wayne Bridge and Lescott may have talked high wages, who knows, but they certainly would not have been talking medals and trophies. Hardly Messi whispering in his ear, is it? Can you even be tapped by the Titanic?

        The timing is as bad as it could be though. Whatever the rights and wrongs of Roy Keane's departure, his age meant that a parting of the ways as Winter beckoned was agreeable to both parties in the end when there was no more left to say to each other, and United weren't losing a key player at his peak. Now we face not just that, but a ridiculously potentially traumatic period where United will continue to pay the wages of a player who says he no longer wants to be here. It’s a situation that could only delight those who love instability.

        Hard as it seems with events spiralling in just a week, but if it were a transfer window now, there might be decisiveness, one way or the other, instead of allowing the opportunity for dissent and disillusionment to grow. The only positive now we are in October is the hope that that suddenly WR learns up on his history and has a Road to Damascus moment and does a 180 degree turn that even Cristiano Ronaldo would be proud of. Hand on heart, I can't see it, although I wish it so. Even if we would have to read up on our forgiving and forgetting lines ourselves.

        This week of the long knives is over. Since Rooney's 'don't know' in the tunnel after the England game last week we hoped it was just an irritation at being rested for his club, which we all know was for his own good anyway. It is only at Everton that I think he should have played. He himself had said he may well have dropped himself. It feels as though that comment which would inevitably be picked up by a press used to being passed by after an England match, was well placed. A grenade to go off.

        This story had to explode at some stage, not least to alert suitors and the wider public to the wanting out, and this, it seems was it. Maybe the talk of wanting to line up alongside Berbatov, or missing being on his own up front, were dummy runs for the eventual timebomb. Something though, we can now see, hadn't been right for some time. Coleen might not agree, but the brass story was a mere side story when we thought it was the real circus. If only. Mick Phelan doesn't say much of note, so as we remark in the latest RN172, his comment at the start of the season that Rooney returned to United 'dishevelled' was an indication that something major was up, more than just an ankle and pride hurt.

        You do wonder what advice has been given to him. I refer you to John Sweeney's fascinating Rooney's Gold(see below) for historical background. It's not pretty reading at times. For it is not a pretty tale. There are of course two sides to every story, and we will hear his soon, of that I am sure, but the price of such adulation and all those 'Rooney chants' is it can be a very fickle beast if you betray those that bestow it on you. The mere mention of loyalty from anyone but fans (and the likes of Fergie) is laughable, but who knows if Rooney's camp have underestimated the depth of feeling and how that itself could play out when next he plays for us. If he even does. How mad does that sound? Again, another side issue that provokes headlines, and can not help the team.

        My mate's nephew was in tears yesterday at the thought of having to return his Rooney jersey, and tear down his posters. For us older cynics, we will move on, we always do, but it is in the hope and aspirations of our younger support (when they can afford to go or be taken) that you feel sorry for, and hope that somehow, sanity can prevail.

        How do I find optimism and hope myself when all this is going on?. With a press lapping it up as part revenge for Fergie continually banning them. With the hidden drum of debt beating, and our future so uncertain. Well, because we are Manchester United. That in itself is enough. We will be here, be it at the ground, in the pubs, or in semi-retirement, ready for the call when the bugle sounds. We worry and obsess about the here and now but there is a bigger picture. We fear United may decline under the Glazers, but if we do, we will fight them, and for our future whatever way it pans out. We will still be here. Being in the ground alone does not count, being a Red proud of what we are, in attendance or not, just knowing what we represent, does.
        We do not walk away. We do not turn our backs. United is a symbol and we know exactly what it represents. Once upon a time Steve Bruce said he'd walk on broken glass to join United. Now you get the feeling that some wouldn't walk 100 yards unless their agent had hired a private limo to take them there. Rather 11 players who share desire and want to play, than even one who doesn't. Whatever will be, will be.

        We will fight the Glazers, but we don't want the club to cease, we want the players to perform, to win, players who want to do both, to stand and fight. We want the best players to pull up their sleeves and say 'you know what, I will honour, I will serve'. We will be here long after them, they who play, manage and own. So if we are here, let's concentrate, starting tonight with this very game. Let not it be a sideshow distraction. The story is what happens on the pitch.

        Our love affair with Wayne Rooney might not be over. But it does feel as though the missus has kicked me in the knackers. I don't care now about who said what, to whom. I just want resolution, one way or the other. I may not be Mystic Meg but this will have two endings; he stays, he goes. I'd like the former, but if I am tired of it, many years of supporting United and seeing heroes go in both good and bad circumstances has prepared me for anything. Nothing surprises me. What next? A day without a United news event? Maybe the lesson learnt is not to fall so easily for those who join so rapidly.
        Yes, Fergie looked deflated, but maybe in a perverse way, he needs this, to realise there was far more wrong than one Spud faced player turning on him, but real doubts about the rest of the squad. We are not a one man team, and hopefully that wasn’t one of the reasons, WR believing his own press. I very much doubt, though it may well be spun, that a lack of investment was the real reason for Rooney's actions, but it is our concern, and we need change, that is for sure, from ownership and to the squad as a result of this, and before this, if we're honest. This may not finish Fergie, as the press now debate in their packs but galvanise him. If you actually read some of hiscomments about the greater aspects of the club as he talked of this saga, they show a man far from beaten. It would be nice that if city are whispering, their slimey deeds help United rise again and continues to kick sand in their faces. We know the score, even at our lowest, we would choose Red over Blue, even at our darkest. And we are far from on our knees, whatever is being written.

        The fall out may resemble a nuclear Winter as I can presume it will be far from fun. And maybe get worse. But we wouldn't have signed him in the first place if he hadn't have had itchy feet back then. It was fun, who knows it may be fun again, but timing is everything, and for someone usually so sharp, his timing, presumably at the behest of others, has been awful. What worse time to crank up the story stiffled so far then when Utd are going through a bad patch. There is nothing worse than selfishness rearing its head at United if it's not to score a goal, and we don't take kindly to anyone, least of all one of our 'own' (albeit a Scouser), throwing petrol on the ABU flames of uncertainity. What has happened?

        But move on, with or without. We are here, we were, and we will be. And though we want the greats, our support is always the most important factor at any given time. 'Hated, adored, never ignored'. It may seem strange so I'll end this overview with a slight tangent. Thank God for Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes. And I don't just worry about them going, for life without them, but what will come in their place, and the mentality of modern football(ers) as it tires all of us old timers out.

        Now Wayne, lock yourselves in a dark room, on your own, and have a good think without interference about what you are doing here. Because see that grass, it isn't green, it's green with envy. Stand up and be counted. It’s the United way.

        Barney. Wednesday 20th October 2010.

        You can bag the new RN172 tonight or by ordering at http://www.rednews.co.uk/current-issue.php or http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php

        You can read John Sweeney’s Rooney’s Gold by ordering at

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        You can read previous blogs at http://www.rednews.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=91351
        New Red News 263 out 12th May 2019 http://www.rednews.co.uk/current-issue.php
        Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php
        The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
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        A FREE PDF download taster of the mag via http://www.rednews.co.uk/downloads/free-red-news.pdf
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        Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

        Comment


        • #5
          So Wazza had his think (see last blog), and everyone lived happily ever after...

          Or so you'd like to believe, but as in some fairy tales, there can be a right kick up the backside further down the yellow brick road, as the wolves seldom give up their chase. Even worse when they side with the prey. If it's been to put to bed for five years, all well and good, we'll wait for the bridge building (and how about putting your side of the story to one of the three fanzines rather than contrite situations with sponsorship product placements being worn and shoved behind no doubt to come?). But many stare yonder fearing this story has been packed away, to be opened afresh next January, summer, etc. It could be a story that keeps on giving (us headaches). We cover our view and your view on the Rooney 'saga' (SAF said he didn't want it to become one, when sadly it already was, however brief the divorce documents were in each other's hands) in the new mag out on Saturday. For now, at least, we move on.

          The press still sense blood however, egged on by bonfire night effegies (sad story, but a rather good likeness it has to be said, someone has spent a great deal of time on something that will, pardon the simplicity of this statement, go up in smoke), and I'm beginning to tire of seeing Wayne Rooney still hogging the front pages. Not because he's in my good books - that may or may not happen again, only the future will decide - but because we seldom like ABUs using our own ire and there are far greater issues going on in the world today, whilst United are still winning, naturally, to care if he's rowing with neighbours or been banned from watching X-Factor. Or whatever. All that matters for us now is for things to settle down, him to realise the error of his ways, get fit, start scoring again (on the pitch), and having journos once again curse the fact that all those 'empire crumbling' stories they resurrected are now once again nothing more than fish and chip paper, part 456.

          The fast pace of United meant that is it really two weeks since Rooneygate? And last week a real sad story enveloped Old Trafford. Not the low attendance against Wolves per se. But the issues around it; Reds no longer in those seats because they will not give another penny to the Glazers, others badly affected by the recession so they can't give another penny, Reds who would want to go but can't, and the numbers announced inflated by a dreadful Automatic Cup Scheme that started off as voluntary and now resembles what one RN contributor said was akin to 'putting a gun to your head'.

          It has been said that the Glazers will worry about the attendance, and the G&G certainly played its part in seeing ticket prices frozen this season, and it is only because they worry about how much to charge that means they don't try and raise prices higher. But the real issue wasn't the lost revenue they missed out on by not selling an additional 30,000 seats, but the lost Reds unable, or not willing, or not capable, to fill them. What have the Glazers done to Manchester United Football Club? And who can blame a family, looking (as we pointed out in the last RN172) at going to see the famous Manchester United during half-term week and finding out that whilst every single game that round bar United's had seen the home team reduce prices, they would have to fork out not just full price, but a £5 surcharge if they weren't a member. Do they want our bady parts too?

          Thankfully there are enough determined Red fathers out there stopping their kids from going to city. But when they launch initiatives for kids to get in for £5 for some games, some will take them up on this offer. As one Red said after the Wolves game, if the lad next door and a few mates are going to go there to city to see quality players (for the opposition, of course), you are going to get some Red kids going because they are staying with their mates and seeing some football. An opportunity we are depriving them of on weeks like last. Whilst United shut the doors when the seats aren't even filled. It means we run the real risk of losing not just a generation, but two after selling out and raising prices these past ten years and some.

          Of course United point to the fact that many opponents for these League Cup matches refuse to the agreement to reduce prices. But it's a bit of typical United (Brian) kidology, as they used to reduce for some, at the early stages, then whenever we'd face a Premiership side say the going rate was acceptable because it was between two top sides. We know of at least four 'lesser' clubs in recent times who have told their own fanzines or supporters' groups that they would have reduced prices but United didn't want to. So they didn't. Better, under the eyes from Florida, to have 44,000 at usual prices than 76,000 at £15. Short sightedness for them, even. How many taking advantage of that offer may have headed to the Megastore, having the tills ringing out buying gash? They never tested the waters to find out.

          What can we really expect, of course? We know where this Glazer ship is sailing to, and they will ring the neck of every United fan for as much as they can, better than any turkey farmer this Xmas. It doesn't matter how unedifying it is, the end game (profit, at base and final end game of selling up) is all that matters. With so many games on general sale, you can see why so many said enough is enough to the ACS. It is said all this will lower United's price (its selling value rather than seats on bum price), and that it will help hasten the Glazer departure date. If so, the line that they are 'good businessmen' seems as hole ridden as a battered sieve because their pr with any fans, not fans group or fanzine like ours, but actual fans, is nothing short of atrocious. But of course, they don't care. So we'll debate, talk, ring our own necks with worry lines, but across the water it probably is merely a question of 'what was the attendance Mr Green Gill?'. We've as much chance of seeing the 30,000 places filled with kids next year enjoying £10-15 tickets as Santa delivering them the tickets himself.

          So irony from many yesterday when West Ham announced £15 tickets for our League Cup tie, saying 'we are delighted Manchester United have agreed to our pricing policy for the cup'. United may well point to those clubs who turn down any option for a reduced price at Old Trafford, but even if we doubt that for all opponents, then try harder and God forbid, share some of the cost burden to open up the gates. Because whilst many will head to Upton Park for a good night's atmosphere and a good Cup tie, it says much that it is hundreds of miles away that United fans must seek out cheaper tickets, whilst our own club allows a ticket scheme that has seen off scores, deprives kids of a golden opportunity to see their team, and instead of encouraging the next generations, seems as empty to new ideas to build its own bridges with disenchanted and disenfranchised supporters as the very seats that sadly remained empty for a game that they need not be...

          Barney, 4th November 2010

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          Comment


          • #6
            Only two players have ever said no. Keano and Berbatov.


            What was Berbatov's reason for not doing an interview?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Fat Boab
              What was Berbatov's reason for not doing an interview?
              i suspect Nani may have got the blame...:mrgreen:
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              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Fat Boab
                Only two players have ever said no. Keano and Berbatov.


                What was Berbatov's reason for not doing an interview?
                'he did not feel it was appropriate at this moment in time'.
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                Comment


                • #9
                  for the one that cares, there is now a twitter feed (against better judgement I hasten to add)

                  http://twitter.com/barneyrednews
                  New Red News 263 out 12th May 2019 http://www.rednews.co.uk/current-issue.php
                  Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php
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                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Red News
                    for the one that cares, there is now a twitter feed (against better judgement I hasten to add)

                    http://twitter.com/barneyrednews
                    Good to see you're tweeting on the important issues already!
                    "‘If you want the rainbow, you’ve gotta put up with the rain.’ Do you know which philosopher said that? Dolly Parton. And people say she’s just a big pair of tits.”
                    REIGNING CHELTENHAM TIPSTER CHAMP

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      blog on!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Roughly six weeks ago, around tomorrow at 2.25pm, we experienced that ballooning, gooning celebration that gnaws at us during the build up, as we contemplate a draw, or God forbid, a rare defeat, and then leads to unbridled screaming, hugging of mates and strangers and a stared, glared, manic expression of joy that I can’t quite pinpoint in description, but you will know exactly what I mean and have gone through many times by being a Red, especially in Fergie time.
                        I mean in Fergie era, of course, the ABUs and disciples of doom will laugh at their own jokes, always a bad sign, by pointing at an invisible watch, and tutting ‘Fergie time, eh’ as if our manager sacrifices new born Bebe’s to gain last minute advantages. That we just never give in, seen with an oddly taken, but greatly accepted Berbatov goal last week, doesn’t cut the mustard to them, but I don’t care. In old age I have tried to realise life is a lot more fun concentrating on the fun, than being bogged down in an online version of mud wrestling with non Reds because they just don’t get it or like us. I no longer care. We do get it, and that is all that counts, as, I hope, we count ourselves lucky. So we gooned some more. A winner with 10 men, ticked off before, of course, but always nice, especially when we could have been behind long before Evans’ arguably semi-reckless, but not malicious, ball challenge.
                        So six weeks ago, along came Rooney. Or Rooney’s shin to those who just won’t let anything go and have to seize on something, clenched jawed and fist at any United target. Like some cartoon character, pumping fists at us. You know what you felt when it went in, so it doesn’t need to be described. Just sit back and remember. Quite nice, eh?
                        United being United, we knew that those temporary headlines about it being the best Old Trafford goal ever were nothing more than enjoyable pub chat, headline fillers because the press didn’t have much to report for a day or two, but quickly we are moved on, at times forcibly, as if wanting to enjoy the then, is not possible because of the manic nature of events surrounding Manchester United. To some extent it may now be half a season ago, for we’ve had Rooney’s elbow rather than shin being seized upon, and a probably justified red card, rankle so much that the baying mob got their lynching the very next game when Fergie changed ‘fair’ ref to ‘strong’. Hang him!
                        We’ve won a few games since, we’ve lost a few. Not being able to enjoy the here and now for very long is something we have to accept, otherwise you’d stand still, but with an international pause for break, now would be a nice time to revisit that Rooney goal. Not least for the goal itself - very, very good, nice as the Fast Show might say - and then let us re-engage the pointless but enjoyable thoughts to great Old Trafford goals we’ve seen.
                        It’s all objective, eye of the beholder nonsense, but much more meaningful than still trying to win a battle of wills with the village idiots who hate United so much. They still want to bring up Fergie over coffee breaks, in the supermarket, over a loud speaker if they could. They dissect every morsel on United like a lab rat. Move on, you can’t beat them, much as you’d literally want to at times, and a bit like Fergie accepting his fate through gritted teeth, just take it for now and just desire to have them stewing all summer by winning things. It’s the only argument that really counts.
                        I’m lucky enough to be in an email conversation group with United authors Iain McCartney, Tom Clare, Tony Smith and Paul Windridge. At times I feel almost afraid talking United knowledge with their encyclopedic orbs on all things MUFC, but we share joy at late winners, groan at poor defeats, and generally let off steam to each other about the issues affecting us and United, away from prying ABU eyes. For all modern technology, this old (well, ten years!) method of chain email works because we share the passion, in whatever form.
                        As chatter across all United fans went to their own best goals, as Fergie introduced the subject with a throwaway line after the city win, I got thinking how hard it would be to choose my own; what criteria? A mental goal, the celebrations, the importance? Then I realised, it didn’t matter. There be no Top Red manual to crucify me for my choices.
                        So here goes, Martin Buchan against Everton, rattled in and great delight to me as a kid as I’d seen what those horrible fans of theirs could do in the 70s on the little train from Oxford Road to the ground. Mark Hughes. Which one? That blaster against Sheffield Wednesday, midweek. Robbo? One of the Barcelona 3-0 goals just for what that night was, my best ever at OT. Norman Whiteside against Forest, showing the world what ability he had to go with the brawn. Eric, Sunderland, raised eyebrow to go with the collar, but his dip to Denis Irwin that got the commentator so excited when detailing it that night on Match of the Day. Eric’s free kick at home to Arsenal. Little Lou a belter. Pathetically, I feel guilty if I leave some out. There’s not even a bloody number or list to choose from!
                        We’re just lucky, like with late winners and the gooning, that we have so many to choose from.
                        The others in email had led me here. They talked of Rooney’s against Newcastle in 2005; Bobby Charlton’s against Spurs in the FA Charity Shield in 1967 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV17JKKOeiA&feature=fvst) ; and Duncan Edwards against Everton in the FA Cup in 1957. And Ruud’s half-way to penalty box run and goal against Fulham.
                        How many great goals did United’s grandfathers see? How many lost because no benefit of the modern film that we now can watch the Holy Trinity, or any manner of obscure matches we thought would be lost when growing up. Maybe the best ever was when we first moved to Old Trafford. Or the 20s, or 30s as United’s financial future was up in the air (cough, cough). Who knows? Who cares? All that does matter is it filled a nice few days, and still does. It’s a great pub chat to have rather than spending all our days cursing the FA, and whilst the ABU focus seems always trained on us, when we look at the good things at United, we can smile, chat, and enjoy what MUFC is really all about and let it shine through.
                        Let the goals and gooning continue.
                        Barney. Friday 25th March 2011.
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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          excellent read. I shall ask more often if there's such a long gap again!!

                          wonder if in years to come michael owen might crop up in lists of peoples fave goals?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by stalky
                            excellent read. I shall ask more often if there's such a long gap again!!
                            thanks mr stalky, I'd had that one in my head since the goal, but you kickstarted the column back.
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                            Comment


                            • #15
                              here's what I wrote for the programme for Tom Clare's RN fundraising dinner.


                              It is often said that Manchester United are a family. Players have said it to Red News in our interviews, staff past and present too, that though the big organisation, brand obsessed a little too much for many of our liking, deep down its roots that tie, umbilical like to those who connect with it.

                              It sounds disputable, until you head to Carrington and see the warmth from secretaries and PA's that have worked for United, with all its changes, for years. They connect United's past and present, its soul as such, like we fans do, and represent that kinship more than any Glazer could, or would fathom.

                              Alex Ferguson remembers his staff, and despite the odd hairdryer will treat them well, and with respect. Players once spurned will be welcomed back, forgiven (even Big Time Charlie seeing a thaw as time moves on, not on the terraces mind) and whilst it's easy to say 'the only way is down after United', players with no links bar playing for the club, stay. They don't move back home, wherever that may have originally been, they stay in or around Manchester; Paddy Crerand, the great Sir Matt even. We take it for granted sometimes, because of what United has become, and because of some of the unhealthier demands of the marketing men, but scratch the surface, or see away from the megastore tills, and there is still that sense of community and belonging as much to the men who played for United as us watching. It's maybe not unique, but it's not what you see or hear of elsewhere. Once in the United busum, we aren't easy to let go of.

                              United fans may have their disagreements, but cut through the rank and file and the adage I grew up with that a Red is a Red is a Red and we should stand proud together, with and of each other, holds true. Individually when we mix, we generally get on. There may be unecessary rows from some eager to try and overdo it - what people should sing, how to behave, even dress- - but we share something so special then only a pint or 90 minutes together can, on occasion, see that single moment of Red kinship become a lifetime friendship.

                              We are also eager at times to criticise the internet because of the more rancid elements who pour bile when in front of a keyboard, these anonymous warriers will let rip about everything and anything if they can, but think of the friends you have made first through old email lists, or forums, and now through the many streams like twitter which continue to expand at crazy levels. What once was a distant old style virtual pen pal relationship, can become great pals in the real world, and I count myself lucky to have made truly outstanding friendships through United mailing lists and forums. Because we share something special, we should see the bigger picture, like any family we can argue, but we are united as United, with enemies everywhere, so it much better to get along and appreciate what we have in common, than the smaller things we don't.

                              Proof of the United family can come in many forms. The Red offered accomodation when short on a euro away, or given a ticket at face value at an away gate. We've all seen it happen, and it warms the cockles that we can still get along. Tom Clare and Graham Wilde are two such great lads, first encountered merely by names on a screen, then meeting, sharing a pint, getting alone. True Reds. Red family.

                              So their offer to help Red News this year meant a lot. I turned it down at first, the stubborn so and so I am. But it came from their and your hearts. In new evolving times on the net, it can be hard to keep a fanzine going, even though I consider them as vital as ever giving United fans a voice. I realised they offered to help out the United family we stand so proud of. Even more that they accepted that we could share this fund raiser for the Stroke Association which means so much to myself, and Tom.

                              My Mother, a match going Red until a severe stroke paralysed her, was known by many Reds, and as a senior female Red still growing strong in her 60s and 70s, did what Mums in a family do, helped out many a Red, be it as her time as Branch Secretary, or just helping them out on euros, and the like when the odd light ale would see them get in silly situations. Though she has been unable to go for 4 years, everyone still asks about her, still sends her cards, still visits when United are playing nearby. Still making her know she will always be part of the United family.

                              I know some of you may not know much about strokes. I didn't until Mum had hers. But they are sadly more common than you'd think, and research and the scientific knowledge about their cause and treatment is still at its embryonic stage, so the fundraising for those affected and those caring means and helps a lot, which is why all the kindness shown tonight really means a lot.

                              You see together we hug and goon when a goal goes in, we'll share a pint before and after a match. We'll say 'hello' or help out when a Red mates needs it. Just as the players know that Sir Alex and Sir Matt never forgot their time at the club, and loved it, so fans know that their mates made at United can last a lifetime, making the unique experience of supporting MUFC even better if it's shared with like minded souls you get on with. Supporting United is unique, supporting it with mates, with family, is even better.

                              Cheers all, it means a lot,
                              Barney Chilton, Red News.
                              New Red News 263 out 12th May 2019 http://www.rednews.co.uk/current-issue.php
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