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The Red Report: Rio Ferdinand & England, The Glazers and finally, the Scousers

Siddarth Sunday, October 17, 2010
Welcome to the inaugural ‘Red Report’, the weekly United round up from your favourite United sites.

The brainchild of ‘The Busby Way’, ‘Stretford End’, ‘Bangalore to Old Trafford’ and ManUnited24 we aim to give you a weekly dose of all your United needs.


As we are coming off an international break United news was initially slow but it didn’t mean United players were out of the press. At the start of the week Rio Ferdinand regained the England captaincy under much press scrutiny so we stopped to discuss what all the furore was!

Yolkie Stretford End:

I can’t see why it exists. He was captain, he wasn’t fit, but he’s fit now. Regardless of people’s opinion of Ferdinand’s fitness, you have to evaluate whether Gerrard has done a good enough job to keep it in his absence. My opinion? No, he hasn’t. The secondary issue is is it really good for team morale to change official captain twice in a matter of months? It’s a non-issue, as Rio should always have been captain, it shouldn’t have been open for debate.

Kyle Stretford End:

I don't see why this was even a debate. Rio got injured, Gerrard filled in as captain. This is normal in a captain's absence. What did Gerrard do in Rio's absence that warranted changing the captain? As long as Rio is fit and willing to play for England, the armband should be his. If anything, Gerrard being captain during what was arguably England's worst showing at a World Cup should've confirmed that Gerrard did not deserve to keep the armband.

Chudi The Busby Way:

He is the best man for the job, he has shown a proficiency in the role at club level where he was in charge during the double winning season so why all the commotion when the man that was duly chosen returned to the role?

Siddarth Bangalore To Old Trafford:

It's just the press finding another way to fill pages. Rio was supposed to be the captain for the World Cup but was ruled out, so when he does return to action it is natural that he should carry on as the Captain. Rio hasn't done anything to be stripped of captaincy and is an excellent choice to lead the team. Fabio wouldn't have chosen him initially if he didn't think so himself!

TG ManUtd24:

It's all a bit strange in the sense that Ferdinand has done nothing to warrant being 'stripped' of duty. But, I guess you can't blame the papers for making an issue of the story having seen Sir Alex do something similar already - having revealed that he handed Nemanja Vidic the armband for this season, he said his decision was purely because Vidic is "consistently available", unlike Rio who has obviously seen his past two campaigns ravaged by injury. However, it must be asked whether Gerrard deserves the captain's armband himself, and the answer is a simple no. In fifteen games as skipper, he has tasted defeat five times. Not happy reading for Gerrard, that.

All very strong points as I’m sure you will agree.

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Last Friday I’m sure you are aware the club released financial figures detailing record profits but also record losses. We decided to discuss our own personal stances on the Glazers.

Chudi:

I remember being young at the time of the takeover and not fully understanding the implications of the whole thing but now with my own eyes I am seeing it.
A lot of people are in the boat of lets just support the club but if we turn a blind eye to the Glazers then it’s likely the situation will get worse.

I think we should carry on breathing down the back of their necks; we must remain diligent as in reality we are dealing with the future of our club. Many people are still in the frame of mind that we are Manchester United we are too big a club to go down the route of other clubs but when it come time to collect their money the people the Glazers have left us in debt to really won’t care!

Sid:

I always thought a football club must be owned by someone who’s a fan of the club or at least knows the sport. I’m a supporter of the G&G movement and I think it’s time the Glazers leave. The Club can’t be really expected to spend millions to buy players, and then also pay $80 million yearly too.

No matter what David Gill says, short term or long term, it’s just sad to see United loaded with such huge debt!

TG:

Manchester United's financial situation looks to be perilous, yet you have to admire those who are trying their utmost in getting their voices heard. I'm fully behind the Green and Gold protests, as it has, without doubt most importantly, raised awareness for the cause. Others may see it as an army of deluded Norwich City supporters, but to us United fans, it is a symbol of hope. It's gained plenty of coverage, not only in national papers but on the web too, where potentially the support can grow in number. United fans are making their stand, making their voices heard...it must, must, must continue until we finally get our wish.

Kyle:

My views on the boycott are probably not the most popular. I despise the Glazers; I feel I need to make that absolutely clear. I want them out as much as everyone else, but I don't think boycotting is necessarily our best option.

Fans complain that we don't have the money to reinforce the squad, but at the same time they are starving the club's of funds. The Glazers and United are now intertwined from a financial standpoint, we need to accept that. Boycotting the Glazers financially means boycotting our club financially. The truth is the club needs money now more than ever.

I like the green and gold campaign as it is an excellent protest in terms of gaining awareness to the cause. It has generated headlines and coverage in the press, and it's an incredible sight to see the stands at Old Trafford decked in green and gold. I understand where people are coming from with the boycott, and if it were possible without hurting the club, I'd be 100% behind. Sadly, even if the boycott was successful in chasing the Glazers away, I can't help but think it would come at the cost of the club's success, which I don't think should be sacrificed.

Yolkie:

I’ve been getting grief about my own opinion but maybe that was the way I put it across on Twitter.

I don’t like the Glazers, I thought they were a nightmare waiting to happen, I made the decision to boycott in 2007 and it hasn’t been great. I started a Green and Gold campaign for http://Stretford-End.com/Stretford-End.com and wrote to Nike and the club asking them to help protect what little relationship exists with the club and the fans.

The most important thing is that we need to let United supporters worldwide know they have a voice. It’s brilliant that fans locally are making a stand but with the advent of the Internet, there’s actually a real possibility for some of the estimated 300m worldwide supporters to make their opinions heard.

Of course you have to account for the number of fair-weather fans who thought the Glazers were ok when they took over or just want to see big money signings but those proper supporters who want what’s best for the club, even if there is only a mere 10% of “hardcore support” worldwide, that amounts for 30million people, almost half the population of Britain in number!

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Finally we looked at the situation over at Anfield with their issues with Gillette, Hicks and RBS. Liverpool despite being massive rivals of ours are a massive club and the fact that they too are/were suffering at the hands of foreign owners resonate with us as United fans.

TG:

Even as a United fan, you must feel sympathy for Liverpool fans. While it's admittedly enjoyable watching their plight on the field, I hope nothing as disastrous happens off it. Like Glazer, Hicks and Gillett are certainly to blame for their downfall, but they are due new owners so things could look up. In contrast, United's situation is far more complicated because of the huge figure that the club is valued at, meaning the Glazers will Liverpool are the lucky ones in that sense providing they overcome current obstacles. Taking that into account, good luck in the Europa League!

Kyle:


Where to begin on this one? Well, as much as I'd love to bask in Liverpool's downfall, it's serves as a reminder that our owners are horrible and we could face a similar fate sadly (though I do think we're on slightly more stable ground and using a better business strategy compared to the Anfield bunch). I don't think I can comment too much on RBS because I simply haven't read much about it over here in America. It's just not in the news.

To an extent, Liverpool deserves it. Hoping your team loses so that United doesn't win the title is sickening. And Stevie G's "assist" was shameless. You wanted to lose, and now you're doing exactly that. Have fun in Europa League, if you can even qualify for that!

Yolkie:

There are obvious similarities to be drawn with Liverpool and ourselves. Both are proud football institutions and both have USA owners that aren’t welcome. However, speaking with obvious United tinted specs on, I think the two scenarios couldn’t be any more different.

Many United supporters opposed Glazer’s takeover because of the principle of it. Liverpool fans welcomed the takeover when it happened because they wanted a sugar daddy to build them a stadium and give them lots of new players. Their overachievement in 2009 meant supporters had a wrongly inflated opinion of their squads worth and ability.

For about a year, Hicks and Gillett have made clear they want to sell if and when they get the price they want; they have drastically lowered their asking price, and at the end of the day, they bought a business and want their money back. As much as I despise the Glazers, how do our emotions matter to people who own a business and want a certain amount of money for it? United were valued by Forbes as over a $1bn, the Glazers aren’t going to sell the club for less than that. Especially when the revenue they have helped to generate has been huge.

The Liverpool fans protest video was painful but as the sale of the club is inevitable, they can pretend they have succeeded. Past all of this, I must confess I’m envious of their position, they are due to have new owners one way or another. I still hope their on pitch turmoil continues though. I blogged in May, after their Chelsea game, that their wish for on-pitch failure might come back to haunt them. It is doing, and it’s a pleasure to watch.

Sid:

The damage that the Hicks and Gillette regime has done at Anfield might be a bit too much for Liverpool to recover quickly. They have been abysmal lately, and the squad is probably the worst that Liverpool has had in decades. The American’s have done a quick demolition job of Liverpool and there are still reeling from the blow; hopefully they can recover quickly enough!

I'd hate to see Liverpool struggle in the premiership or even get relegated. Hopefully RBS can stop Hicks and Gillette from ensuring that he takes the club down with him! The next few weeks will be very interesting.

Chudi:

I don’t want to see Liverpool go down the drain, as deplorable as they are they are an institution and I respect them for obtaining that standard. That being said they were happy for the Yanks to come in so they must face the consequences. I won’t lie I am slightly jealous to see some kind of action taking place and I wish the gears started turning for us in the process of getting the Glazers out.

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Best of the blogs:

*The Stretford End looked at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to pass on the job at Molde to remain at Old Trafford:


*ManUtd24 addressed the enigma that is Anderson after he was (mis)quote as saying he wanted a move away from the club:


*The Busby Way had a nostalgic look back at some of the players United missed out on over the years:


*Bangalore to Old Trafford worryingly questioned if we are a team in transition like in the middle of the last decade:

http://bangaloretooldtrafford.blogspot.com/2010/10/united-are-in-transition-should-we-be.html

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But don’t forget to check out our individual sites if you think we have missed something, as it is likely at least one of us will have covered it there:

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