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23 Jan 2020 11:56:59
Question for Ed001, i wasn’t around during the 1990’s as i was born in ‘98, and i think most would agree that apart from the emergence of some good academy talent it was one of our darkest periods as a club. Correct me if i’m right in saying we only won one or two domestic cups and most of our finishes were 3rd 4th and 5th? We had lots of overpaid numpties like Ruddock, Stewart and Collymore, ill discipline was rife, the owners didn’t really care, The Ev were beating us in derbies regularly, our bitterest rivals were winning everything and we had fallen a million miles from where we were a few short years ago. Almost identical to what is happening at United today!

My question is this; while the situation was just as bad if not worse than where United are now, was there still the same feelings of apocalyptic panic and rage that currently swirls around Man United, the same sense of entitlement, or were the fans just happy to watch their team play? I feel like social media and constant pundit coverage now whips the fans up into a frenzy in a way it once wouldn’t have if they’d just watched the game and gone home. Equally however, do the United fans have more right to be angry/ embarrassed given they have far more money than we ever did and should be up there with the top clubs in the world? Should they be worried and as panicky as they are at the way the club is being run, or are they just entitled and fail to accept it is part of a cycle?

And how do you think this will impact the size of United going forward? Again i wasn’t around in the 90’s so hopefully someone can clear this up; the impression i get is that while Liverpool were not winning anything the fanatic support for the club remained the same. I have honestly never met a casual Liverpool fan. It’s full throttle or nothing. Our fan culture is different to any other club in the world, i don’t know if any other team could have brought out 750,000 fans onto the streets for a victory parade or 50,000 fans with no tickets just to come over to Madrid for a laugh.

With United however, i feel the size and relevance of their club has been built on sand and is fast diminishing. They appear to have far more casual fans and those fans do not seem to take the same pride in their club as we do. Obviously i’m not talking about the Mancunian core fans here but the ones further afoot, there has been a lot of talk of ‘plastics’ among the United fans for a few years now. It feels as though people are far less willing to mouth off about Man United as they once were. I have absolutely no way to quantify this but it does feel that the further United sink the smaller their support base and relevance becomes, whereas ours is growing all the time. If the trajectories of the two clubs continue like this for a couple more years i can see no reason why it shouldn’t be said that Liverpool are the biggest club in the country.

{Ed001's Note - it has got more hysterical in reaction, social media and the media itself hype everything to ridiculous proportions. United have got enough money to fix all their problems, which makes it easier, but they also have to get the support onside or it is impossible. That's why Ole, if he had been a decent coach, was ideal, as the fans love him.

I don't think there is such a big difference in the fans, it is just that teams winning trophies pick up casual fans. Now we are winning, we will get our fair share of them, like United did over the years. It never happened in the past because casual fans didn't really exist, they had no real access to games. So only people that actually cared could see what the results were. Now everyone has easy access and fans tend to be a lot more fair weather and reactionary as a whole, no matter what team they support.}

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23 Jan 2020 14:51:35
Ed01, that is a superbly concise summing up of the culture of social media, the media in general and the “casual fan”. I agree with you 100%.

23 Jan 2020 15:22:07
AW, don’t misunderstand Man Utd’s support.
There might be a lot of fans now that have known nothing but success but I remember when they were relegated in the 70s and they were still taking 10,000 plus to away games.
Their support, especially away, is huge and always will be I think.

{Ed001's Note - their home gates went up after relegation in 74.}



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