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20/02/2010

Jim White on the Soul of Manchester United

Excerpted from the Telegraph

…[R]ecent revelations about the crippling levels of debt put on the club by the Glazers, debt that will be paid off by the fealty of such fans, has led to a new search among the supporters to define the true meaning of the club. What is it they follow? How can they continue to put their trust, their money, their identity into a concept now so tarnished? The Love United Hate Glazer movement has found visual articulation through fans sporting the original colours of Newton Heath. Green and yellow scarves are now in the majority in the stadium.

Suddenly fans are finding fresh enthusiasm for what it is they most cherish about United: the sense of shared identity between them, their fellow supporters and the players on the pitch. Suddenly the previously moribund atmosphere at Davies's ground has perked up. Suddenly there is a sense of excitement in the air.

Unusually in football, this discourse has taken place against the background of success. Those green and yellow scarves are flying in celebration of a Ferguson team again reaching fruition at the business end of the season.

Yet their very popularity is evidence that for many of those inside Davies's venerable old ground, their club is about more than trophies, that it has a meaning beyond mere commerce, that it has a soul.

Read the rest of Jim's article

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