Whether you applaud their crusade or not, you can bet that the Red Knights of Manchester, are bedding down for the long haul. The propaganda is ratcheting up, despite the Glazers showing no inclination whatsoever to sell (it’s not something they do very often, you know); stop this roller-coaster, I want to get off.
It’s not enough that the Red Knights, a glitzy consortium of wealthy United fans, have their own Sons of Shankly-esque nuisance in MUST. Not even close. This weekend, the Red Knights announced that they have the support of someone much, much more important than a supporters’ group: Sir Alex Ferguson himself.
That’s right, folks. The big man himself, apparently serving as a double agent at Old Trafford. It’s a revelation that had all the “key sources” from the takeover bid rushing to media friends to gush of his silent approval of their war against the Glazer family.
From The Observer: “Alex Ferguson is not only supportive of the bid but would be prepared, if successful, to back it,” claimed one source who described it as a “killer blow” for the American Glazer family who bought the club in 2005 and who are now facing massive protests from fans because of the club’s debts. Another senior City figure, who also requested anonymity, said: “We all know we have his support, that he likes the people involved, but we can’t embarrass him.”
Right, because he’s not embarrassed enough by being roped into your cat-and-mouse game against the thieving, leveraging status quo.
Predictably, Ferguson’s response: “It’s absolute rubbish. Not an ounce of truth in it.”
I’m sure on some ideological level, Fergie likes what the Red Knights are trying to accomplish — he was mentored in management by Jock Stein, a union-loving man-of-the-people — but he didn’t get to where he is by openly biting the hand that feeds him in the hopes of something better. Dire as United’s financial situation is, the club is still competitive in the short-term thanks to his management and to Wayne Rooney, and considering that retirement talk has swirled around him for a while, he always has the option of saying farewell before the proverbial really hits the fan.
None of that is going to stop the Red Knights though, in their quest to slander the Glazers enough publicly that they’ll come to the negotiating table. It’s unsurprising that while the “key sources” continue to run rampant (I’m guessing it’s their webmaster, forum moderator, and MUST treasurer), official spokespersons are keeping quiet.
Stay tuned for more revelvations — Wayne Rooney lifts his shirt during a goal celebration to reveal “I’m on Team Red Knights”, Gary Neville has a Goldman Sachs tattoo, and the cleaning lady saw the Glazers after-hours transforming into bloodthirsty aliens before blasting into outer space — in the coming days, weeks, and months.
[UPDATE: Not wishing to stand idly by, the Glazers spoke to the Irish Independent and reckon that the Red Knights have erred massively in over-stating their support received from SAF, if he's even supported them at all. It also breaks down some of the numbers involved, leading me to think that in due course, the Red Knights will fade quietly into the background, never to be heard from again.]