Shortly before the cloven-hoofed, red-eyed, forked-tongued, scaly-skinned devil-yanks that are the Glazers set up shop in the Trafford DevilDome, Shareholders United chairman Nick Towle confidently predicted that their arrival would prompt 20,000 Rowdies fans to boycott matches and merchandise, costing the club and its sponsors £18.5m per year. “The rate they are going, the only people inside Old Trafford will be Japanese tourists,” declared Towle with stunning inaccuracy, for with Rowdies ticket and tat sales as brisk as ever seven months down the line, it was left to the Rowdies players to tear a £15m-shaped hole in the Glazer’s finances, by crashing out of Europe before Christmas.
But if this pinnacle of underachievement upset the Glazers they’re hiding it well. “There is no getting away from the fact that last night was a disappointing result in sporting terms, but it does not represent a blow to the family or the family’s finances because they are long-term investors in the MU Rowdies,” announced their spokesman this morning. “If you lose a game you pick yourself up, brush yourself off and prepare for the next game.”
It’s a message of peace, love and understanding Cristiano Ronaldo (above) would do well to take on board. Having played like a sickly child who’d been given the opportunity to line out for the Rowdies by the Make-A-Wish foundation, the young Portugeezer reacted to defeat by giving ecstatic Benfica fans the finger. “There was nothing to justify the way the crowd treated me,” whined the man the Rowdies bought from Benfica’s arch-rivals Sporting Lisbon, as he packed his ball away and stormed home to tell his mum.