Friday, May 13, 2005

Aristocratic Hooligans

The feelings many Britons seem to have about Malcolm Glazer buying Man Utd. reminds me of the old sitcom with Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles. The big joke in "To the manor born" was that Bowles' character was some sort of philistine - he was actually (forshame!) a foreigner. It would make him the most refined philistine I've ever seen, surely...
The big yucks came from the isolated country aristocrats looking down their noses at the dapper new manor owner and his very salt of the earth, tough, Czech sounding mother. Good fun, this mocking of the toffee nosed landed gentry...

But what of Glazer? Why are Man Utd fanatics suddenly so worried about a man who now owns 70%, owning 75%?
If a russian robber baron can get in on Britons' good graces by pretending to be a Chelsea fan, why then not the owner of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buckaneers?

I wonder how Roman Abramovich is any different in wanting an NFL team of his own, and as having sought an NHL team as well, were it not for Abromovich betting the “Man Utd fan treatment” from Canadians.
There was no outcry in the US over his trial balloon, just some curiosity and puzzlement over the fact that anyone would think an NFL franchise is a good investment, and not just a headache. There's also the bar-room hatred that fans usually have for team owners and their team-building decisions. It has a kind of tartness worse than that of a coach or player that goofs up. The man is 78 years old - he certainly isn't doing this to “pillage” Old Trafford or build a future "sports empire."

No - they are busting blood vessels over this because Glazer is American. Okay - if it makes you feel better think of him as the son of a Lithuanian immigrant from New York who had a modest upbringing.
Even Sir Alex Ferguson is all for the idea, and he’s not a “yank”.

Feel better now, m8?

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