Over the past week or so there’s been more than the usual debating over City fan’s use of the term ‘Munich’ when referring to their far more successful neighbours.
United fans have rightly been outraged at this for years but it now seems to be have become even more of an issue of late as on various forums and social networks Reds throughout the globe share their disgust at the insensitivity of fans that the press laughably refer to as the ‘Blue half of Manchester.’
I say ‘laughably’ because if these fans really were from Manchester then surely they wouldn’t revel in bringing up a tragedy that affected the whole city almost irrevocably and is still felt to this very day, particularly in the older generation- regardless of whether their Blue or Red.
City fans use the word and that’s their responsibility. If they want to act like classless disgusting cretins, then my advice is to leave them to it. After all what can United fans physically do about it? We can voice our anger via our chants, or discuss it on blogs and forums, maybe even write strongly worded emails to City but on the whole there’s not many options when it comes to ‘d*ckhead behaviour prevention.’
Let’s make one thing clear I’m not saying it’s acceptable or a bit of ‘banter’ it’s anything but that. Yes United fans take the p*ss out of City for failing to win a trophy for 35 years or for being ‘bitter’ but that’s not quite the same as a nickname that’s a reference the death of 23 people.
When posed this question in the past I’ve often had the same answer, United fans singing those songs are in the minority and only responding to the Munich taunts aimed at us.
The fact is though, I’m not sure how much weight my argument carries in the grander scale of things, after all two wrongs don’t make a right. I know it’s a cliche but it’s true and it’s too easy to hide behind the most juvenile argument ever- they started it.
During the course of my life I’ve experienced racism at different times, from school to football games to going out, although now these times are so rare I can’t recall the last occasion. The point is though if someone does subject me to racist abuse do I respond in kind? If an white lad called me the N word, I certainly wouldn’t feel a similarly bigoted response was justified. I’d try and rise above it, or to respond without a racially motivated response, yet for some reason when it comes to sick chants that’s not an easy thing to do.
We’ve all been at United Liverpool games and heard the exchange of inflammatory chants that goes on. In the FA Cup game at Old Trafford, there were literally thousands of fans on both sides singing songs with references to all manner of tragedies. Again I tried to justify it from a United point of view, “the Scousers were throwing p*ss on us, waving their genitalia and making Munich gestures- can they really be amazed some fans respond with deplorable songs?”
Well actually yes they can. United aren’t just the most supported club in the world, we’re arguably the most respected. United have a reputation that goes right back to the Busby Babes of not only playing great football and being successful but also of overcoming tragedy, rising like a phoenix from the ashes to achieve ultimate glory. There’s a certain prestige that comes with United, men such as Sir Matt Busby, Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Alex Ferguson are examples of true legends in the game that are so well respected not just for their achievements but also the way they conduct themselves.
Recently we saw an example of Sir Alex’s class when he asked fans not to sing certain chants about Arsene Wenger. While it was a little embarrassing having our own manager request United fans didn’t sing sick songs about the opposition’s gaffer, the response was something to be proud of.
What I’m asking is can United fans not take a stance and simply not sing the Hillsborough songs that are used as ammunition against us by those who don’t wish to be held culpable for their own despicable actions?
You may ask why should we? Why not respond in kind to such visceral, anger inducing, taunts?
Well I’m saying if we could look our opponents in the eye and say to them without any fear of being exposed a liars: “you’re shower may use those sort of chants, but we don’t”, then wouldn’t it be a victory of sorts over the very cretins we as United fans have come to hate the most.
Of course I understand there are thousands of United fans who would never dream of singing any such songs and I’m by no means stating its anywhere near the scale we see some fans, particularly Leeds and City ones, make Munich jibes.
I’m not claiming we should all clean up our act and stop swearing or anything like that. To me a ‘bin dipping tw*t’ is a perfectly acceptable moniker for a Liverpool fan.
I just wonder if it’s not possible to eradicate the sick chants completely from United fans and have a real reason to claim the moral high ground when it comes to some of the arguments we’re engaged in.
Is this even possible? Is it worth Reds trying to stop a small minority making references to Hillsborough or should everything carry on as before? Please feel free to share your thoughts below:
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