Has the beautiful game turned sour? As an avid football fan, this season’s premier league has been a masterpiece. Although Liverpool look set to win the league, the 9-0 thrashing that Leicester handed Southampton along with Watford’s recent revival under Nigel Pearson have provided gripping entertainment for all football fans. The team, however, who have been the most interesting to watch for many is Manchester United. Having spent most of the season lingering around the Europa league spots and occasionally flirting with the prospect of Champions League football, the team have thus far had what can only be described as a mixed season.
Although they’ve celebrated wins against the likes of Spurs and their bitter rivals Manchester City (as well as taking 2 points off the league leaders Liverpool), they have also hit stumbling blocks against Southampton and Crystal Palace. With disgruntled fans looking for someone to direct their anger towards, many have looked at the club’s board hierarchy with their chairman Ed Woodward ‘responsible’ for the club’s recent run of poor form. With chants wanting Woodward and ‘the Glazers’ (the owners of Manchester United) to be burnt in a bonfire being sang throughout the recent away game to Tranmere, things escalated further on Tuesday night when Woodward’s Cheshire Home was subject to attack from a number of united fans.
Luckily for Ed Woodward, his wife and their two children, nobody was present at the time of the attack
A video emerged late Tuesday night, appearing to show fans throwing red flares over the gate to his home. The video, containing the caption; “Ed Woodward’s gonna [sic] die” looks to have been filmed and uploaded by one of the individuals taking part in the attack. Luckily for Ed Woodward, his wife and their two children, nobody was present at the time of the attack. This was in part due to Woodward being in Portugal to negotiate the sale of Bruno Fernandes, supposedly United’s key target for the January transfer window. When it became clear that his home was been under attack, Manchester United sent club security to the property in order to prevent any further damage to his property and the surrounding area, followed by the local police.
A statement was then released by the club indicating that “Anyone found guilty of a criminal offence, or found to be trespassing on this property, will be banned for life by The Club and may face prosecution”. It appears that the club will exhibit a zero-tolerance policy to anyone involved, but the question remains as to whether they’ve done enough. With the chanting in recent games, it was clear for all to see that it was only a matter of time until something more radical happened. What is even more obvious, however, is the negative image these fans have tainted other fans and members with. It is now more important than ever for the rest of us within the football community to challenge these stereotypes regarding the modern day supporter and stamp this behaviour out of football for good.