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Club Sack Steward For Trying To Return Banner

It has been revealed today that a steward at Old Trafford has been sacked for returning an anti-Glazer banner to United fans protesting about the state of our club.

Granville Boden, who has worked as a steward at United for 19 years, was sacked after he tried to return a banner which was confiscated by stewards during the league game against Burnley.

He took the banner to his car with the idea of returning it, only for it to be taken off him.

“There is a lot of internal conflict between the staff and I think that conflict is only going to grow as the protests against the Glazers gather more momentum,” Boden said. “There are a lot of staff at the club who are sympathetic to what the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust are trying to achieve. I don’t regret anything I did.”

LUHG

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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135 Comments

  1. Paul Parker says:

    Red Devil – haha, agreed, Dark Grey it is,
    with a Gold and Green lining on a Deep Red background…

    @ Corea,
    No your right, and its definitely not a criticism of Scott or the Site, I wouldn’t post here if I didn’t think the site was doing an excellent job of giving us good information. I guess my point was more at the reponses this story seemed to be “inciting” on here – UNITED are bigger then this, I feel for the Steward but what did he expect except a Pink slip? All this Green and Gold is applying pressure on the Owners and its GREAT as long as our team isn’t effected. We do deserve answers from them, and we do deserve to be treated with more respect, because if everythng is A-O-K then they should just come out and tell us and stop fucking about with us, causing division. So like Red Devil said, its a Dark Shade of Grey off the pitch, and for me its a bright beacon of hope on it at all times… SO LETS HOPE WE TURN OVER THE BRUMMIES TONIGHT & SAHA SCORES A HAT TRICK AGAINST THOSE DIRTY BAR STEWARDS !!!!

  2. Fred says:

    What they said before the hostile takeover:

    Sir Alex Ferguson: “We don’t want the club to be in anyone else’s hands. I support that. Shareholders United can only be good for the game. I’d urge United fans to get involved.”

    Ryan Giggs: “The general feeling is that the club is in good hands. This club cannot get any better than it is at the moment. We sympathise with the fans. Of course we do. As far as the fans are concerned, the team and the club and the way the whole thing is being run at the moment shows that there is nothing wrong at all.”

    Ole Solskjaer: “I am honoured [to join MUST.] I think it is important that the club remains in the right hands. I am absolutely on the supporters’ side, and think the club is in very good hands as it is today. I am a United fan myself and only want what’s best for the future.”

    Rio Ferdinand: “People want the club’s interests to be with people who have grown up with the club and have got its interests at heart.”

    Eric Cantona: “If Glazer were to come here, we would lose everything.”

    David Gill on Glazer’s business plan: “It’s too aggressive and not in the best interests of Manchester United.”

  3. trevor says:

    Good Afternoon Fred

    Nice to see your keeping well and on form as usual!

  4. King Eric says:

    To my mind the original colours were green and YELLOW. It is a very fucking funny looking GOLD.

    Just thought I would point that out as keep hearing green and gold. Surely its yellow?

  5. trevor says:

    @King Eric
    Maybe as the Glazers Need money the pun is Green and Gold!

  6. Fred says:

    Thanks Trev! And a good day to you, sir!

  7. Fred says:

    King Eric, I think calling it “green & gold” might come from the 92/94 away kit, which most fans referred to as “green and gold”, rather than “green and yellow,” I suppose because it was made of shiny nylon material, so the yellow looked sort of golden? Some people refer to Brazil’s shirts as gold too, when they are clearly yellow! Also there is the case of Wolves, whose shirt is supposedly gold, though I’ve always thought of it as orange!

    Plus, ‘green and gold’ sounds better and fits into songs better.

  8. rooney the new king says:

    Fred- jes that green and gold kit takes me back to uniteds army of men who really showed arsenals smurfs today what real football is played. seeing eric cantona doing his magic is some of our great away games really sends the pulses racing.

  9. trevor says:

    if we had a green and gold kit then the glazers can hardly stop green and gold scarves?

    simply just club colours of 92-94 away kit!

    I remember the White Scaves with Red & Black Lines in them from years ago!

  10. Fred says:

    Trev, a lot of people have dug out their old green/gold shirts recently. I’ve even heard they are changing hands for big money on eBay!

    Here’s the classic promo pic of the team posing in it: http://www.classicfootballshirts.co.uk/images/Man-United-92-AwayNH%20Pic.jpg

    You are right when you say the Glazers can’t complain about green/gold scarves, flags, shirts, etc. That’s the genius of this peaceful protest.

  11. Fred says:

    Here’s a classic performance from us playing in the green & gold away kit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YtVhrrekYw

  12. Fred says:

    Oops, wrong vid. Give me a minute!

  13. Fred says:

    Here it is, Wimbledon v United 1994

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzZBlxugCwQ

  14. Costas says:

    @trevor

    No problem. I just didn’t want to add to your headache beause you were already speaking with 3 or 4 other people at the time!

    @Fred

    Good job for digging up those remarks.

    I think the anniversary for OT might have to do with the fact that other festivities are planned for the previous games? AC Milan will be a Ch.League game with all the glitz that follows that and in the West Ham game hopefully we will parade the League cup around OT. :P

  15. arsene wenger says:

    i read this article i think its a disgrace to sack a steward for such a thing, either ban all banners or allow all banners (as long as they are decent), we had a simular thing over the emirates with a greek cypriot flag being waved and a lot of crazy green lanes turkish supporters in the stands,caused a massive fuss now all national flags are banned, but as long as the banners arent offensive such as GLAZERS DIE and GLAZER IS A FUCKING CUNT then i think people pay their money should be allowed freedom of expression to say such things on banners as GLAZERS ARE SCUM, people can also wear what they like

  16. Fred says:

    Costas, I think the quotes make interesting reading in light of some of the pro-Glazers on here claiming that supporting Glazer is supporting United, but there you have it from prominent United figures revealing their true feelings about the Glazer takeover.

  17. MartinNor says:

    What does LUHG Stands for?

    Cheers

  18. Corea says:

    Paul Parker –
    “All this Green and Gold is applying pressure on the Owners and its GREAT as long as our team isn’t effected.”

    I am not the most wise person out here but i am absolutely sure that the most great things in life can not be done without some sacrifices.
    but it is absolutely depressing to sit where i am and being unable to change things and help our wonderful club. at least i get in touch with some great fans.
    Viva Scott!

  19. Wakey says:

    @rooney the new king

    You are from the UK right? If so you know how daft health and safety laws are in this country atm. And if you are deemed to be breaching health and safety laws then you can say bye bye to your Insurance coverage.

    Remember a few years back United got fined and the if I recall correctly and some of the ground shut up for some fans refusing to sit down during the game. Thats how petty health and safety laws can be.

    I’m not saying it is a Health and Safety rule but it could be that or a number of other legitimate reasons (For example the possibility of blocking some peoples view) why the flags get removed and it could see a banner like these removed no matter what’s written on it.

    As for Liverpools Kop banners, do we know that these haven’t been pre approved by the club and deemed to not be an issue?

  20. Wakey says:

    @giggs11gerrard0
    Except we don’t know and can’t agree that CES have been tasked with stamping out the protest. If the G & G campaign wants to prove this beyond doubt then for the next game they will not display any G&G banners and instead display banners supporting the players.

    If they get taken down then its general club policy on Banners that aren’t pre approved and could be a h&s issue or hinder peoples views. If it is left then your view is right and they are stamping it out which then I agree is wrong

    @Corea
    He isn’t reserved on this issue. Infact his usual common sense goes right out of the window and he starts acting like he is working for a tabloid. Just look at his initial headline and story on the Ac Milan (and italian law) policy that requires banners to be pre approved

    @willierednut
    Dodo is pretty good by all accounts. He is the reason the club actually hired Stam back to do some scouting for us as it was his job to go and watch Dodo carefully for a couple of months (and obviously report back on anyone else he liked the look of)

  21. Wakey says:

    @Red Devil
    They didn’t say he wasn’t good enough, they said he hadn’t progressed as expected and thats true. He simply didn’t progress at the rate that was expected that would have seen him walk through the second WP application

    As for not trying hard enough. We applied the first time and then appealed with SAF speaking up for him but it was rejected. We tried again and again appealed under exceptional talent rules and it was declined again.

    Possebon didn’t actually need a WP, he has an Italian passport hence why he has recently declared himself available for the Italian National teams. Anderson was as far as the home office is concerned a better player and even he required an appeal. TBH Ljajic would probally have got his work permit back when Anderson got his although Anderson had the advantage of playing at a higher level of football and being from a higher ranked nation.

    “the instructions to the CES to stamp out the protests is appalling”
    BUT we don’t know that it is and thats the problem. Its all guess work. Do you know for certain its the content of the banners and not the banners themselves thats getting them taken down. No you don’t so we shouldn’t rush to judgement. I mean serious I call on the people organising the banners to not display any ‘anti Glazer’ banners at the next game and instead display the same sized ‘Pro Player’ banners and lets see what happens. Then we can make a judgement

  22. Fred says:

    Wakey, people do display banners that aren’t about Glazer and they don’t get confiscated so there you go. No need to stop the anti-Glazer banners as an experiment. Nice try though. ;-)

    Carry on as you were, fellas!

  23. Fred says:

    Wakey, are you Andrew “Tufty” Kilduff?

  24. Fze123 says:

    What the fuck?! He was returning a banner to the fans whom it belonged to, surely there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not like they wouldn’t bring another one even if the steward didn’t return it to them. Classless and disgraceful decision from our club; to sack someone who has worked for so long here for such an absurd reason. This will only fuel us supporters. The glazers have fucked this club about too much. For how long are we going to keep watching them make their own rules, have full control over the club and sucking up all the money coming in?

  25. trevor says:

    Fred,

    Cool that you picked up the comments made prior to the Glazers taking over.
    The players were only saying what they honestly thought before the buy over.

    now the glazers are in charge i dont think any will speak out against them except fergie. I hand on heart beleive if things wernt right fergie would walk!

    What we have to also concider is that these comments were made prior to the glazers running the club.

    I feel people should take into concideration what they have done with the club so far. To be honest they havent changed too much! We have had the same transfer kitty each year it hasnt dropped!

  26. Wakey says:

    @Fred

    Oh come on how often have you seen banners of the size of the ones we have been seeing over the last couple of games have you seen that haven’t been authorised or even arranged by the club

  27. Paul H says:

    Right, let’s put the theory to the test. I’ll unfurl a pro-Glazer banner in the Stretford End and see if the stewards react.

    Oh hang on a sec, I’d probably be murdered by my fellow supporters….

    Back to the drawing board then!

  28. pip says:

    this is a total disgrace

  29. Wakey says:

    @pip

    Whats disgraceful about it in your eyes pip. If you were to take something from your work that didn’t belong to you do you really think you wouldn’t be sacked on the spot? No matter the reason or intention its theft and his employer CES had no choice but to sack him as its standard policy in pretty much every company in the world

  30. Re Devil says:

    @ Wakey

    fair enough mate on Ljajic i guess..but I still felt bad the way the teenager was treated….wouldn’t want that to happen to anyone’s child.

    As for the banners….I think the fans have been taking the banners to OT for years mate, I’ve never heard or read stories about them being confiscated in this fashion before….Its seriously disturbing and doubts still remain.

    In any case, the club should at least try to get the man his job back in good faith if they had nothing to do with his dismissal in the first place (which I dont think is the case because for me there’s quite clearly been some instructions to clamp down.)

  31. Ex-CES and member of MUST says:

    I used to be a member of CES, mostly because it was the only way I could see the game.

    Not all of us were/are little Hitlers, (although admittedly some are). Most of the ones I worked with couldn’t care less what you do as long as you fit in certain rules
    1-no fighting
    2-no smoking
    3-no drinking in sight of the pitch

    Those are the things we were told to stop, of face losing the job. The will never sack you, they will just stop offering you work (so no employment tribunal).

    In the entire 4 years I was there I only helped throw out Celtic fans and Rugby fans.

    If they are taking action against these banners it means they have been given special instructions from the club to do so. And probably it means that there has been radio contact from stadium control instructing them to take certain banners down. More of them are like Granville Boden than you think.

  32. Wakey says:

    @Red Devil
    I’m pretty sure Ljajic known the situation all along. While he was no doubt disappointed I think the stories from Partizan about it damaging him ‘Psychologically’ were just attempts to guilt us into paying 10-12mill for a player who we would have had to leave where he was while paying his wages. The same with the comments from the club about us not having the money to buy the player. They knew that the price for him included ‘United Tax’ and that the fact he couldn’t get a WP reduced the list of other clubs who could buy him so his price was going to fall. If he does well in Italy I wouldn’t be surprised if he joins us further down the line tbh.

    On the banners, the thing is while banners are brought I’m struggling to think of a banner at the ‘Size’ and location of the confiscated banners. The only ones in this kind range I can think of are ones that were pre-approved by the club. Its why I would really like to see fans test it with a banner of the same size and in the same locations that’s not designed to ‘incite’ anyone so we can be 100% sure that it really is a removal of Anti Glazer banners only. After all I have seen banners and the likes removed at other sporting events that weren’t trying to ‘incite’ (I had a Union Jack confiscated on Centre Court at Wimbledon for ‘Blocking peoples view’ and I know someone who was kicked out of Twickenham for refusing to remove a banner they hung over a tier for H&S and other fans enjoyment reasons) As I have already said if they are simply removing anti Glazer banners then they are in the wrong but if its just being removed because it breaks the clubs policy on all banners no matter whats written on them then we can’t really complain

    On getting the Stewards job back, there is no way United can demand that CES give him his job back. You can’t get away from the simple fact that what he did is ‘Theft’ and would break the terms of employment for pretty much everyone of us here. While what he did may be fairly harmless as its only a banner it would make it hard for both United and CES to ever sack an employee for theft in the future. Again its unfortunate that he had to be sacked but even he admits that it was right that he was sacked

  33. Red Devil says:

    @ Wakey

    “theft’…..i dont get that mate…how was it theft? The stewards took away something that they were under instructions to disallow (for size or content or whatever) and he later took it back so that he could give it back to whom it belonged in the first place. Its like a pack of cigarettes taken away from you before you enter the movie-hall as its not allowed but given back to you later…I dont know if we can call it theft…

    Also where has he admitted that it was right for him to be sacked? I’d be very surprised if that was the case…

  34. Wakey says:

    @Red Devil

    Scott decided to not provide a source in the original post here so you couldn’t read the whole article so you may not have all the facts.

    Why is it theft? He took a confiscated item WITHOUT being given permission. The Flag doesn’t belong to him so he had no right to remove it and is thus theft. To quote the full article

    “Boden was sacked after removing the banner confiscated during the Burnley game from the security offices and taking it to his car with a view to returning it to its owners”

    So he took the banner without permission and rather than hand it back immediately to the owner he took it to his car. This is when he was caught and while he might claim and may very well have been intending to hand it back to the owner he committed a crime. If the owner wanted the flag back he/she would have legally been able to collect it at the end of the game without this guy taking it himself.

    As for where he accepted it the article says

    “Although he expressed regret that he was never asked to give his account of what happened, Boden said that he “fully accepted” the decision to dismiss him because he had defied his employers,”

    If you were to go down to your companies lost and found and take something that clearly wasn’t yours then you would stand a very good chance of being sacked even if you claimed to be returning it to its owner.

    TBH the guys pretty stupid going around telling the papers about it as CES should have really informed the police and he could have been charged with theft but CES seemed to have shown him some goodwill. They could very well report him now or the police could even take action on their own.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/manchester_united/article7021240.ece

  35. Red Devil says:

    @ Wakey
    Fair enough….I just hope the stewards are not under any instructions to suppress the freedom of speech though :)

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