When Roman Abramovich came on the scene, Manchester United fans were very touchy. Here we were, with a vast history, with wealth we’d amassed from our massive fan base, a massive fan base we’d amassed because of our vast history, and in walks Abramovich to attempt to buy it all. We were outraged. Probably not as outraged as Liverpool, whose impressive history really was a distant memory, but nevertheless, we weren’t impressed.
If only someone had told us then that over the next seven years, Chelsea would only win three league titles and still wouldn’t win the European Cup, we probably would have been very surprised, yet relieved. We probably wouldn’t have believed we were going to win another three titles in a row and win another European Cup in that time too.
Whilst Chelsea’s money and success is still irritating, it is something we’re used to. Yes, the club would be bankrupt and obsolete if not for Abramovich, yes it’s irritating we’ve had to share our title with them over recent years, but it’s been going on for a few years now and the scaremongering that took place over Chelsea dominating world football for decades has been exposed as bollocks.
Throughout this time, with United and Chelsea spending money, and United and Chelsea winning titles, our blue neighbours were not at all happy. Despite us drawing in larger crowds than City for every single season since the 1940’s, they insisted on perpetuating their lie that ‘proper Mancs’ were blue, with the idea that United fans were all glory supporters from Kent. They mocked us for our glory fans, they accused us of buying our success and found our whole existence to be fairly abhorrent.
Fast forward a couple of years and they are striving to be everything they criticised United for. Only Chelsea have spent more money than them in the Premiership years as they start their mission to buy success, and with that success would come the glory supporters they take such issue with. We’ve seen the money come in to Chelsea, and despite already having Champions League football to offer and a top quality manager, it didn’t make them invincible, far from it, with success seemingly a lot more difficult to buy that one imagined. Whilst City fans will get giddy, in their scouse-like, delusional, money induced state of mind, United fans have seen it all before. We watched Blackburn try to buy dominance, and fail, we’ve watched Chelsea try to buy dominance, and fail, and now it is City’s turn, with the only constant throughout this period being United’s title challenges, regardless of the fact our decline supposedly started in 1995, then again in 1998 and then again in 2005. But how does our ‘bought success’ compare?
Won as many titles as… Liverpool.
Won fewer titles than… No team. Record 18.
Won fewer FA Cups than… No team. Record 11.
Won as many European Cups as… Barcelona and Inter Milan.
Won fewer European Cups than… Real Madrid, AC Milan and Bayern Munich.
Years since last trophy won… 0
Money spent since the Premiership began… £419,350,000 (3rd)
Fans most likely to say… “Not arrogant, just better” and “Have you ever won the Treble, have you fuck.”
Won as many titles as… Leeds United and Huddersfield Town.
Won fewer titles than… Newcastle United and Sheffield Wednesday.
Won as many FA Cups as.. Chelsea and Newcastle United.
Won fewer FA Cups than… Liverpool and Aston Villa.
Won as many European Cups as… Chesterfield, Bury and Aldershot Town.
Won fewer Europeapn Cups than… PSV Eindhoven, Hamburg and Olympique de Marseille.
Years since last trophy won… 8
Money spent since the Premiership began… £182,662,000 (10th)
Fans most likely to say… “I’m going home to shag my sister”
Won as many titles as… Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United.
Won fewer titles than… Sunderland and Aston Villa.
Won as many FA Cups as.. Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.
Won fewer FA Cups than… Spurs and Aston Villa.
Won as many European Cups as… Torquay United, Darlington and Burton Albion.
Won fewer Europeapn Cups than… Feyenoord, Celtic and Nottingham Forest.
Years since last trophy won… 0
Money spent since the Premiership began… £563,340,000 (1st)
Fans most likely to say… “John Terry is a fine specimen of a man. He could get off with my wife and I’d still think he was a legend.”
Won as many titles as… Preston North End and Derby County.
Won fewer titles than… Huddersfield Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Won as many FA Cups as.. Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Won fewer FA Cups than… Wanderers F.C and West Brom.
Won as many European Cups as… Barnet, Grimsby Town and Macclesfield Town.
Won fewer Europeapn Cups than… Red Star Belgrade, Steaua Bucureşti and Aston Villa.
Money spent since the Premiership began… £486,110,000 (2nd)
Years since last trophy won… 34
Fans most likely to say… “I’m going to get a tattoo celebrating a trophy we haven’t won yet/a player who wants to leave us for a big club!”