Manchester United have been accused of rinsing the fans on numerous occasions, as one of the first clubs in the World to really get involved in to the business and money-making side of football.

I remember the Super Store in that little shack by the Old Scoreboard end selling duvets and lampshades and wall paper and mugs and pencil cases when I was a lad, and we probably spent a small fortune in there over the years, between birthdays and Christmas for the family.

Of course, whilst the club have been criticised, it is fair to say that they are only putting the merchandise out there for people to have the option. If you don’t want your kid’s bedroom covered in head to toe with the black, red and white stripes of United, then don’t buy the wallpaper.

United have brought out yet another new shirt, which presumably will be replacing the white and gold kit we played in Europe. With it being 40 years since United first won the European Cup final, the shirt has been designed around the kit we wore in the final at Wembley all those years ago. The fact that we won the European Cup on the anniversary only adds to the hype.

But do you see this shirt as a nice gesture, marking the achievements of our great players from the past, or a low class way of United making even more money off the fans?

Nice gesture

Football is about so much more than money and whilst the club are intent on doing just that (and don’t kid yourself that it’s all down to the Glazers, United have been doing it for years), to be a football fan in this day and age you need to look beyond that.

However much money United stand to make from this, fans want to share in the success of the club’s past and present. To wear a United shirt reminding everyone what Best, Charlton, Foulkes and Kidd etc. achieved in 1968 is an honour. How many fans there are out there who wish they could have a European Cup win to remember!

United would be bringing out a new shirt for Europe anyway, it’s the done thing. The fact that the club want to make this shirt about past glories is something that should be commended.

There will be plenty of people thinking the club are just using our history to make money, and those people don’t have to buy the shirt. But equally, there are plenty of people who enjoy the sentiment of what this shirt represents, and if they want to buy it, then what is the problem?

People have become too bogged down with this Glazer business, with fans wanting to have a pop at the club because it doesn’t feel wholy theirs anymore. Fact is, United are a classy club, with enough decent people involved in the decision making to ensure that the club’s behaviour is tasteful.

Money making ploy

Since 2006, there have been two new red shirts, a black shirt, a white and gold shirt, the new away white shirt and this blue shirt (if I’m not missing any out!) That’s six shirts in two years. How can that be necessary?

United know they can get away with it though, because there are more than enough people willing to spend their cash on replica shirts. Whether it’s the rich business man, the kid guilt-tripping their parents, someone in the Far East who’s never been to Europe, or a lad who’s on minimum wage scrimping and saving, there will people there to buy the shirts. The fact that this shirt is for the 1968 team will easily increase sales. People who wouldn’t usually buy shirts will be tempted, particularly if they got to share in the great memories of our victory over Benfica, and the club know that.

Whilst the debt issues are a huge concern, there have got to be better ways of repaying it than making our money off the memory of 68.

What do you think?