The word ‘classy’ appears in football prattle with increasing regularity, now considered the acme of all behaviour; gestures, non-gestures, tweets, messages of support, banners, all of that. Truth is, one of the things that’s so compelling about football is the opportunity to ignore a goodly chunk of these precise mores and pressures, because, after all, it’s only football.

So – or but – in the last bit, United have been accused of lacking class, both from within and without, for the manner in which David Moyes was sacked and Rio Ferdinand released. Really?

Some unfortunate facts: United treated the Munich families disgracefully; Louis Edwards bribed people and sold condemned meat to schools; Martin Edwards is a toilet sniffer who tried flogging the club to Robert Maxwell and Michael Knighton; he helped create the protectionist racket that is the Premier League; he floated the club on the stock exchange leaving it open to predators like the Glazers; their takeover was facilitated by a manager prepared to fall out with significant shareholders over money and horse semen; since then, £680m has left the club, the women’s team been disbanded, ticket prices increased, and official potato chips partners sought.

That’s what we should mean when we about when talk about lacking class, or, put another way, United’s status in that department has not the remotest connection with the end of this season.

When David Moyes looks back on his United career, he’ll see an outrageous bank balance, but know that he was presented with opportunity of his life, and ruined it beyond anyone’s comprehension; the manner of his departure will tax him not a single iota. When Rio Ferdinand looks back on his United career, he’ll see an outrageous bank balance, an outrageous collection of medals, glory and accolades, and know that when he was presented with the opportunity of his life, he eventually seized the shit out it; the manner of his departure will tax him not a single iota.

Classiness, then, is achieved through deeds of consequence with actual consequences – we can only hope that one fine day, this will mean United. Imagine how much we’d love them then.

This article was taken from the RoM season review.




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