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You’ve Made Your Decision On Renewal… Now The Shirt

Since the Glazers bought our club, the fans have been posed with all sorts of dilemmas. Should I renew my season ticket? Should I still go to the ground? Should I buy a beer and programme when I get there? Should I wear the latest shirt? Should I watch FC United instead? It goes on and on.

I have renewed my season ticket for next season. Being a season ticket holder used to be a great source of pride, something worth bragging about even, but that’s not so much the case anymore. It’s something you might mutter under your breath in certain company, given that anyone who pays for a season ticket can now be seen as someone who is keeping the Glazers around, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say there was some torment in deciding what to do this year.

I don’t need to go in to great detail here over what was the deciding factor, but I did wait until the last day, in desperate hope that a late bid might come in and the lack of sales might make the Glazers think twice, but that didn’t happen so I renewed. If we were guaranteed our seats back, it would be completely different, but as it is, I can’t bear the thought of some JCL taking my place at Old Trafford and I strongly believe those against the Glazers should still have a voice inside the ground. But this will be one of those gut-wrenching debates I’ll have with myself every summer now, until the Glazers go, and I’m not sure what my stance will be a year from now.

Regardless, I gave up buying the programme and grub from inside the ground years ago, preferring a copy of Red Issue from outside and a cheeseburger from the van inside the cricket ground’s car park (mmm nutritious), and it’s been some time since I went to the megastore for a shirt.

However this summer, just a year after bringing out the latest home shirt, we are being presented with another average design by Nike branded with the new Aon logo. I can’t remember the last time Nike did a good job with our home shirt to be honest, particularly when you compare ours with the likes of Arsenal, who always seem to dress their players well!

Nike signed a deal worth £303m with United which expires in 2013. Whilst presently, it is Nike’s pocket we will be hurting, not the Glazers’, it stands to reason that in 2013, the Glazers will be offered considerably less for the manufacturing contract with Nike.

Not only do Nike make the kits, but they are responsible for “Manchester United’s global retail operations”. This essentially means Nike spreads the United brand around the world.

Every penny that we can deny the Glazers is another reason for them to sell up. At present, they don’t have much of a reason to go, but if year on year they make less money from our club and they come to the conclusion that they are going to sell, they would need to do so sooner rather than later to get the best price. Every year that they wait and every year that the protests gain momentum, the less money they are going to make from us.

If you’re feeling the same way and are keen to do your bit in the protests then why not just dig out one of your old shirts, from the pre-Glazer days. Mancunia Merchandise and Tshirts United are good alternatives, or if you really like wearing your shirt on match day, why not check out eBay.

But to help you out, over the summer, RoM will be giving away 10 shirts from the past for you to wear in place of buying a new one. Oh yeh, a nice retro feel at Old Trafford.

This isn’t about judgement. You can buy what you want. I certainly don’t enjoy the judgement that comes from some for being a season ticket holder. But all of this is merely a suggestion if you are having a dilemma over buying a new shirt.


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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75 Comments

  1. Costas says:

    @King Eric

    It wasn’s a generalisation by any means.

    Ferguson shouldn’t be brought into this by anyone in my opinion. He is not part of the problem or the solution. And since we are in the last season or seasons of his tenure(can’t see him here after 2012 to be honest), it’s imperative that he goes out in the manner that he deserves.

  2. afromanc says:

    I personally think the new shirt is very nice, especially compared to last seasons Black V.

    To each his own. I am anti -Glazer all the way, but can;t bear the thought of casting my team aside because of the dirty americans greed and mis-management of this CLUB
    LUHG

  3. Gary says:

    I didn’t renew my season ticket and was told that if I didn’t renew it by the 13th June that it would be given to people on an apperent waiting list. So much for that. I got a phone call today from the ticket office asking me if I still wanted to renew it because my seat was still available. Hardly flying off the shelfs.

  4. Tony Starks says:

    issh… i remember when i was a kid, all we did was support the team in whatever shirt and didn’t even care who was owner or chairman… all we cared about were the players… aaah those were the days!

  5. United Rant says:

    I bought a One Love MUST shirt. It’s ugly and I don’t agree with MUST’s strategy a lot of the time (although the heart is in the right place clearly) but fucking hell I don’t want to give a penny more to the Glazers than I have to. Shame it’ll make so little difference – the fixed term, fixed price Nike contract insulates the Glazers against a shirt boycott . The real financial pressure is/was season ticket renewals.

  6. MRUnited says:

    Talking about ebay I’ve seen this:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Manchester-United-kit-10-11-size-S-M-L-XL-/110557371862?cmd=ViewItem&pt=US_Men_s_Athletic_Apparel&hash=item19bdbb9dd6
    I’m pretty sure it leaked from the manufacturers in Asia. It’s available since 2 weeks!!
    So i’d rather pay for the kit before it arrives in the official store than after …

  7. middyred says:

    Why do you feel the need to buy and or wear a replica shirt anyway FFS. ? we have been the laughing stock in the past cos of the amount of different coloured shirts that they kept pumping out to extort more money from us. What is wrong with just a red and white scarf? they dont date.
    It doesnt make you a better ‘fan’ if you have the latest shirt. ! But i suppose a big majority who have never been to OT (AIG ALEX IS GOD types) or probably not even Manchester , it boosts their kudos to let everyone know they’ support’ a winning team.

  8. kel says:

    Scott, you done nothing wrong to be honest. I agree with your opinion on wanting to renew or not. For the moment, although buying the ticket will help the glazer stays longer, we need bid from someone. If not, we will have to buy the ticket just to protest in the stadium. I still of the opinion that the Glazer is not good for the club and they will never lessen the debt. Look at who we buy other than 2 youngster. None.

    It’s goes a lot saying we have not buy any quality players over the last 3 years. I dont believe there is no value in the market as sneider is a good example. Robben being another. We will have to stop buying merchandise. From the official site, we know the club is facing a lot of problems, they are giving free ticket, free offers and asking to buy ticket for the new season. This goes to those who didnt renew the ticket. But for those who buy, there is no shame, we are united and we must go on and support the club.

    But we wont support the glazer. They done nothing right.

  9. middyred says:

    Personally , i just wear my lapel badge and scarf.

  10. kel says:

    Regarding Sir Alex on Glazer. Although we know fergie like the club but please dont think he will help the supporter. He know he do everything for the club. The rest he cant control and will not help and let the supporter do their bit. Why should he cares when he is going to retired? Why should he bother to help when he is retiring soon? People care more for themselves.

  11. King Eric says:

    Tony Starks – Absolutely bang on about supporting the shirts.

  12. RedevilzAdvocate says:

    @ Middyred @ 17.27 do us all a favour eh if u havent got anything reasonable to say why dont u just jog on. A fan has a right to buy a replica shirt if he wants to and if it’s not being paid for out of your pocket i fail to see how it concerns you. Your comments about fans who havent been to OT before and wear replicas just to show off is very disrespectful. You’re not a better fan because you go to OT (or maybe you were born inside OT?) and others dont have the opportunity you have. keep your bigoted opinions to yourself next time man not only native mancunians have to right to support united u know..

  13. Costas says:

    Just saw the keeper’s shirt at another site. Truly hideous…

  14. bruce thomas says:

    Con’t think anyone will be wearing the goalkeepers shirt — absolute dog shite.

  15. bruce thomas says:

    Best comment on here today…

    A O N = Americans Out Now.

    Well said.

  16. RedScot says:

    The key to this post is the bugger in the detail ? how do you get one of the “Free” 10 shirts available over the Summer, always the Scot on the look out for a freebie! lol.
    I have my new kits so this dilema does not bother me.
    Seriously on all the other issues and there is a mosiac of opinions, but what I cant do on this great blog is go into a anti Glazer mode, I think I fell out with enough people so far on this topic and its simply not my way to be like that.
    All I think and its a fact bring on Friday night in the US of A.

  17. Kev Kev says:

    IDEA!!

    Anyone who is thinking about buying the shirt (50 quid id imagine) instead put that 50 quid into a Hitman trust. If everyone on this blog puts the money they were going to spend on the new shirt we will surely have enough for the price of two marksmen bullets.

    Im sure they would consider selling up once the bodies of their fucking loved ones start hitting the ground!!

    And that may sound like malice and a bit over the top. But when it comes to a club I hold dear to my heart, I guess I am a lunatic

  18. Chambo says:

    Scott I hope you guys are gonna give away the Green and Gold away kit from the early nineties! Preferably with Cantona 7 on the back of course.

    If not anyone know where i can get one?

  19. KungFuCantona says:

    AON = Americans Out Now

    Company based in Chicago Illinois, in the USA.

    Brilliant!!!!

  20. firstain says:

    Manchester United Official kit for next season revealed (official)

    (nope, this one ain’t a hoax)

    http://firstain.com/index.php/2010/07/13/manchester-united-new-home-kit-revealed-official/

  21. Paul H says:

    H’mmm. I agree it was a tough call this time around. I agonised over whether to renew my seasons tickets in the Stretford End, or to upgrade to the South Stand. Much soul searching was required.

    I lost sleep, deliberating on the moral rights and wrongs of the new shirt. I mean, would it be fair to buy my eldest child both the new home and away strips, whilst leaving the youngest two to cope with the stigma just a shirt and a United baby-gro.

    And I was in the depths of despair, over whether to continue parking near the cricket ground, or whether to purchase a season ticket for the (club owned) car park opposite the megastore.

    OK, back to the real world then….

    I haven’t bought a United Review for over 10 years – it’s overpriced and doesn’t really offer any exclusive content. If they had regular information slots with the Glazers, or a “spot the gnome” photo competition, then I might indulge from time to time.

    It’s rare that I’ll have a pint in the ground, as I drive to the matches. Although I do find it amusing to see the braindeads having their stelloh confiscated prior to their usual last minute rush through the turnstiles, particularly on a european night. Hate to say it, but even City have better draught options on matchday.

    On the grounds of taste and not club ownership, I avoid both the club catering and the infected spinal cords on baps, available outside the stadium. That’s not to say that I’m down with the prawn sandwich, before anyone starts!

    And so back to the shirt topic. I haven’t bought one for me to wear a good few years, not on the grounds of the owner issue, but because I think you reach a certain age where it just doesn’t look/feel right anymore. For children, teens and those who can still play 5-a-side footy without it resulting in hobbling around the office for days though, it’s looks to be a good choice this season.

    If you like it, fill ‘yer boots I say. And don’t cut your noses off to spite your face because someone else tells you too.

  22. giggs11gerrard0 says:

    @King Eric

    Just read your post above about dreading going the games this season! I was playing gof with the lads on Saturday all four of us season ticket holders and we we were discussing this very same thing. We all renewed on deadline day in the hope for a buy out but to no avail.

    Then we were talking about transfers and so on and the majority of us saying we are just not looking forward to this season primarilly we have not got a pot to piss in and certanly no signings coming our way. I said last season though I would take five years of mediocracy and no trophies to get these parasites out.

    So in that respect if we cant buy the big names then lets go back to the early 90′s when we produced our own and are still playing now!

  23. EastStandManc says:

    Anyone who thinks buying/not buying a shirt has no effect on the club is deluding themselves:

    “The deal could be even more lucrative to United, who will get half of Nike’s net profits generated from the licensing and retail operations, providing they stay in the top half of the Premiership and play in Europe.

    To put the deal into perspective, it works out at £23.3m a year for United.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/nike-deal-nets-united-pound303m-624681.html

    We might not be able to affect the £23.3m a year basic, but we can certainly make an impact on half the net profits of whatever shite gets sold in the Megastore or online with United Direct.

    *takes in deep breath*

    Right, Superstar David May, let’s clarify a few things, shall we?

    “In truth, the people who should be feeling guilty are those that are walking away.”

    Pain yes, guilt no. If the Glazers had any sense of it, I’d leave that to them.

    “Do they not realise that by walking away and trying to starve the club, they are suffocating and killing the club just as much as the Glazers.”

    Two things; 1) Of course we realise that there will be a crippling effect – that is, after all, the idea. It doesn’t make it any easier to actually do, though. Do you think this is an easy, whimsical decision for people to make? 2) I take issue with the notion that we are doing damage commensurate to the Glazer’s. Ours is a strategy designed to be short-term, the Glazer’s is anyhthing but.

    “United would be a lot stronger if we all stood together and supported the club and the team through these times.”

    There seems to be this misguided idea that by engaging in protest, people are automatically disassociating themselves from their support of the club. On the contrary, it is their support of the club that is driving the whole idea of standing up and fighting. I have no problem if replacing the odd ‘My old man, said be a city fan’ with a couple of rounds of ‘LU/HG’ means our dissatisfaction is heard, or if people wear Green and Gold, means our dissatisfaction can be seen. As long as we still get behind the team as well, I have no problem at all.

    “The boycotting excuse is just an easy excuse for those looking to walk away, to go away.”

    Perhaps I should be equally as cynical and just as derisive and say that those who don’t boycott are prawn-sandwich eating JCL OOT’s scared of the idea of not being able to tell their colleagues at work that they’re “Man U” Season Ticket holders. That’s not true of course, but while we’re in the business of peddling lies, eh? …

    “We dont need people telling others how to support the team or looking down on those that still remain loyal to MUFC.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Protest is for those who want to, no-one should be coerced.

    “In all reality, Old Trafford will be a lot better place without the protestors, perhaps now we can have supporters within Old Trafford who actually want to support the team and the club.”

    See my earlier riposte to that tripe.

    “I really do hope that any of those pathetic Green and Gold items are not on show next season.”

    ‘Pathetic’, eh? Get you! Is the air rareified enough for you up there?

    “Manchester United is Red, White and Black and we should be proud of that”

    Who’s saying we aren’t? Those of us who choose to wear Green and Gold have not suddenly forgotten Red, White and Black. Personally, I don’t think the Glazers should be free to piggy back on the traditions of this club. They have ‘bought (I use that term in its loosest possible sense) Manchester United as a brand and claim to respect a heritage that is represented by Red, White and Black. Clearly they don’t, so I don’t think it’s right that we sully the image of Red, White and Black by standing alongside those parasites in the same colours.

    “No owner is, or ever will be bigger than MUFC.”

    Goes without saying, really, doesn’t it?

    “Its bad enough people selling their soul and walking away to form clubs such as FCUM, good ridance to them.”

    I disagreed with FCUM then, I disagree with it now. I wouldn’t call it ‘selling your soul’, but I certainly don’t see the benefit in having such vocal support leaving the clan.

    “Anyone who has walked away has no right to tell thos ethat stay loyal what to do, or how to behave.”

    Certainly not. That said, I don’t think anyone here is doing that (please, correct me if I’m wrong). There’s a lot of “if you do this, x will happen, if you do that, x will happen” but then, both sides are guilty of that, as evidenced by the second sentence of your post.

    “As for shirt sales, if people want to buy a shirt then so be it.”

    Absolutely.

    “The shirt deal is a fixed deal with Nike, the same for the megastore.
    The Glazers get no extra money from shirt sales, so it makes no difference if people do or do not buy a shirt.”

    Unfortunately that’s not true. See the beginning of this post.

    “Heres to a great season, upport the lads and support the team, lets forgt about the owners and sing our team onto victory”

    I refuse to ‘forget about the owners’ and what they’re doing to the club until they’ve packed their bags and are gone. I don’t disagree about supporting the team, obviously, but never just ‘forget’ …

  24. SteniS says:

    @aj said: “fans should keep backing the club and buying merchandise as less income cud have negative affect as glazers will still take cas and withless income we wud have less cash”

    Isn’t there a income threshold that must be reached before the Glazers can take out any dividens? If so, we’d do well to keep “the club’s” income to a minimum and thereby enable as little money as possible to fall in to the Glazers filthy hands.

    And regarding shirts, I know Nike takes most of the profits, but doesn’t that still indirectly affect the Glazers? I mean if Nike make huge profits during their current deal with United, wouldn’t it put the Glazers in a position to squeez out even more money out of Nike or any other manufacturer when a new deal is due. If shirt sales go badly, maybe such a deal would not be as valuable for the Glazers.

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