American Not Welcome in Manchester

“This has not brought great comfort to Manchester United’s supporters. On Sunday, before Manchester United defeated Arsenal, 2-0, halting its rival’s 49-game unbeaten streak in the English Premier League, Malcolm Glazer was hung in effigy outside Old Trafford stadium in Manchester. Fans chanted and carried banners that said “Not for Sale.”

“Our fans are extremely fearful,” Mark Longden, a spokesman for the Manchester United Independent Supporters Association, said in a telephone interview. “I’ve never known a militancy like this.”

Although supporters deny it, anti-Americanism also figures in the resistance to Glazer, said Franklin Foer, author of “How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization.” He noted that Roman Abramovich, a Russian oil billionaire, was embraced last year upon his purchase of Chelsea, another top English team.

“The Glazer story is more about the anti-American moment in Europe,” Foer said. “If his possible purchase of the club wasn’t coinciding with George W. Bush’s re-election and the Iraq war dragging on, I think it would probably would have gone through.”

Watch out Europe. We are going to buy your football(soccer) teams and make them learn how to play a real sport. 😉

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