by Daisy Cutter
Being a Manchester City supporter I’ve become immune to the barbs and jibes aimed at my club since it became richer than Gazza’s local off license.
Predictably these fanciful digs amount to City being a team full of mercenaries or – in extreme cases of exaggeration – responsible for ruining the modern game as we know it and ninety-nine times out of a hundred these errant remarks are met with a laugh, a shrug of the shoulders, or points calmly made to the contrary.
There was one comment however that I found difficult to brush off or engage with and it came via a social network site from a friend of a friend a couple of years back. Ironically the offending comment arrived during a conciliatory exchange as we both realised that it probably wasn’t fair to clutter up our mutual pal’s timeline with a lengthy heated row.
Offering out an olive branch the lad in question responded to my latest witty, erudite and Stephen Fry-esque retort (if memory serves) with this little nugget of shite – “I don’t resent City per se. They deserve their day in the sun”.
It was such a seemingly innocuous viewpoint yet was laced with all the patronising misguided benevolence that seems to be inbuilt in any fan of a ‘bigger’ club. Awww ickle Citeh, you enjoy your temporary glory then the ‘traditional’ big clubs can return to the status quo of how things should be.
This delusional supposed divine right for success and stature has never failed to rile me particularly as, in this case, it came from a Liverpool fan – they’ve been out of the sunlight for so long they’re in danger of developing rickets.
So on this occasion – the only occasion I can recall from countless discussions on the effect City’s takeover has had on domestic football – there was no shrug of the shoulder, a well-formed counter-argument, and certainly no laughter. I think I called him a c***.
Fast-forward to this weekend and I’m watching Millwall v Blackburn and rooting for the away side to progress. The reason for this is because I want a team from the Championship to experience a fairytale trip to Wembley and hopefully a route to the final and can still vividly remember the Lions doing so in 2004. In short I am being a great big hypocrite and seeing it thus – Millwall fans have already enjoyed such a momentous achievement. They have had their brief spell in the spotlight.
Does a club outside of the big four,five, six, whatever the hell it is these days only deserve a solitary moment of acclaim? Should it be ideally spread out amongst the rest so as many fans can enjoy heading down Wembley way bedecked in a souvenir flag? A Bradford here, a Cardiff there. Of course not, and the reasons for this are just plain insulting to lay out.
I don’t expect any Millwall supporter to give two stuffs as to my thinking on Sunday but they have my sincerest apologies all the same. As for me it’s proven to be an early wake-up call. My club may be in the ascendancy but there is no excuse for such arrogance. Perhaps I’ve spent too long in the sunshine?