Tomorrow morning two tribes from Manchester will entrain, ‘encar’ and ‘enbus’ to go to Wembley. They will traipse 200 miles to London. Stay a few hours and then traipse back again. And for what? A game of football. Manchester City are playing Manchester United in the Semi-Final of the FA Cup.
Environmentally it is stupid and indefensible. It would have been much more straightforward and green to use Liverpool, Birmingham or Sheffield. All the way to and from Wembley there will need to be high security to keep the tribes apart. Motorway Services and Stations need to beware.
The start time (5.15pm) is truly amazing and remarkably ridiculous. The tribes will be able to spend a great part of the day imbibing dutch courage in copious amounts. They will then, suitably topped up, wend their wobbly way towards Wembley. Encounters with the other tribe will happen and enmity will ensue. How violent this becomes is a matter of considerable concern. A true blue asserted that he finds the offensive nature of the tribalism very disturbing. So much so he has turned down the chance to go, fearing serious trouble.
They will gather at ‘New Wembley’ at grossly inflated prices to watch overpaid young men clatter into each other for the benefit of their respective owners. One, a dubious yankee consortium, who bought the club via enormous loans which have to be paid back by the club (Isn’t capitalism wonderful?). The other with very dubious human rights skeletons in his family background. Yippee. The players will count their cash and buy yet another too fast car and say nothing apart from invoking the usual ill parrots and boys done well platitudes which serve for intelligent analysis in the barmy world of football.
Each highly paid Manager will blame/salute the referee, depending on whichever decision turned out to be crucial. Tribal passions will be further inflamed and the journey back to Manchester will be fraught with difficulties. And why is this stupid timing going ahead? Mammon, in the form of TV has had its usual say.
What a farce.
Ever since the FA recklessly vastly overspent their budget on New Wembley they have looked for ways to claw back some cash.
Environmental issues? Not a problem.
Trouble on the route and around the ground? Everything is under control.
Violence on the pitch? Usual lack of action.
Managers slagging off referees? Usual slapped wrists.
Think of the money! Think of the money! THINK OF THE MONEY!