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 Andy Mitten's article in MEN - good read

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Rahul
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PostSubject: Andy Mitten's article in MEN - good read   Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:20 pm

That Wayne Rooney chose to watch an academy game at Carrington on Saturday, two days after being spotted struggling to walk, shouldn't surprise anyone.

Rooney is content at United and won't move to Madrid this summer, partly because he's happy in a stable football environment which is so much more than about playing for the first team.

I once interviewed Kevin Keegan when he was at his Newcastle peak. "This is a football club," he observed, "Manchester United is an institution."

It was a compliment of sorts but Keegan was also fiercely proud of the `family' club he had taken over.

I watched him walk down the corridor greeting the cleaning ladies and the office staff by name.

The thing is, Keegan was wrong. Sir Alex Ferguson has created a similar culture at Old Trafford, which belies the faceless corporate stereotype.

It isn't possible for him to remember the names of all 500 staff at the club, including Old Trafford and London's Pall Mall, but he sets the homely and inclusive tone at his Carrington fiefdom.

The personable Scot switches on his warm and genuine smile when he runs into staff and used to eat his Weetabix with the laundry ladies at Old Trafford who adored him.

United can be cast as an uncaring business empire which can't do right for doing wrong with fans.

The ruling Glazer family are loathed by many fans but at the heart of the club remains a strong family unit and nobody does more to encourage that than Fergie.

Picture the scene at Carrington one morning a couple of weeks ago, where the manager was surrounded by 17 terminally ill kids enjoying a dream day organised by the United Foundation. Then the players came to meet the visitors - all of them. That happens three times a year. Watching the commotion was Kath, the receptionist who has been at the club for over 40 years.

There are countless good people who have worked at United for decades, hard- working locals who have played their part in the club's rise.

Many are less than enamoured with the owners but value their jobs more than the need to speak out. Love United, hate the Glazers.

Football clubs' charity and community work is nothing new but United do plenty which doesn't get any coverage.

Like when MUDSA, United's excellently run disabled supporters' association, were struggling to raise funds to organise a plane for wheelchair users and their carers to the 1999 European Cup final.

A public appeal was made, and several journalists sensed the potential for mud-slinging. Hearing of the £5,000 shortfall, United couriered the money direct to the organiser within hours. One journalist sighed when he heard the outcome.

"What's that about?" asked the organiser. "It's a good story."

"You don't understand," said the hack. "If they hadn't given you the money it would have been a great story." And with that, he hung up.

Fifty-five Reds and their carers made it the largest group of disabled supporters to attend an away game in the history of European football.

That was beaten when 114 travelled to Moscow in `08, 137 to Rome in '09 - both with considerable assistance from the club.

Ferguson knows how to make guests feel very welcome. Ken Barnes, the former City legend, was a visitor a few years ago.

"See this man," he told Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs, "neither of you two will ever be good enough to lace his boots. Go and get him some toast."

It was said with a wry smile but nevertheless demonstrated Ferguson's credo. When he decides to empty his desk and buy a string of successful racehorses, United risk losing far more than most people imagine.

ANDY MITTEN -Manchester Evening News

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Nice read. Will really miss Fergie when he goes.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Mitten's article in MEN - good read   Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:29 am

The spirit of Manchester United and Sir Alex ferguson wink
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Mitten's article in MEN - good read   Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:39 am

Yup. Thats what allows a manager to be in place for a looong time as SAF. It's all family. Sort of.
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PostSubject: Re: Andy Mitten's article in MEN - good read   Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:39 pm

Except the fucking glazers who are like the massive pain in the arse landlords. The only difference being they own us without being able to afford us.
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