Disappointed, but no real complaints about the defeat at Chelsea this weekend. We didn’t produce our best football and the Chelsea winner was genuine class; but something else is starting to leave a really nasty taste in my mouth. During the game, Rio Ferdinand was, as has been regularly the case recently, booed from all Chelsea sections of the ground purely because he has a brother who complained, with total justification, to have been on the receiving end of racial abuse from John Terry.
Rewind to those England fans last weekend. You could expect them, at a push, to direct their ire at Rio’s refusal to join up with the squad and write it off as yet another example of anti-United envy, but by choosing to chuck Anton onto the bonfire with them their little song transformed itself into a call for an old-style southern lynching. Taken together, the England chants and the Chelsea boos amount to nothing less than racism, pure and simple. Roy Hodgson’s refusal, when invited, to condemn the chants was the kind of weak response to such things that works just as well as a green light.
We can turn our backs and pretend to ourselves its demons were cast out years ago, but racism, I’m afraid, is back in English football and its nasty virus will continue to spread until someone closely involved with those perpetrating it has the guts to stand up to them – someone like Hodgson or Benitez who’s prepared to condemn the supporters and make it clear that neither club nor country finds the chants in any way acceptable. It’s the absence of any such uncompromising response that’s fanning the flames of what, before we know it, will be a fire it won’t be easy to get under control.
It all started, inevitably, with our friends at the other end of the East Lancs Road. Liverpool’s failure to condemn Luis Suarez’s racist language towards Patrice Evra was borne of weakness rather than institutional racism, but its effects were the same: gangs of youths roaming the city’s black communities in Suarez masks, thousands of abusive tweets to Kick Racism Out Of Football, the shouting of the word ‘Evra’ at random black people. It unleashed a latent racism that, let’s not kid ourselves, is thankfully largely absent from our grounds these days not because there are no racists present but because the rest of us have successfully made our repugnance towards them absolutely clear: those who partake in such behaviour are at source cowards who only feel able to express the products of their sub-average brains when they’ve got a mob around them. Liverpool, Chelsea and England are all guilty of allowing such mobs to form among their crowds and, in doing nothing in response to such appalling chants, they allow them to flourish.
Liverpool, Hodgson and the Chelsea board have all failed to make their opposition clear to it and sadly it looks unlikely they’ll ever do so. At least David Milliband has made a stance by resigning as vice-chairman Sunderland following the arrival of that little fascist Paolo di Canio at Sunderland. Full marks, for a change, to Mr Milliband, but rather more worrying are those condemning him for an over-reaction: Di Canio’s former boss Jeremy Wray seems to think you can keep this kind of odious politics apart from football and has criticised Milliband for making his stance. Such people have very short memories regarding the recent history of the game in this country.
As United fans, it may well falling to us, as usual, to show our fiece opposition to the English game falling into the hands of right-wing boot boys on the one hand and cowardly appeasers on the other. Our very vocal feelings towards what Terry and Suarez’s actions represent have already been made strongly. They may now, out of necessity, take on a deeper significance. Opposition against this worrying tendency needs to be heard and, if we have to do it on our own, that’s not an unusual situation for our club.. Outside of London, United are the only club in England whose support has a racial diversity that gets anywhere near to reflecting the ethnic mix of our country. Let’s do what the England national team appear completely unwillling to do: take the lead in setting the right standards for the rest of football to follow.
Article by Mark Nevin ( @DeepRedMark )
8 replies on “Chelsea and England Boo-Boys Show Their Real Colours”
Rio’s comments against Terry and Cole were pointed and were bound to result in Chelsea fan’s booing.
Rio’s piss taking over England was bound to result in booing from all England fans except apparently those brought up in Surrey and resident in the Shed today
Grow up – that’s not racism
Sorry waste of an article really. Ferdinand has been booed at Chelsea for years long before the incident with terry and Ferdinand Jnr. It’s quite simple why he’s disliked publicity serial adulterer, a drugs cheat and self publicist.
Having been given the chance to help his country when Hodgson needed him for one match effectively (Montenegro) he turned his back and excepted a 6 hour journey to commentate on the England game.
Stop trying to play the race card
Chelsea rentboys have always had racist fans, nothing knew there.
They dont sing for their team but they boo racially abused players, that sums their shit little club up.
Rio is spot on, it might be a greater honour than playing for the plastic chavski, but playing for England is nowhere near as much a privilege as playing for MUFC nor will it ever be and they hate that.
Gotta agree with Pete Borota’s comment. The abuse directed at R. Ferdinand is far removed from Racism. The fellow is a poor, much over-rated footballer and aside from his drugs cheating some time back – he’s a fuppin’ dick. Pure and simple. Classic case of believing his own P.R. Don’t hang dislike for a dick on Racism. That’s a cheap shot, too often availed of by Ferdinand and his ilk.
As a United fan I have never really grown to like Rio Ferdinand one bit. I think his off the park activities have cost United on occasions. His heart is in music and media and the restaurant business. It is one thing not playing for your country to rest your body but to then fly for hours like he did to be an expert commentator shows he is out of touch with the fans. He should have done the honest thing and retire from the national team instead as the whole world knows he is on his last legs as footballer.
Chelsea have a history for having racist fans that follow England all over the world but they booed Rio today because he decided not to play for England when he had the strength to travel a long way instead. His absence cost England dearly as I doubt they would have drawn the game like they did.
Maybe Sir Alex should demand that english players do not play for the national side as not that many United fans like England anyway. I also had to laugh at suggestions that United fans are the most ethnically diversed of all clubs and that United fans are more open to diversity than others. I have witnessed racism from local fans over the years and United fans are the most divided as they are represented all over the political spectrum. I know the local marxists however have their anti-racism and anti-nazi campaigns but they do not have as many friends as they think they do.
Why do fools fal in love ? Who ever dat write dis article should ask mikel what it is like to refuse ur country.
Lest it be forgotton, good Stevie G did all of the scousers proud when he praised the patriotic fans after the first England game.
Couple of points…
I think the build a bonfire song being taken as racism is a bit of a joke, we’ve sang put the scousers on the top and the city in the middle for years it’s just London FC and its fan boys showing their hate for Rio for not accepting a call that wasn’t there a year ago when a racist idiot got the call over him for ‘footballing reasons’ (not wanting to upset the FA). I don’t blame him for one minute.
As for Suarez masks and calling people Evra to insult them, sounds a bit jackanory to be honest. Especially roaming inner cities, most inner cities have many ethnicities and there is a lot of black families in Manchester London and Liverpool etc, I hardly imagine loads of white kids going round because of Suarez being racist as much as I hate the rat