Football’s pathetic omertas only serve to benefit those with real power | Marina Hyde
The elastic and corrosive concept of ‘respect’ is rife in football – the one set of people this cosy approach never serves is the fans
With barely a column inch or broadcast second devoted to the fallout of Manchester United’s 4-0 defeat to Everton on Saturday, you may find yourself completely in the dark as to how the reaction is unfolding. If so, allow me to assist. There is a general sense that Manchester United might care to raise its head from the pillow provided by its official global mattress and pillow partner, put down the glass of red furnished by its official wine partner, turn its back firmly on the suggestions of its official global lubricant partner, and consider whether – if there really are no commercial worlds left to conquer – it could be time to consider engaging once more with its official football partner.
Commentators have found various ways of communicating this broad message. Perhaps the most eye-catching take came from former United defender Gary Neville, who delivered a lengthy and furious diatribe on the underperforming team on Sky Sports in the wake of the game. When the Sky Sports anchor suggested to him it was high time for specifics, however, Neville rather clammed up. “I don’t need to name names,” he judged. “Everyone knows who they are. They’re in the newspapers every day, they’re on social media every single day.”