FOOTBALL fans are fickle creatures and this was clearly illustrated over the weekend when both Manchester clubs secured wins to leave them in the top two spots in the Premier League.
It is only a few seeks since Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez were expressing dissatisfaction with their current employers and seeking pastures new.
Since both players are cult figures amongst supporters and enjoy obscenely lucrative contracts, their desire to move on produced a torrent of abuse and scorn from fans.
How dare they want to leave the best club in the world (either red or blue, depending on your Manchester allegiance)?
Eventually both Rooney and Tevez succumbed to pressure (or was that even more money?) and decided to remain where they are and no doubt it won’t be long before they are kissing the badge again (when that happens, do try and resist the urge to vomit).
On Sunday the two strikers were key figures as United beat Sunderland 2-0 at Old Trafford with Rooney in inspirational form and City won 3-1 at Newcastle with Tevez contributing two of the goals.
Already supporters and team-mates seem to have forgiven their little ‘blips’.
This is partly to do with the fact that Rooney and Tevez are exciting and creative goal-scorers and are quickly welcomed back into the fold if they find the back of the net or are directly responsible for someone else scoring.
For defenders and less flamboyant individuals this isn’t so easy. No-one remembers a powering header out of defence or a last-ditch tackle to foil a strike on goal. It’s not glamorous or sexy.
Yes, Rooney and Tevez are two gifted and extremely fortunate young men. They have the world at their feet and who cares if occasionally they throw a little strop.
But beware, once the goals dry up for good, you’ll soon be cast aside.
Whilst on the subject of Manchester United, it was interesting to see that rumours have been circulating that the tiny Gulf state of Qatar, which has already been chosen to host the 2022 World Cup (something which may involve disrupting the entire global football calendar to enable the event to be staged in the winter), has now been linked with a possible takeover bid for the Old Trafford club.
Reports suggest that oil-rich kingdom could splash out mega sums to buy United from their current owners, the American Glazer family.
That would leave both Manchester clubs in the hands of Arab owners with both parties keen to establish world dominance by splashing out millions of pounds on acquiring the best players on the planet.
Back in the real world, I read that fans at struggling League One side Plymouth Argyle have launched a campaign to raise money for the club’s backroom staff.
The Devon outfit are struggling to pay a £760,000 tax bill and non-playing employees received their November salaries late with fears the same could happen again.
“Within 12 hours we had £750,” campaign founder Ian Newell told BBC Spotlight. “It’s incredible, everybody has caught on with what we’re attempting to do.”
Newell launched the appeal through the fans website PASOTI (Plymouth Argyle Supporters on the Internet).
He said: “Cash in hand and in the bank account there’s about £1,500 so far, but I’ve got a feeling that it’s going to surpass £2,000.
“The Plymouth directors should hang their heads in shame for what has happened to this club and the way they have treated their staff.”