Manchester City Football Club was forced to issue an apology to Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson today. This was following the Man City victory parade, that saw City striker Carlos Tevez brandish a sign that read ‘RIP Fergie,’ a reference to the United boss. The sign was apparently handed to him by a fan.
But is this not an overreaction to a simple bit of fun-poking? After all, the sign may have been a reference to a remark made by Ferguson three years ago. When asked if United would ever be underdogs against City, he replied; “Not in my lifetime.”
Man Utd fans on the #ripfergie hashtag certainly didn’t think it was laughing matter, with many berating City as a bunch morons with no class. Other tweeters bemoaned the apparent loss of a popstar. But they had the wrong Fergie.
Given the disgraceful examples of racism we have seen this year from leading footballers, I can’t see what all the fuss is about with this particular incident. Given the endemic homophobia on the terraces, and even from players and management, this sign hardly qualifies as a PR fail of epic proportions.
If football is going to sort out its image problem, it first needs to sort out its priorities.