Oops.
Oops.

Just to be clear – no one loves laughing at City more than I do.

Their chronic inability to make any sort impression in Europe whatsoever is funny. Joe Hart appearing on every advert under the sun but failing to appear in the team, and then complaining about it, is amusing. The club’s Twitter account goading Francesco Totti about failing to score in England and then the Italian ramming it down their throats? Snigger.

I’m sure they won’t mind. After all, they’ve had plenty with which to laugh at our expense in the last year or so. As Rio Ferdinand might say, it’s all #bantz.

But on Twitter, Ferdinand decided to give City fans a kicking for not showing up in their droves to watch their team labour to an anaemic 1-1 draw last night.

Meanwhile Paul Scholes said on ITV:

“Tonight I don’t think there is [a special atmosphere]. I don’t think they realise what a big game this is… they’ve got the team, they’ve definitely got the players, the quality is definitely there, but do the crowd realise how lucky they are to be in this competition? I don’t think they do.”

Leaving aside the question of whether millionaires should be lecturing football fans, the irony, of course, is that the supporters who decided not to bother had the decision totally vindicated by City’s tepid showing.

It was the players and their increasingly confused-sounding manager, rather than the fans, who appeared not realise the importance of the occasion. (As the excellent City blog Bitter and Blue said today: “If Yaya doesn’t feel like tackling, can he let us know in advance?”).

For City fans, increased interest in the competition might come after the team actually figures out how to play in it and so-called leaders like Yaya Touré act like they give a damn about winning it.

Perhaps Scholes and Ferdinand should have a word with the guys getting paid to perform rather than the fans, many of whom can’t afford to buy tickets because of clowns like Touré. Fair play to them, they made the right decision.

***

Kick It Out Give Rio A Kicking

You can hardly blame Kick It Out, a body who employ a mix of staff and volunteers, for whaling on Ferdinand in an interview with the Guardian’s Daniel Taylor today.

Ferdinand (disclaimer: brilliant leader and player for United for years) has used his autobiography to throw the organisation under the bus and said:

  • Kick It Out were”useless”
  • that the organisation did not attend the courtroom during John Terry’s race trial (actually they did)
  • that his mother Janice, when she found out Kick It Out would not attend the trial en masse wearing campaign T-shirts, told them: “In that case, get out of my house, and don’t fucking come near us again.”. Kick It Out: There was never a meeting at the family home… and there is no recollection whatsoever of that outburst.

There is further confusion over whether Ferdinand himself actually showed up to the trial, with this passage in particular describing a bizarre situation:

“While the Chelsea chairman, Bruce Buck, was at the court every day, the irony is that Rio Ferdinand stayed away from the trial. Andy Impey, a former team-mate of Rio’s at West Ham, joined the family in court but that was essentially it apart from Kick It Out. The organisation had expected far more support and were surprised that QPR, Anton’s club at the time, did not send anyone to join them and that the Professional Footballers’ Association were only seen making a fleeting appearance one afternoon.”

Considering Ferdinand made a direct reference to being at court the whole episode is bizarre. The cynic would argue that Ferdinand is simply embellishing everything to maximise book sales and that sadly, is probably as close to the truth as this story will get.

What is undeniable, though, is that Kick It Out does great work from a crummy office with little funding, and does indeed deserve better.

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