One doesn’t have to be a football fan to know about Manchester United. With 20 league titles and three European Cups, the club’s reputation precedes it. While it did have its moments decades ago, a lot of United’s success has come from recent achievements. It’s in fact the most successful club in the Premier League era and has been known for its consistency over the years. Their success didn’t come quick or easy however, it was a gradual process in which they slowly took over from Liverpool as the top English club in the 1990s. Their constant improvement meant that by the early 2000s, they had already solidified their status as one of the top clubs in English football. United soon became one of the most widely supported football teams in the world and the signing of star players like Cristiano Ronaldo raised the club’s profile even further.
However, the increase in the number of fans didn’t mean that everyone liked them. It seemed as though the more their status rose, the more hatred they seemed to pick up along the way. Liverpool fans certainly weren’t happy as United was now doing better than their team. Then came the early 2000s and Arsenal became their main rival, meaning Arsenal fans also began to dislike them. Their 19th league trophy pretty much summed up their dominance for they had now overtaken Liverpool who had 18. It goes without saying that Liverpool fans were far from pleased especially when you consider the fact that their club hadn’t yet claimed the title in the Premier League era. Thus United’s rise to the top had also coincided with it becoming one of the most hated clubs in English football. Here are the 15 reasons Manchester United are hated by so many people.
15 Theatre of Dreams
13 Fergie Time
12 Abnormal Luck
United have a history of grinding out unexpected wins. They’ve been in situations where they were about to lose a match only to come back and win it or salvage a draw, sometimes at the dying moments of a match. One notable example is their miraculous victory over Bayern Munich in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final where they were losing 1-0 only for them to score two goals in injury time.
11 Player Infidelities
10 Poaching of Players
9 Penalty Decisions
8 England’s World Cup and Euro Failures
1998 World Cup: David Beckham is sent off for kicking Argentina’s Diego Simeone. England is eliminated after Argentina wins the match on penalty kicks. Beckham is vilified by the English press and fans alike.
2006 World Cup: Wayne Rooney is sent off for a stamp on Portugal’s Ricardo Carvalho after plenty of persuasion from Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo winks towards the Portuguese bench and later scores the winning penalty in the shoot-out and England is eliminated. Ronaldo is thus disliked by English fans, including United supporters.
Euro 2012: Wayne Rooney is suspended for the first two matches and has a lacklustre display in the tournament. England is eliminated after losing the penalty shoot-out against Italy in the quarter-finals.
7 Sir Alex Ferguson
6 The Players
5 Lack of Competition
4 Team Affiliation
Some people support a team because of their parents/relatives, others due to a team’s geographical location, while some pick a team they feel they can relate to. What often happens is that once someone picks a team, they automatically start hating the teams considered to be their rivals. Thus a Liverpool fan won’t like Manchester United and vice versa.
3 Giant Killing Mentality
1 The Fans
United’s success over the years has garnered them a lot of fans. However, some of these fans are glory hunters who choose to support the most successful team. They also happen to be quite obnoxious and often tend to brag about their team’s victories to opposing fans. To make matters worse, some of them don’t know a thing about the club. While not all United fans are dislikable, those who are have certainly made the most contribution towards making people hate the club.
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