United fans fly plane over Old Trafford calling for Moyes to be sacked
David Moyes’ traumatic reign in charge of Manchester United took a chilling turn for the worse this lunchtime after an aeroplane flew over Old Trafford carrying a banner that the manager should be sacked.
Disgruntled suppporters paid in excess of £800 for a plane to fly over Old Trafford in the opening moments of Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa carrying the message ‘Wrong One — Moyes Out’ in red lettering.
A second plane hovered over the stadium moments after, with bookmakers Paddy Power grabbing their slice of the publicity with a banner offering odds for the return of Sir Alex Ferguson to the managerial hot seat.
Sending out a message: The plane was greeted by audible boos as it flew over Old Trafford
Watching on: Former manager Sir Alex Ferguson takes his seat in the stands at Old Trafford ahead of the match
Arrival: Manchester United manager David Moyes walks out on his own to applause from the crowd
Support: Moyes receives a hug from a fan in the crowd as he arrives at the home dugout
Get the message: David Moyes is being targeted by fans because of United’s woeful season
Grounds for concern: The plane will fly over Old Trafford during Saturday’s match against Aston Villa
Keeping watch: The David Moyes banner will stay up at Old Trafford for now
Contrast: Moyes (left) holds his head in his hands as the Manchester City bench go wild in the derby
IT’S STAYING UP
In an attempt to swing the pendulum back his way, Moyes took the unusual step of emerging from the Old Trafford tunnel two minutes before the players and received a positive acclaim from the United fans inside the stadium.
The crass aeroplane stunt marked a response to the refusal of Stretford End Flags (SEF) – who create and place the flags and banners at Old Trafford – to take down ‘The Chosen One’ banner that hangs on the upper tier of the Stretford End.
It is understood that several fans’ groups have formally lobbied SEF to remove the banner as a means of demonstrating the supporters’ discontent with the managerial regime.
Former United captain Gary Neville pleaded with the organisers to call off the stunt on Saturday morning, taking to his Twitter account to say: ‘Manchester United fans have been classy all season in support of the team/manager when it’s been poor. This stunt let’s all our fans down!’
‘In protest at the protest every united fan should sing DM name or boo for the entire stunt!!!’
United supporters have, until now, been remarkably supportive of the team this season but recent embarrassing defeats by Liverpool and Manchester City have proved one step too far for a growing number at Old Trafford.
United have lost 10 Premier League matches in a single season for the first time and barring a miracle, the supporters will also be deprived of UEFA Champions League football next season. There were also haunting cup exits at home to Swansea and Sunderland for the rank-and-file to contend with.
Discontent: One supporter looks angry as he passes Moyes and his staff
Tuesday’s 3-0 loss at home to neighbours Manchester City provoked a furious reaction among a minority of United supporters, with some near manager David Moyes having to be restrained by stewards and others directing their anger at Ferguson, apparently for his role in appointing his successor.
A spectator bounded down the steps from his seat in the south stand to shout at Moyes and had to be restrained and escorted away by security staff.
At the end of the match, a line of stewards in bright fluorescent jackets were forced to stand guard in front of the ‘Chosen One’ banner to prevent against any insurrection.
Taunt: Millwall fans mock West Ham with this message about Avram Grant after the Hammers’ relegation
THE STATEMENT IN FULL
To whom it may concern,
The decision to fly a plane over Old Trafford bearing the slogan ‘Wrong One: Moyes Out’ is one borne out of acute frustration – frustration at the poor results, lack of fight on the pitch and the unavoidable signs that David Moyes isn’t up to the highest standards required to manage Manchester United Football Club. A significant proportion of Manchester United fans have had enough and unequivocally want David Moyes sacked.
Further frustration has been created from the inaccurate perception that all Manchester United fans are behind David Moyes. A banner erected by Stretford End flags, that dubs David Moyes the ‘Chosen One’ (ludicrously prematurely into his career at United), suggests that all Manchester United fans are supportive of Moyes which isn’t accurate. The plane and banner which will fly over the stadium this Saturday attempts to directly counter this very unpopular banner with the words ‘Wrong One’ and the ‘Moyes Out’ wording is our statement of what a significant group of Manchester United fans want to happen next at our club.
This isn’t a reaction because we aren’t getting our own way in terms of winning games. There is neither sufficient time or space to list the unwanted records set by the club this season under Moyes stewardship. We cannot have a manager who thinks it is acceptable to call our major rivals “favourites” when they play us at Old Trafford. It is a betrayal of the club’s ethos, a betrayal of the players and a betrayal of the fan’s support. We want a manager who understands and embraces our attacking traditions and has a vision of confidence for the future, not a manager who seems to be completely disassociated and visibly uncomfortable with the fact that he is the manager of Manchester United.
The plane is due to fly over the stadium 10 minutes prior to KO and for the first 5 minutes of the game.
Source : Daily Mail