Liverpool: 10 Reasons Fans Hate Manchester United
The two greatest clubs in the history of English football have long been rivals, but the reasons for such a hatred between the fans is something that stems beyond the relative success of both teams.
Anfield and Old Trafford are a measly 33 miles apart. Close enough to be rivals, and yet far enough away to never mix.
Both clubs have their own local rivals—Liverpool share Stanley Park with Everton, whilst Manchester is split between United and City—but the proximity of these rivals make it difficult to truly hate their fans.
Liverpool fans live and work amongst Everton fans. We see them, interact with them and work with them every day of the week. They are friends, family members and drinking buddies. They hail from the same city, and so its very hard for football to be anything more than a bit of harmless banter.
United, however, are far enough away that they are very different people, from a different city.
Liverpudlians don't mix with them, never see them and don't work with them. Mancunians are a different breed. They might be from the same County, but they may as well be from a different world.
Different dialect, different accents and different allegiances when it comes to football makes it is easy to hate United fans.
9. Glory Supporters
Manchester United have one of the biggest fanbases in the world with a stadium filled with over 70,000 fans each week, and a huge global network of supporters spread across every continent.
But how many of them are actually true Manchester United fans?
Back when the Premier League started, Old Trafford held just over 40,000—a very similar size to Anfield—and yet the average attendance in Manchester was just 33,898. They couldn't even fill the stadium 20 years ago, and yet now they sell 70,000 tickets for every game.
United have been lucky that their recent period of success has coincided with the globalisation of the Premier League, and the modernisation of football into family entertainment—bringing in droves of glory supporters in the process.
These "new" fans have started following United purely because of their playing success on the field, and their marketing prowess off it. These glory supporters are infuriating, lacking in any real knowledge or passion and without any respect for the past.
These fans drive Liverpool nuts.
8. They Are Incredibly Lucky
Liverpool are the most successful club in English football when all is accounted for.
Alright, Manchester may now have 19 league titles, but Liverpool have been crowned the best team in Europe five times, as well as winning the UEFA Cup three times.
Where Manchester United have been incredibly lucky is there timing.
Whilst Liverpool had one of the greatest teams ever, and stayed at the top of the game in both domestic football and European football for much of the 70's and 80's, it is United who take the plaudits.
Manchester United's success, as impressive as it may be, is only just becoming as prolonged as Liverpool in the 70's and 80's, and yet they have become a global phenomenon.
The reason? Luck.
When the Premier League and Sky TV came along, football changed forever. No longer was football a small-time sport; it became a big multi-national business. The European Cup changed to the Champions League, and United had the stage set.
Having gone 26 years without a league title, Sir Alex Ferguson took over and United couldn't have been any luckier with their timing. Their success and the modern media have allowed them to build a global brand that has seen them recognised as "the best in England" by many around the world.
Fact is they are the best at the minute, not the best there has been.
They may well be close to Liverpool, but until they can prove themselves in Europe in the way Liverpool did, they won't be the best.
The rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester started long before the success of either Manchester United or Liverpool as football clubs. It began during the industrial revolution.
During the 1800's both Liverpool and Manchester dominated the Northwest of England for different reasons. Liverpool, on the banks of the Mersey, had a prolific port that provided a huge amount of jobs and revenues for the City.
Manchester, 40 miles away from the Irish Sea, was famous for the textile industry with hundreds of textile and fabric mills all over the city.
The business brains of Manchester felt aggrieved at having to import and export everything via Liverpool, and so at the back end of the century, work began on the Manchester ship canal.
Opening in 1894, the canal meant ships could bypass Liverpool and trade directly with Manchester, and for a time, Manchester—a "landlocked" city—became the third busiest port in England.
The canal strained relations between the people of Liverpool and Manchester, and helped set the scene for a long history of hatred between the two sets of fans.
6. Referee Decisions
Sir Alex Ferguson has turned United into a team that gets it own way all the time. His, and his teams constant abuse towards referees has led to United getting plenty of favourable decisions in his time.
From standing on the touchline with a stopwatch, to making comments in the media, Ferguson has created an aura around Manchester United—pressurising referee's and the FA to ensure he get's his own way.
Be it lenient bans and suspensions, or referees feeling pressure to make decisions that they probably wouldn't normally, United seem to get their way a lot more times than they don't.
That's not to suggest they, or the referees cheat, but the behaviour of Manchester United and it's players towards referees puts them under so much pressure that it's easy to see how mistakes are made.
United need to show some respect, then maybe the rest of England will show them some.
5. Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney—England and Manchester United superstar—began his career at Everton, on the wrong side of Stanley Park.
Wearing the blue of Everton is never going to win you many fans, but then moving on to Manchester United is going to ensure you lose the few you do have.
But Rooney wasn't content with just playing for fierce rivals; He has made sure Liverpool fans know exactly what he thinks of them.
In a 2009 interview, Rooney claimed he had always been an Everton fan, and that he grew up "hating Liverpool," continuing on to remind the world that his attitude towards the Reds "hasn't changed" over the years.
Rooney is known to be a hotheaded character with a short fuse, and even his manager Sir Alex Ferguson is aware of the abuse he gets when playing at Anfield—highlighted by his decision to leave him out of the team in the recent Premier League clash in Liverpool.
Wayne, the feeling is mutual.
4. They're a One Man Show
Sir Alex Ferguson, without him Manchester United would be nothing. It is that simple; the entire success of Manchester United is down to Sir Alex Ferguson.
United are a big club, there is no doubt about that. But the reality is they are not a superpower in football like Liverpool. The success of Liverpool was not merely the work of a single manager, but spanned across four different men—Shankly, Paisley, Fagan and Dalglish.
And in the times where Liverpool were not winning league titles they have remained a force in English and European football, always challenging in the top four or five spots of the Premier League, and winning trophies, including the Champions League, FA Cup and UEFA Cup.
It was not until the arrival of Sir Alex Ferguson that United were even considered a threat to Liverpool's record number of trophies. Even Sir Alex has taken 25 years to get level with the Reds.
Manchester United might now have the record number of titles, but had they not been able to secure the services of Sir Alex, then the club would almost certainly be nowhere near Liverpool.
It is far better to have consistency and remain a big club than to fluctuate up and down with every manager.
In recent years, Manchester United have caught, and even surpassed Liverpool's record number of domestic trophies (although they haven't made much progress in terms of Europe!). This gradual catching up has made the rivalry somewhat more intense.
Liverpool fans have always had the ultimate comeback: that we have more titles than you. But now that has gone, and the Manchester United fans have made sure we all of Liverpool knows about it.
With even the club displaying on the outside of Old Trafford a '19' logo to represent the fact Manchester have now won 19 titles, one more than Liverpool.
The fact that since the start of the Premier League in 1992 Liverpool have had to live in the shadow of Manchester United somewhat is very hard to admit, but an honest Liverpool fan would be quick to say it only increases their hatred for Manchester United by seeing them win more and more trophies.
2. The Players
Well the players hardly set a good example do they. Fighting, arguing and making rash claims about the behaviour of others on the field.
With players like Gary Neville provoking Liverpool fans by celebrating in front of them and gesturing towards them; Paul Scholes making claims recently that there is a divide between the players from United and Liverpool when they are in the England camp; the players make things a whole lot worse.
And it is usually the United players causing all the problems.
1. Hillsborough and Heysel Songs
Hillsborough and Heysel are two terrible disasters that will never be forgotten by anyone at Liverpool or Juventus fans, or anyone involved in either club.
These incidents in Liverpool's history are beyond football. People lost their lives in tragic accidents that had nothing to do with football.
So when Manchester United fans sing sickening songs about the people who lost their lives, it's crossing the line. Liverpool fans cannot claim complete innocence in this area, and they have in the past sang terrible songs about the Munich disaster that affected Manchester United. Both sets of fans are in the wrong here, no doubt about that.
United fans got themselves in hot water singing disgusting songs about the disasters, and prompting a negative response from almost everyone involved. This included Liverpool legend John Aldridge, who was part of the Liverpool squad at the time of the Hillsborough disaster.