Sunday, March 04, 2007

Football and Work!

Old Trafford - 'Theatre of Dreams' - home of Manchester United

St James Park - home of Newcastle United

This coming week I am visiting two Premiership Football Stadiums. One for work and one definitely for pleasure!

Tomorrow (Monday) I am working as one of six facilitators at a major National Health Service consultation with Chief Executives and other Senior Managers in the North East Region of England. It will mean a long trip for me up to Newcastle and the meeting is being held at St James Park - home of Newcastle United Football Club. It is reckoned to be one of the best stadiums in Britain and I am looking forward to seeing the stadium. .... Oh .. nearly forgot ... and the work looks interesting too.

Then on Wednesday evening it is the big one.

I am going to the Theatre of Dreams - Old Trafford, Manchester – home of my beloved Manchester United.

I am going along with my son Duncan - also a Man United fan - and a couple of his friends.

The last time I actually watched a match at Old Trafford was 17th April 1990 – I remember it so well because it was his 14th birthday present and we stood on the Stretford End among a crowd of 63,000 fans.

Nowadays Old Trafford holds about 78,000 fans and it is an ‘all seater’ stadium. It is considered the best football stadium in Britain and it is the biggest although when the new Wembley Stadium in London opens later this year that will become the biggest stadium in Britain.

One of the trends of the last few years has been the 'opening up' of football stadiums for business meetings, conferences etc. and that is a marvellous use of stadiums that would otherwise be standing idle all week apart from one or two matches per week which last 90 minutes each.

But of course the main purpose of football stadiums is to watch our favourite team 'do the business.'

Manchester United will be playing the French club Lille on Wednesday evening and I am excited about being one of the 78,000 people inside the stadium, to enjoy the atmosphere.

Come on United!!!


David Wike said...

Typical Manchester United! Theatre of Dreams indeed! Still, I suppose that you have to dream about becoming as successful as Liverpool in the premier European competition. Mind you, your two wins isn’t bad – just three less than our five! And you aren’t doing too badly in the domestic league either – assuming that you go on to win the title this year, you will be up to 16 championships, so only two behind us!

So rather than Theatre of Dreams, the sign at Liverpool more modestly proclaims, ‘This is Anfield’.

Enjoy your visit to Manchester tomorrow and good luck. Hopefully it should be a formality for you to join us in the next round. I’ll leave the final word to the incomparable Bill Shankly who, nearly 50 years ago arrived as manager and started to build the legend that is Liverpool football club today.

On hearing that Lou Macari had snubbed Liverpool in favour of joining Manchester United, he was moved to comment, “He couldn't play anyway. I only wanted him for the reserve team!"

Trevor Gay said...

Well done David - great that Liverpool reached the last eight - good for English football.

I prefer to live in the present rather than the past when it comes to winning league championships - how many years since Liverpool won the league title?? - err ... let me consult my record ... ah yes 1989/90 – only 17 yers ago - my recall is not that good. Since 1990 I have lost count how many times United have won the Premiership – I suspect it is about 9 times! – but it is such a common occurrence for us United fans it gets a bit boring to constantly win things. And of course we remain far and away the most popular English Club and the only club with a world wide appeal.

But I do grant you Liverpool were once a good team – my Grandad –before he died used to tell me how good they were :-)

‘Shanks’ was indeed a true character and came out with some wonderful quotes. I remember him saying ‘Paddy Crerand is deceptive – he is slower than he looks’ - wonderful

Anonymous said...

Come on toon army.

Unlike Manchester Untited, they just goes from season to season and doe not win anything, yet they have support that is unbelivable.
I know a couple of Man U supporters, who live in Middlesbrough, as far as I am concerned, they are just "Glory Followers", they support the teams that win.
No Glory Supporters at St James Park, they are in it for life, good or bad.


Trevor Gay said...

Hi Mark– thanks for that comment and thanks for visiting Simplicity Blog

I admire Newcastle supporters and my visit to St James Park last Monday was great. It is a fabulous stadium. You guys deserve to win something – I hope you win the EUFA Cup this year!

There are a lot of fans who support Man United simply because they are winning and the same applies to Chelsea these days.
I have been a United supporter since I was 11 years old in 1963 so after 43 years I don’t think I can be accused of being a glory hunter!

United went 26 years without wining the title and I stuck with United through that time. Once a fan always a fan in my opinion.

jonjon said...

Should there be a Salary Cap in Football?
Personally I think there should be! It’s just getting to be stupid money in football at the top of the premiership!
It’s always the same teams at the top proving that football success is based purely on money which ruins the idea of it being a sport! They’ve done it in rugby, basketball, hockey and American football and it makes the sports more competitive and better to watch!
I do a little Spread Betting (or more precisely Football Spread Betting) from time to time and most matches don’t hold much surprise who is going to win, its boring! I want to see a team at the bottom pulling off an amazing season beating last seasons winners in a close fought battle!
Make things fair! It shouldn’t be about money!