Leaders around the world have resolutely condemned the annexation of Manchester United football club by Liverpool FC despite a hastily held referendum showing 95.5% support among the Man U fans for secession to its more powerful neighbour.
‘The vote is completely illegal,’ said one United fan who still thinks Wayne Rooney is quite good. ‘But actually if it means we get closer ties with Europe then, on balance, ‘like’, I’m all for it.’
There has been discontent since a new leader was undemocratically appointed at Old Trafford who many now see as incapable of maintaining unity among supporters from the club’s vast geographical base which stretches as far afield as Surrey. ‘I was going to give it all up and emigrate to Wycombe Wanderers,’ said one despairing fan from Guildford, ‘but I can stick with it now. I truly believe being part of Liverpool gives my children the best hope for the future.’
In the late hours of Sunday night, heavy-armed men surrounded strategic sites around Old Trafford, insisting they were only there to protect the well-being of the many who wanted to switch allegiance, and throwing a defensive cordon around the pie van.
‘They don’t have any identification and they’re not wearing team colours, but then they try to sell you kitchen implements you don’t need, crack loads of jokes and, if anything gets heated, repeatedly tell everyone to calm down,’ said Old Trafford groundsman Bert Trout, who had become increasingly concerned about the direction the club was taking. ‘They can deny it all they like but the whips, the furry hats, the false number plates; they’re obviously Scousers. Thank God someone who knows what they’re doing is here to sort this mess out.’
While relieved to be free of the old regime, some of the Manchester fans admitted to unease and apprehension for any trophy success this year. The global tension tangibly lifted when Liverpool insisted that Man Utd would still have a great deal of autonomy and installed Ken Dodd as new interim manager.