MURDOCH'S BUCCANEERING half-billion pound bid to buy United, if successful, could not only let him retain the whip hand over TV soccer, but also give him a golden stake in the running of any football superleague. By the cold logic of the stock market it is difficult to condemn Murcoch's bid. Even so our hearts go out to those many football fans who fear that this takeover could serve only to accelerate the transformation of their traditional sport into a ruthlessly manipulated branch of showbiz.
THERE WILL be no pretence of enthusiasm for the club itself. This is hard commerce. Some might argue that the destruction of old soccer culture, with its tribalism and violence, is no bad thing. But the new culture nurtured by Murdoch's tabloid press is hardly any better. It is far more exploitative of the gullible punter. It draws support away from league and non-league layers of the soccer pyramid below the pinnacle of super clubs. And it produces a thoroughly second rate national team, in which media relations seem to play a bigger part than fitness and goal-scoring.
The Daily Telegraph
THAT MANY will have misgivings about Rupert Murdoch's perceived hold on English sport is inevitable. But for United fans to rail against the takeover is like a group of lottery winners covering their ears when Camelot rings with the good news. It is for the rest of football to worry. United supporters should sit back and enjoy the ride.
CAN MURDOCH be stopped? Don't expect strong protests from the Football Association, one of the most ineffective and incompetently run institutions in the kingdom. The football authorities will probably follow their usual policy when faced with big issues, and do nothing - or sweet FA, as Murdoch might put it.
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