Sports Letter: Free hit at the high and mighty

MR JOHN HYDE'S letter (5 May) suggesting that so-called top Premiership teams should not have to play lesser lights like Nottingham Forest and Charlton, provoked a powerful response from readers. Here is a selection...
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The Independent Online
Sir: I read the letter from yet another devoted Manchester United fan not living anywhere near Manchester and reacted with anger. In it he claims that it is not worth playing Blackburn, Nottingham Forest or Charlton. I assume that the list might include Southampton and Everton.

These remarks show that his smug arrogance is only matched by his astonishing ignorance. I would suggest that he consult his history books where he would find that nearly all clubs have, at some time, been "a waste of time playing", including his own choice of club.

I would like to remind him that Nottingham Forest have won the Europoean Cup more times than Manchester United, that Everton were the dominant team of the late Eighties and that Blackburn were League winners not too long ago. Going way back, there was even a time when Charlton fans could have thought that playing Manchester United was a waste of time.

The most crucial lesson that needs to be taught to an awful lot of smug supporters is that there are cycles of success and failure. The Premiership is not a convenient vehicle for the well-heeled to be placed automatically in Europe. The other clubs in the League are not there simply to make up numbers or be nurseries for one club.

PAUL BYATT

London

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