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City of Lost Souls


To support Manchester City is to believe that God might have trouble running things on this planet, but he's in control of the next world. He has to be. The Devil rules this world and always will, because his team are Manchester United, and they are world famous and monolithic.

Manchester City, who's name travels the world about as well as Gracie Fields or Pulp, are on the side of the angels; the poor, sapped, unfortunate angels who still believe in quaint antiquated notions of earthly good. To support Manchester City is to accept with heroic willingness the dead-flat that the universe is cold and hostile, and nothing good will become of it. To support City is to tackle head on the crushing pointlessness of existence and to attempt to make something of it. It is hard work. So why do it? Because somehow this seems ultimately more dignified and fulfilling than taking the easy way out and supporting the lulling and obnoxious United.

To support United is too easy. It's convenience supporting. It makes life too easy. There is no challenge. It is a cowardly form of escapism, a sell-out to the forces of evil. United fans have no soul and will spend their eternity neck deep in boiling vomit. City fans retain their soul and will spend their eternity forever reliving the moment their team beat Newcastle 4-3 away from home to win the League Championship in 1968, beating United into second place. Surely we will have such eternal bliss again, for why do we spend so much time suffering in this life watching our team climb to the summit only so that we can watch them dive, dive, dive to their pitiless bottom of the heap while United, of Manchester, but nothing really to do with it, float every more triumphantly skywards?

Heartless United are the incarnation of shamelessness and to support them is heroism in a can. Cavalier City, however awry their football, however dire their straits, glow with something mystical and transcendental. City have soul. United do not.

When they are great again, City will have shown that they are worth their extraordinary fans. To this day these fans will walk a million miles for one of Joe Mercer's smiles. They'll sing a million songs waiting for some new Mercer-like magic. Because they are City, and Christ do they know they're born.

Paul Morley
November 1998