Football: States United in Their Apathy for Our Game; MAN UTD LEGEND AND EX-COACH OF NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

The Mirror (London, England), February 8, 2001 | Go to article overview

Football: States United in Their Apathy for Our Game; MAN UTD LEGEND AND EX-COACH OF NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION


Byline: Frank Stapleton Interview: MARTIN ROGERS

MANCHESTER UNITED will be in for a shock if they think they are going to take over the American sports market after linking up with the New York Yankees.

Football, or soccer as the Yanks like to call it, is still very much a second-class sport in the eyes of most fans.

David Beckham and Roy Keane may be household names in this country, but over there they are virtual unknowns.

Among everyday Americans, no-one cares about the sport on a professional level.

And they will almost certainly have no interest in Manchester United.

Americans can be quite insular. They feel they have everything they need and are not easily affected by the international scene. They dictate to the world and are happiest that way - they like to be top dog.

It is like the World Series that the Yankees have won three of the past four years. They are called the world champions, but no other countries compete in it!

It is like the Crufts dog show, they say it is the best in the world - but they can't have dogs from other countries because of the quarantine!

There is a large immigrant population in America who are soccer crazy and will know about United.

But sport over there is dominated by the Big Four - American Football, basketball, baseball and, to a lesser extent, ice hockey.

Football's participation levels are at an all-time high, but that doesn't mean the game is likely to break into the mainstream spectator market any time soon. …

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