Sir Matt Busby plaque removal is not disrespectful, people should not be offended


On Sunday reports surfaced about a plaque commemorating Sir Matt Busby being removed from the director’s box at the Old Trafford club. After looking into the facts myself, this relates to plaques on the seats given to the former manager after his retirement as the club’s manager. The plaques said ‘Busby Family’, at least after his death in 1994 anyway. Before that, they may have said Sir Matt Busby, like the seats for Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton, and former chairman Martin Edwards. Since the deaths of Busby’s children, Sandy and Sheena, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren greatly outnumber the seats the Busby family held at the club and Amanda Eustace, the daughter of Sandy Busby stated that they have season tickets, but she did not state whether they purchased them, or whether they were given to them by the club. Eustace was reported by the Manchester Evening News as saying:

“My dad always said it was a privilege to have those box tickets. We have been extremely grateful to United for what they have given us over the past years.

“We do still have season tickets, which is absolutely fantastic.”

Amanda Eustace spoke about her father saying it was a privilege to have the seats in the director’s box, which it was. The fact that surviving members of the Busby family are still present at Old Trafford is great, but things do change, which seems to be the case here. Many seem to be offended that the plaques have been removed from the four seats, which many say were sat in by Busby himself, with the seats being replaced around a decade ago, twelve years after Busby’s death, which suggests the seats were never sat in by Busby himself, just his son, daughter and other family members. This seems to have been reported on a sensationalist stage, which we all know offends some, and others carry on regardless. I have seen people suggesting that as they are an aged Manchester United supporter, it will hurt them more than others, which is garbage, for want of a better word. A plaque on a seat means nothing at the end of the day. People seem to be offended by the fact it was reported about this weekend, with the club saying nothing. That is something I find very pathetic. People are quick to slate the newspapers for the sensationalist garbage they print sometimes, but seem to adopt a ‘double standard’ for things like this, which are sensationalist.

Because I do not agree with the whole petition on this matter, I have been called immature, a fake fan, a little boy who knows nothing about Manchester United and a glory seeker. That is something I find very pathetic. I am 37, so clearly am not a little boy. As for being a glory-seeker, just because I do not share an opinion, are you sure I am the immature one? Sir Matt Busby was a great manager for Manchester United, he managed the Busby Babes before their demise, which at the time could have been the end for him too. He then, albeit a decade later, won what he could have won back in 1958 – the European Cup, a feat at the time and the first English club to win the trophy. Busby has a statue outside the East Stand at Old Trafford, that alone shows that the club respects him and what he did for the club during both management stints at the club. Sir Alex Ferguson has a statue too, and a stand named after him, which is the same for Sir Bobby Charlton, who last season saw the South Stand named the Sir Bobby Charlton stand. Along with George Best and Denis Law, Charlton has a statue outside Old Trafford, opposite Sir Matt Busby. Law also has a statue within the Stretford End, which I feel gives the respect due for all concerned here. I have not yet mentioned Sir Matt Busby Way and Sir Alex Ferguson Way, which were renamed by Trafford Borough Council to show respect to two managers that should be remembered forever.

Now we go back to the plaques on the seats. This is within the director’s box, an area where directors and their families sit. Sir Matt Busby is no longer a director of the club and with the fact that both of his children are dead too, I stand with the club in the fact that there would be no fair way to give these four seats to a surviving Busby family member. I am sorry if my opinion offends you, but it is an opinion that has been attained down to me actually looking into what has happened here, not an opinion chosen after reading a newspaper article, which is something that many have adopted. I have seen comments which state that many influential men and women have sat in the director’s box over the years at Old Trafford. That is true, but once they are deceased and they have no remaining family members, are their names left on the seats at Old Trafford, or are they removed for new directors to fill?

Thing is, many have automatically jumped onto ‘offended’ bandwagon here. I don’t know why people feel they know things much better than the club, but they don’t. These people cannot influence the decisions taken by the club, but they think by creating a petition, they can. Petitions do not solve anything. They allow people of the same frame of mind to get together and show concern, but do they get these people what they want? The majority of the time the answer will be no! It would seem that people do not know the truth in this story, only what they have read in the newspapers, which seem to have a track record of criticising everything Manchester United do, yet other clubs, who do similar things seem not to get the headlines United do. That is down to United making things attractive for the newspapers. If you read a headline which slated another club, one not as big as United, would it be a popular story? The words Manchester United make it marketable for everyone, even the supporters that hate the club and those who do not have any interest in the sport.

Over the years, things change, which seems to be something that people are afraid of. Change is something that needs to happen. Sir Matt Busby is no longer a director at the club. I am sure that he would not be offended by what is happening. There have been times in the past where director’s names have been removed from seats within the director’s box, and in the future, the same will happen with Ferguson, Charlton, Edwards et al. The club will always have new directors stepping into the roles once filled by others. They will still need seats in the director’s box. These people that are offended by this situation may need to think about the times this has happened in the past, the times it will happen in the future. If names were left on the seats of former director’s who are no longer with us, with these seats left for them in respect, where would the new director’s be seated within the stadium? Some may feel that this is pathetic, trivial, but it is a question. By holding onto the past, you are neglecting the future. It is not as if Manchester United are obliterating everything in the name of Sir Matt Busby at the club. His statue is still there, his name on the road Old Trafford sits on is still there. If you go into the Museum at Old Trafford, you will still find his name and his successes woven into the history of the club. Sir Matt Busby and Manchester United will always be remembered, as will any of the successful players and manager’s to grace the club both before and after Busby. Memories can never be taken away, but sometimes the club needs to do things like this, which is not something that is done to disgrace itself, the family, friends or even the clubs supporters.

Manchester United supporters have the motto ‘hated, adored, never ignored’ and use the motto ‘offended by everything’ for a certain club not a million miles away. Some United supporters need to be careful as to which motto describes them!

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