If you ever wondered about, or doubted, just how intense the rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City is, this should be a good indication.
Today it has been revealed that some builders working on Manchester City’s $200 million Etihad campus — being built for the first team and academy sides — have been told they can’t wear Manchester United jerseys to work.
The ruling has come after staff working at the 80-acre site were told soccer shirts were now banned and anyone seen wearing a jersey could be fired. Two workers were ordered to take off their United shirts as construction on City’s new training ground continued at the Ashton New Road site.
And now that incident has sparked the ruling which will see no soccer jerseys on display. Due to recent warm weather in Manchester, builders have been wearing retro Manchester United shirts amongst others. But it is alleged that a car driving around the site to show possible dignitaries the new development spotted two men wearing United shirts, and they were asked to remove or cover up the shirts or be escorted off the property.
The impressive new development should be ready for the start of the 2014-15 season and will include 16 full-size pitches, a FIFA regulation indoor pitch and a training, medical and operational facility and a community college. It will be connected to City’s Etihad Stadium via a bridge.
But with City and United’s rivalry intensifying over recent years, stunts like this will continue to surface.
Previously City have been overshadowed by their illustrious neighbors. But with the huge investment on and off the field since Sheikh Mansour and his partners took over, City are aiming to surpass Manchester United.
These feelings will be at the root of any Manchester United shirts spotted at the Etihad complex. And although it is such a small outburst of support for United within Manchester City’s boundaries, the hierarchy within the club will be keen to stamp it out.
Reportedly “MUFC” graffiti has cropped up across the site as tensions between workers from the city of Manchester continue to rise.
City and United have always been huge rivals. Their geographical location has made sure of that. But now that season after season they’re set to battle it out at the summit of the EPL, expect more intense and frequent outbreaks from both the red and blue halves of Manchester.
Do you think the rivalry will continue to bubble up?