Alex Ferguson has branded Manchester City “arrogant” over their controversial poster campaign.
No sooner had City completed their capture of Carlos Tevez following the South American’s successful two-year stint at Old Trafford than a giant poster was erected at the bottom of Deansgate, one of Manchester’s busiest shopping areas, declaring: “Carlos Tevez, welcome to Manchester.”
The poster emphasises the fact City are based in the city of Manchester, whereas United are in Trafford, something Blues fans have pointed out regularly down the years as they laid claim to the title of Manchester’s only club.
If that was not bad enough, a spoof e-mail has also appeared, in which Michael Owen, complete with crutches, is pictured under the headline “Welcome to Stretford”, as a wind-up at the injury-blighted forward joining United in a surprise move this summer.
With City also spending massive amounts of cash in an attempt to gatecrash the top four, the blue half of a divided city, so often downtrodden by United’s contined success, can sense a shift in power.
Their United counterparts have already reacted in fierce debate and now Ferguson has waded into the argument.
“It is like one of those war adverts – Your Country Needs You,” he said.
“Arrogance comes in lots of different ways. I think it is daft.”
No-one has owned up to putting the Tevez poster up, although as a club City have expressed similar sentiments on official merchandise in the past.
’This is our City’, ’Greater Manchester’ and ’Pure Manchester’ were all the brainchild of advertising agency Grey London and depict City’s pride in their roots compared to United, who Blues fans would argue have lost their soul in the drive to increase profits.
Ferguson is not interested in the subtleties.
His view is quite straightforward – a jealous club, eager to make a cheap point having spent more years than they care to remember playing second fiddle to their hugely successful neighbour. A situation, according to Ferguson, that has been in existence since he first came south from Aberdeen in 1986.
“They were having a go at Manchester United,” he said.
“They have had a problem ever since I came down here – Manchester United.
“You have to understand, when they get their moment to grasp for and to seize for, they are going to take it.”