Love football, hate business

On Wednesday 25th of July, 2012, Manchester United beat Shanghai Shenhua 1-0.

As a football fan, I was happy to watch this game to see newly signed Didier Drogba and controversial Nicolas Anelka challenging their old Premier League rival mates.

Speaking football, Kagawa found the net in the 68th minute and former Chelsea stars Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka did not play as 90% of MU regular team…

Off the pitch, I was surprised that the official 42,000 crowd (from my opinion more 25,000 to 30,000) was 95% dressed in red devils colors… Are we not in Shanghai? How come a all city cannot support his own team?

I finally got my answer below:

SHANGHAI: Shanghai Shenhua fans boycotted a friendly against Manchester United to protest at the match being played in the middle of the Chinese league season, supporters of the club told AFP Thursday.

The English giants are among several Premiership sides currently touring Asia, in what are widely seen as attempts to build up their fanbases in a potentially hugely lucrative market.

Yes, it was only an exhibition match but I left the stadium with mixed feelings…

  • For a ticket 3 times regular market price, were we not supposed to see more than few famous players on the pitch?
  • A little too much “Chevrolet”, a little too much branding and fan-base construction with not much space for football.

I’m not sure if this pilgrimage of English Premier League teams really helps China building his “own football”.

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