Sunderland v Newcastle Rivalry Not in Same League as Leeds Against Man U – by Rob Atkinson

Hate Man Utd - We Only Hate Man Utd

Hate Man Utd – We Only Hate Man Utd

Football rivalry – the antipathy between fans of rival clubs with a keen edge of hatred in extreme cases – has been going on for as long as two teams of eleven players have gathered together to dispute possession of an inflated bladder over a green sward. And I will proudly say here and now: Leeds United is an extreme case. We are top four material when it comes to despising our foes. But we like to think we’re quite picky about it. None of this “regional rivalry” nonsense for us.

Let’s face it, hating another team and its supporters for mere reasons of geographical proximity is pretty silly. I can understand it to a certain extent where two clubs share a very small area, like a town or adjacent districts of a city. There’s a territorial thing going on there that recalls the days when a team’s support was derived largely from its immediate locality, though that’s not really the case any more now with the mega clubs who have fans all over the world. After all, why would a Man U glory-hunter in Singapore or Seattle really care if Man City are based only a few miles away from “his” club? He’s more bothered as to whether or not his favourites can buy more trophies than anyone else, City, Chelsea, Arsenal, anyone.

At Leeds, hatred tends to be reserved for those who have earned it, and who are – by independently verifiable standards – intrinsically despicable. Man U pass both tests with flying colours, and it’s certainly woven into my DNA to detest them. Call me a blinkered bigot (guilty, m’Lud) but I can never really understand why Sunderland and Newcastle, who meet in derby-day combat this afternoon, share such mutual loathing when quite frankly both would be better off directing their energies towards hating someone who deserves it.

Many at Leeds have the time and energy to revile other clubs, Chelsea prominent among them. The Ken Bates era at Leeds was an uncomfortable time for these types in particular – they hated Bates for his Chelsea connections (I hate him too, but mainly for his own not-so-sweet self.) Bates never seemed keen on Leeds either, not since – during his reign at Stamford Bridge – a group of freelance demolition contractors from Yorkshire travelled down to SW6 and saw off his scoreboard. But for me, Chelsea (and Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool and the rest) are only relevant insofar as they have teams that can beat Man U for much of the time, and as long as they do that, they’re just fine and dandy as far as I’m concerned.

In Yorkshire the situation may best be summed-up as follows. All other Yorkshire clubs hate Leeds United, and Leeds United regard all other Yorkshire clubs as beneath our notice – except on those annoying occasions when temporarily reduced league status means we have to soil our boots by playing them. This attitude does nothing, of course, to endear Leeds to the likes of Bratfud, Barnsleh, Uddersfailed and the Sheffield dee-dahs – but really, who cares?

I have more respect for fans of clubs like Birmingham or Everton or – yes, even Man U, who hate Leeds for reasons other than just sharing a county with us. That fits better with my world view. Ask a Newcastle fan why he hates the Mackems, and he might blither incomprehensibly for a while (well, they just talk like that up there) – but no rational reply will emerge. I could talk your ears off about why I hate the scum, and I know many Man U fans who can do the same when invited to say why they hate Leeds, which is more than many other Leeds haters can say.

The fact is – whatever the pious purists and holier-than-thou types might say – there’s nothing wrong with football hatred, properly expressed and stopping comfortably this side of actual violence – as I’ve previously written here. It adds some passion to a crowd and to a football occasion, and football would die a lingering death in the sort of sterile atmosphere some of these self-righteous hypocrites seem to want. All I’d say is: if you must hate, then hate for a good reason.

Read my other articles, and you’ll find my reasons for hating Man U – the reasons why I firmly believe anyone might reasonably hate them – are a regular feature in the occasional rants to which I’m prone. They’re nothing to do with why Southampton hate Pompey, or why Forest hate Derby (although I CAN see the Clough factor in the latter case.) Pure regional tribalism is at work there, and I suppose there’s a place for it. But that sort of thing is slightly irrational to me, while hatred based on facts and history is not. Hatred is a genuine human emotion, and the football variety is a safety valve which is useful in diffusing a lot of the negative emotions in society at large. It’s a therapy of sorts. So chew on that, you pious, pseudo-intellectual gits who preach at rabid football fans and utterly fail to understand what’s going on.

I’m happy to admit that I have a healthy hatred for the scum, and I’m equally happy that it’s so lustily reciprocated – with any luck the depth of these feelings will see the game of football, still so dependent on the atmosphere generated by its match-going followers, survive for a good long time to come.

30 responses to “Sunderland v Newcastle Rivalry Not in Same League as Leeds Against Man U – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Reason no 999,rooney (according to this mornings bbc teletext) is holding out for an improved contract. An improvement on 250k a week ladies and gentlemen. Secondly, i wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss inter-club rivalry/hatred between other clubs other than ourselves and the scum. The Toon are fully justified in despising the mackems. Horrible,pointless(almost literally) racist bunch of shitbags they are too. I remeber all the monkey chants at joker pk back in 93 in the milk cup,all directed at Wallace,Deane and Rocastle. Apart from that,they only sing about how much they hate Newcastle. Ghastly creatures.


  2. Rivalry has to be a two way thing.
    Maybe Leeds hate Man Utd however it is not reciprocrated by the Reds. It would be like saying there is a rivalry between Leeds and Pudsey juniors!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dean Selley

    Well written rob.i wish i could explain why i detest man used to be cos taggert face used to manage i like to laugh at them,especially when teams like west brom can turn them over.long may it continue.


  4. And why is it untrue?


    • If you need to ask the question, it’s highly unlikely you’d understand the answer. But next time you’re curled up in your armchair watching Nitid play, listen to the songs the actual match-going gloryhunters sing.


      • I normally attend a football match to see good football, obviously you go (if you do indeed)
        to listen to the tribal chanting….bizarre!


      • The bizarre thing is that you start off by trying to deny reality in order to make a non-point, and then end up disappearing up your own arse – do you do this every Sunday afternoon, or is there other stuff going on in your life?


    • Rubbish Mike it’s about time dicks like you realised that Rob’s got a point about Man U. Instead you just get all upset and spout BS – why not think about what the article says? You lot are completely deluded – thank goodness there’s bloggers like Rob who will point out the truth!!


  5. AllWhiteNow

    Well I simply don’t care about MU other than to hope that they lose whoever they are playing because they are in a different league, literally. I’m just sick of losing these Yorkshire derby games. Its been going on too long and its an indicator of what has to change in players heads and in their approach to these games. Rob may argue that we don’t really care about our neighbours in the County but they sure as hell care about beating us. And they do beat us – too often. We have to confront this fact. I don’t think we will be promotion material until we get ourselves up for games that are Cup Finals for our opponents. These games matter and we have to start winning them. Then we can get in the Prem. Then we can hate Man U for real.


  6. Dean Selley

    Another glory hunter man u fan,who dosent understand the rivalry.thick twat


  7. Short story for you rob , when our two fans were murdered by turk-scum fc ‘fans’ , I went to pay my respects at ER, I was amazed by the ammount of man u flags etc that hung from the gates and railings around the ground , I walked to billys statue and stood there were a grand dad , dad and son in man u shirts laying a wreath , brought a lump to my throat ,, I really can’t bring myself to hate anyone in the name of football , rivalry yes but hate!! Nah , leave that for the turk-scum


    • The trouble with rivalry is, it tends to wither away a bit when you hardly ever play each other. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of honest hate, but there are degrees and shades of it. I would want Man U to beat the Galascum any day of the week, but I still feel they are a despicable outfit in their own right – just many degrees less so.


      • Totally agree that at the time of Kevin and chris’s murder the rivalry was strong because the two teams were on a relitve even par in the league , but I look at things this way , the Scots only ‘hate’ the English because we are historically thier conqurers , to give man u the hate tag surely bows down to a dominance ??!


      • I’d say you had a point, but the thing here is mutual hatred. It’d be humiliating if it wasn’t reciprocated, as it certainly is. I’d feel like Bratfud fans must feel, hating us passionately but getting only a sort of patronising amused indifference in return. Awful. Unrequited hate is as unrewarding and frustrating as one-sided love. But with us and the scum – whatever hopeful propagandists might tell you – it’s viciously mutual.


  8. Compo's Style Guru

    Enjoyable read Rob as always but I’m not too sure about the geographical proximity of clubs being insignificant. The Toon goons and the mackems because of their remoteness from civilisation tend to battle for support across the hinterland of their location and this drives their mutual hatred, whereby in the surrounding towns and villages you get 50/50 splits of rustics following each team and the ensuing friction. Similarly Blackburn and Burnley, two insignificant clubs with usually benign support can teach the rest of us a thing or two when it comes to hatred of each other. I, like you believe Leeds to be the exception however, we tend to base our hatred on the merest of slights real or perceived. I have never and still don’t consider any team in Yorkshire as a figure for collective angst from the crowd at ER, in fact having started attending games in the 70’s it took 15 years and a relegation to even consider such a thing as a ‘local derby’. In all that time I don’t ever recall any Leeds supporter mention Huddersfield, Sheffield 1&2, Halifax, York, Hull or those other S.Yorkshire teams. Only Bradford ever got a mention but then only to shake our collective heads at how one team could be so shit.

    I now, bizarrely, find myself residing in Kirklees and am constantly gobsmacked at mono-browed cave trolls in these parts who happily admit to hating Leeds more than liking their own club. Strange considering we are repeatedly crap when we have to play them you’d think they’d welcome us with open arms as we arrive bearing gifts of 3 points.


    • I think you’re spot on with your observations Compo, but I’m not denying this regional proximity thing happens – it clearly does, and it’s heartfelt. I just don’t get it, that’s what I’m saying. I think you should hate a team for what they are and what they stand for, not just because they happen to live, move and have their being down the road. I’d hate Man U if they were based on Mars, or in Timbuctu (near their fans), or even if they were based in Headingley – but not BECAUSE of that.


  9. Pingback: Even Fans of “Crisis Club Leeds” are Laughing at Man United – by Rob Atkinson | La Vita, Leeds United, l'Universo e Tutto

  10. The feelings of Hatred of the makems is deep rooted. Some would say it goes as far back as the 18th century and the divided loyalties to the crown. It is far more complex than the mere suggestion that because we are “cut off from civilisation argument” lol, although I admit it’s quite funny. Feelings have been running high up here long before a ball was kicked in anger. I actually hate the bastards more with every passing year and I can’t see this ever receding and I’m sure they feel the same towards us- the fact they’re a shite club is incidental. I’m eagerly awaiting Rob to start some makem bating I mean Discussion but as this is A Leeds site I appreciate that they’re not on your radar although I know for a fact there was a big rivalry between you both in the not too distant past so you never know. we live in hope, lol.


  11. Rob,
    As usual its brilliant….after yesterdays dire performance, just what the doctor ordered a good belly laugh…..I particularly enjoyed the tet-a-tet between yourself and Mike!!…..your talents are wasted.
    I was downhearted by the result….listened in on the radio whilst on shift,
    so your pearls are mana from heaven


  12. Philip of Spain.

    I would just like to volunteer one,just one reason why M.U.are what they are.I saw a family from darn sarf dressed in football gear last weekend and the father ( in his forties)had printed on the back of his football shirt “Sir Alex” I kid you not.


  13. Gordon ottershaw

    Sunderland and Newcastle fans hatred for each other goes all the way back to the English civil war , we were on opposing sides with a lot of blood shed and Newcastle backed by the crown basically tried to starve Sunderland out of existance .Surely someone who understands the antipathy between Yorkshire and Lancashire can appreciate that . Add to that newcastle fans ridiculous arrogance and elevated sense of their own importance , think man Utd fans without the trophys and you might get the half of it .


    • Congratulations on the first printable post from up there…


    • ‘Ridiculous arrogance’ and ‘elevated sense of their own importance’. You missed out on the ‘Barcelona of the North’ and ‘formed in 1992’ for the full house in the swivel-eyed-no self-awareness Mackem bingo.


    • Yeah but Leeds fans generally get on with the scousers and man city.


  14. Just witnessed seen 45000 Mackems celebrating like they’ve won the CL (at half time!!) just cos they’ve scored a goal for christ-sakes! Oh & then stood & applaud a kiddy fiddler on to the pitch with a quarter of an hour left (anything over 16 is too much for him). Why not support your team like that when you are 4-0 down to Villa. I HATE SUNDERLAND (& not because of 1973, yawn yawn)


  15. Put me down as one of the Chelsea haters rob. Probably to do with me starting in the mid 80s. Throwing money on the pitch during miners strike, reckoning they were a big club with their tiny crowds. Then the current day, weird mix of fans either un-reconstructed racist yobs (bit like their captain) or ariviste upper middle class types, oh and its all bought with dodgy money robbed from ordinary working Russians.

    When they play man u, I honestly don’t know who I want to loose and just hope its a durty match with plenty of red cards.

    The wendies I don’t like either.


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