It may have been Chelsea who recently featured in an episode of The Simpsons, but its Manchester United who have morphed into a mere caricature of themselves.
Rooney's latest piece of football genius lost in the furore which now stalks David Moyes, and the man who gave the Manchester United striker his start as a 16-year old at Goodison Park back in 2002.
Verbally abused as he sat in the dugout during the later stages of yet another disjointed performance in the midweek Manchester Derby - a banner which proclaimed the Ferguson rubber stamped appointment has now become a focal point for growing supporter fury with the 50-year old Scotsman.
The Chosen One has become the Chastised One.
The Old Trafford storm clouds are certainly gathering and how Moyes will hope that infamous Manchester rain will play its part just ahead of the kick off against Aston Villa Saturday when most of the 75,000 in attendance will be gazing skyward at a plane which will trail a, "Wrong One: Moyes Out" banner.
We've moved on then from a time where fans would meet down the pub pre-match and march in protest to the ground.
This fly by is not the work of a few mavericks merely looking for cheap publicity at Moyes expense, but is the response to a season lost from the all influential Red Issue Fanzine.
Raising the $1,500 cost in less time it took for Toure to bang in a third Manchester City goal, earlier Friday Red Issue explained their motivation for organizing the fly by protest in a statement to the media.
"The decision to fly a plane over Old Trafford bearing the slogan 'Wrong One: Moyes Out' is one born out of acute frustration. It is frustration at the poor results, lack of fight on the pitch and the unavoidable signs that David Moyes isn't up to the highest standards required to manage Manchester
United Football Club."
"A significant proportion of Manchester United fans have had enough and unequivocally want David Moyes sacked. Further frustration has been created from the inaccurate perception that all Manchester United fans are behind David Moyes."
"The plane and banner which will fly over the stadium this Saturday attempts to directly counter this very unpopular [Chosen One] banner with the words 'Wrong One' and the 'Moyes Out' wording is our statement of what a significant group of Manchester United fans want to happen next at our club."
Choice words. To his credit at Friday's pre-match press conference, Moyes defended the supporters' right to protest and reiterated his appreciations to all the supporters who continue to back him.
Intriguingly that number includes the supporter who rose to Old Trafford infamy when back in 1989 he unfurled a banner which demanded Fergsuon depart a club he had been in charge of for three years but was yet to deliver any silverware. We all know now how that ended.
Such though has been the dramatic fall from grace under Moyes, even the league's CEO Richard Scudamore felt compelled to discuss the matter when stating a belief Manchester United's current predicament was 'bad for business.' No club in English football is more passionately followed across the globe than the champions.
The season long funk has also wreaked havoc with Rio Ferdinand's personal and social life.
The six-time BPL winner has disclosed a preference currently for not taking his kids to school or go out for an evening. This, as ways to avoid supporters and the embarrassment of a season that even with seven matches remaining will return the lowest point total for Manchester United in the Premier League era.
Astonishingly, Sir Alex Ferguson is no longer immune from abuse; this occurring as he was sat up in his director's box perch Wednesday evening.
Not only did Ferguson leave Moyes' soiled goods with many players clearly past their sell by date, there is also a growing sense Ferguson did most of the bidding for the much despised Glazer family.
Since they took control in 2005, the owners are reported to have taken $1 biliion out of the club. This income has been taken out to service interest payments and meet other financial demands. Money supporters say should have been reinvested in the squad.
To arrest the decline it will take more than the type of panic buying that saw Manchester United pay well over the market odds for Fellaini in the summer and Mata in January.
Let there be no doubt these are unprecedented times at Old Trafford.
One of the more popular London tabloids spoke Thursday of a coup led by the class of '92 and bankrolled by oil money. Even the New York Stock Exchange got in on the action when the club's share price rose five per cent.
For a club which has already lost six BPL matches at home, Moyes will need a significant response from his players Saturday. Up next is an April Fools' Day date with the European Champions Bayern Munich.
You can reach and follow Noel Butler at: Noel.Butler@BellMedia.ca
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