Harty on David Moyes and Froch v Groves

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SO, when in certain circumstances, do we drop our tribal football fan behaviour and revert back to being responsible human beings?

At the time of going to press, one of the biggest clubs in the world, Manchester United, is being managed by a man on the edge.

He may very well be a legend but clearly Sir Alex Ferguson saw the iceberg and got out at the right time and the on-going situation David Moyes has inherited has all the hallmarks of a classic fall of an empire.

But when does general football club rivalry and banter cross the line into something far more sinister?

Hate is a strong word, but I freely admit I dislike Manchester United and do get a certain enjoyment when they lose. But should I, and millions of others, dislike them to the point of subjecting David Moyes to things in the press and over social media that go far beyond the footballing boundaries?

For whatever people think of his employers, this man is merely trying to do his job.

Should the fact that things aren’t going well subject him to national ridicule?

He clearly is a strong character because I personally think lesser men would have buckled by now. But you do wonder if this will have a long-lasting effect on him as person?

Turn it round and how would the rest of us and our families feel if the flack was directed at us?

Perhaps we should all remember sometimes that it is only a game.

The world super middleweight fight between Carl Froch and George Groves at Wembley Stadium on May 31 is shaping up to be the biggest-ever contest in British boxing history.

With a build-up keeping fans on the edge of their seats, it represents all that is good about British boxing but also highlights issues which detract from this upcoming sporting spectacle.

When tickets went on sale the Monday before last, promoter Eddie Hearn announced they had sold 60,000 inside an hour.

Like many others, myself and a group of friends tried ringing the group booking line in an attempt to buy 20 £100 tiered seats. Unfortunately we missed out but that’s the luck of the draw, until, less than three hours later, I’m contacted via email by a different internet ticket agent, other than the approved one, offering me the number of seats I required, but with a 120 per cent price rise.

Since then, I have had a third ticket agency offering the same seats but with a 150 per cent price rise. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has to make a living, but it’s not quite how Eddie Hearn painted it?

The general public didn’t snap up the equivalent of 1,000 tickets a minute. No doubt some genuine boxing fans did, but how many ‘ticket agencies’ bought in bulk?

And, clearly, there must be some kind of loophole because I thought it was against the law to re-sell tickets at an inflated price. Given the amount of ticket touts I’ve seen nicked over the years, obviously these agencies have a way round it.

Regardless of ticket shenanigans, the fight itself is shaping into something really special.

In their previous meeting, Froch’s stoppage of Groves was controversial to say the least and has split the boxing nation.

This fight could be equally as explosive, although perhaps with a reverse result, which clearly would excite the ticket agencies as it sets up a third contest!