English Premiership

'Chosen One' banner removed

2014-04-24 21:01
David Moyes (AFP)

London - The last visible evidence of David Moyes' miserable reign at Manchester United was removed on Thursday as the infamous 'The Chosen One' banner was taken down from the Stretford End at Old Trafford.

Moyes was sacked on Tuesday after just 10 months in charge of United and the much-maligned Scot is quickly being erased from the club's history.

After being hand-picked by his predecessor Alex Ferguson to take over at United, Moyes was hailed by supporters as the chosen one, a reference to Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's self-styled nickname 'the Special One'.

Stretford End Flags, a group of fans who decorate Old Trafford's most famous stand with banners praising current and former players and managers, paid for 'The Chosen One' mural, written in red capital letters with an accompanying picture of Moyes, to be made to welcome their new manager from Everton.

But as results turned sour for Moyes, with United tumbling down the Premier League while crashing out of the cup competitions, some fans called for the banner to be removed and it was reported that the makers were considering taking it down.

In the end, the banner remained in place for the whole of Moyes' dismal spell at the club, but within 48 hours of his exit it had been taken down ahead of Saturday's home game against Norwich, which makes the start of Old Trafford icon Ryan Giggs's spell as interim manager until the end of the season.

Stretford End Flags are considering donating the banner to the National Football Museum in Manchester.

"It's something we're going to think about carefully. We may offer it to the National Football Museum or auction it off for charity," the group's co-founder Andrew Kilduff told the Manchester Evening News.

"It got a lot of coverage. But there are no regrets about it. Old Trafford is filled with symbolism so there is no hiding place for a manager."

But a National Football Museum spokesman told the BBC: "Every object within our collection needs to fit within our strict collections guidelines.

"We are offered objects on a regular basis and, while we are always grateful for these offers, we often have to decline for reasons of space and because it doesn't fit within our guidelines."

With a space opened up now the Moyes banner is gone, Stretford End Flags are planning a new mural in tribute to Bobby Charlton, one of United's all-time greats who still serves on the board of directors.

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund's charismatic coach Jurgen Klopp reiterated Thursday he will not be succeeding Moyes.

"It's a bit uncomfortable to give someone a rejection when no offer has come, but it looks like that's what I have to do," said Klopp when asked about the role after Moyes was sacked on Tuesday.

Klopp has a contract with Dortmund until 2018 and said while United are "a really great" club, he was content with his lot, "because there are about 1000 reasons to be super happy to work with this club".

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