A BBC drama which depicts events surrounding the Munich air crash of 1958, in which 8 Manchester United players and several fellow passengers lost their lives, is unlikely to be very well received on Merseyside, a BBC insider admitted last night.
The drama, which airs Sunday stars David Tennant as Jimmy Murphy, Dougray Scott as Matt Busby, and Jack O'Connell as Bobby Charlton, covers the period around the time of the crash, depicting the struggles faced by Jimmy Murphy to rejuvenate the shattered club.
This was in the day when footballers played for a maximum wage of £20 per week, smoked fags and pipes in the dressing room and often nipped into the nearest pub for a crafty couple of pints before matches.
"They've done everything possible to give the production mass appeal," the BBC insider admitted. "But to be honest, I still can't see anybody on Merseyside bothering to watch it - unless it's for the vicarious thrill of seeing a United team literally wiped out."
The insider has a point - Manchester United remain the most despised team in England, and United fans frequently face taunts from rivals making airplane gestures with their arms. Many fans of neighbours Manchester City, to this day, refer to United fans as "Munichs" - all of which leads to the question:
What were the beeb thinking of when they commissioned this programme? For decades now, the Corporation has lionised Liverpool, and been staunchly anti-Manchester United, contributing in part to the so called Old Trafford 'siege mentality.'
It seems doubtful that the BBC have suddenly changed their anti-United bias, so one can only wonder at the motivation behind this production.
"I won't be watchin' it mate," Liverpool fan Mickey McWhack announced. "If youse ask me, it's just a waste of the licence money. They'd have been better filming another thing about Hysel or Hillsborough. If the bleedin' beeb aren't careful, they'll go the same way as The Sun round our way. Lar."
The production airs on Sunday evening on BBC2