LONDON VIEW: The bare-knuckle fight over defender Gabriel Heinze is the latest in a long war between mega-rich Manchester and loser-Liverpool.
It's a dirty war that has been waged since a saracen's head was first booted down the back alleys of these ugly northern cities, and the great game of football was spawned.
But does the hatred between Manchester and Liverpool go back even further, beyond the creation of the beautiful game itself, yea into the very mists of time, the industrial revolution?
Once upon a time, these two brutal, thuggish northern cities fought for industrial supremacy amidst dark satanic mills. Manchester reigned supreme in the cloth cap industry, while Liverpool made a mint selling black people they kidnapped in Africa.
Now, Liverpool looks down-in-the-mouth while Manchester has post-industrial confidence. Gone are the flat caps. In swagger posh offices and luxury loft living. Once unlovely quaysides have been decobbled, and arty people with long flowing hair have been rolled in selling decorative items of jewelry from colourful stalls. Some of them are rumoured to be homosexual.
Of course, being pisspoor filters down to the street, and relative economic status provides low-life northern types with football terrace insults. United fans, man and boy, once sang a jolly song about their Republic of Ireland star and adopted Mancunian, Roy Keane, to make him feel at home:
"You could have been scouser if your dad had f****d a pig."
It's an offensive reference to the theory long held by Mancunians that Irish immigrants mated with their pigs to produce Liverpudlians.
We say, thank goodness for the home counties.
Have YOU have ever lived in the north? How dreadful was it?