herald

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Citizens hit back at Scholes and Rio

Manchester City supporters have hit back at criticism from former United players Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand over the lack of atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium.

The high-profile pair expressed forthright opinions about the crowd as City played out an unconvincing 1-1 draw with Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The attendance for the game was just 37,509, around 10,000 short of the ground's current capacity, which is being increased to 54,000 over the next year and eventually to 62,000.

The atmosphere was subdued and Scholes, in his role as a pundit for ITV Sport, picked up on this, comparing the occasion unfavourably to equivalent nights at other English clubs.

He said City's European nights did not have a "special feeling" while Ferdinand, who is now at QPR, used his Twitter feed to question why the club need to expand their stadium.

Andy Savage, who runs the website MCFCForum.com, felt these were cheap shots from wealthy footballers.

Savage said: "I took Rio Ferdinand to task on Twitter. He was taking the mickey out of the empty seats at the Etihad last night.

"He is living in his own bubble there. Some people are living hand to mouth and don't know where the next penny is coming from, and he's criticising them for not filling the stadium when the tickets are £35-plus.

"He was an absolute disgrace on Twitter, as was Scholes on ITV. They are multi-millionaires. They don't give the man on the street a second thought, how much it is costing people.

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