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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

Football

United fans make 'Moyes Out' plane protest
AFP
Manchester, March 29, 2014
First Published: 19:11 IST(29/3/2014)
Last Updated: 19:13 IST(29/3/2014)
A banner that reads "Wrong one - Moyes out" against Manchester United's manager David Moyes towed by a plane hired by club supporters over Old Trafford during their English Premier League match. (AFP Photo)

A plane trailing a banner calling for the dismissal of beleaguered Manchester United manager David Moyes flew over Old Trafford during the club's game against Aston Villa on Saturday.

The stunt, funded by a group of disgruntled United fans, is the biggest sign of open supporter dissent that Moyes has faced since succeeding Alex Ferguson last year.

Shortly after kick-off in the Premier League game on a sunny afternoon in Manchester, a small white plane was seen to fly over the stadium towing a banner that read, 'WRONG ONE - MOYES OUT' in giant red letters.

The protest is a response to a pro-Moyes banner, branding him 'THE CHOSEN ONE', that has been displayed by supporters in Old Trafford's Stretford End since the beginning of the season.

Moyes was granted a warm welcome by fans inside the stadium as he walked down the touchline to the dug-out prior to kick-off and the plane's appearance was greeted by boos.

Speaking before the match, the former Everton manager said that he was unconcerned by the protest.

"You just have to remain focused on the game, and that's what we have done," he told BT Sport.

"It is going to happen, but I think, for the people who have spent money on the plane, it would have been better served by putting it into (United midfielder) Darren Fletcher's colitis charity instead."

Moyes, 50, has endured a torrid debut campaign at United, who have fallen 18 points behind leaders Chelsea in the Premier League and crashed out of both domestic cup competitions.

They went into the weekend 12 points below the Champions League places, ahead of the first leg of their quarter-final against holders Bayern Munich in this season's competition on Tuesday.

Moyes continues to receive the backing of the club's board, however, with director and former player Bobby Charlton declaring earlier this week: "I'm absolutely certain that we picked the right man."


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