David Moyes' axing unites politicians in debate
You know something big has happened when Hong Kong's warring politicians put aside the debate over the city's constitutional future and start splitting hairs over something much more important - soccer.
That's what happened yesterday , when none other than Martin Lee Chu-ming, founding chairman of the Democratic Party, reacted, along with the tens of thousands of Manchester United fans in the city and on the mainland - to the sacking of David Moyes, the English Premier League giants' manager of just 10 months.
The 50-year-old Scot had one of his first and rare victorious outings as Red Devils' boss against local champions Kitchee in July - soon after taking the reins at the world's biggest soccer club from the iconic Alex Ferguson. He has since endured a dismal season that has seen United slump to a humiliating low.
Democrat doyen Lee, 76, who describes himself as a fan of Chelsea, Liverpool and Leeds, has his own theory on Moyes' demise. "Manchester United's poor performance is Ferguson's fault. He didn't really want his successor to succeed," he said. "Ferguson has too huge a legacy - he has his own statue and even a road named after him."
As you might expect, the Beijing-loyalist Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong took a somewhat different view.
"I never expected Moyes to win a championship, but neither did I imagine Manchester United could have been so bad,'' said the party's agriculture and fisheries lawmaker, Steven Ho Chun-yin, a United fan. "The bosses were wise to make this prompt decision to sack him."
The official Hong Kong Manchester United Supporters Club was much more measured, expressing "gratitude for Moyes' hard work over the past 10 months".
Even Canto-pop star Alan Tam Wing-lun chimed in on his Sina Weibo microblog page: "It's a bit merciless but this is the reality in the football world."