Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Man City fans take to the seas without a paddle

I love stories like this because they remind me just why we're all fans of this wonderful game. Despite their lunacy, you can't fault a loyal crowd of Man City fans from doing literally whatever it takes to see their team play.

As their UEFA Cup qualifier against EB/Streymur from the Faroe Islands loomed, a group of fans noticed how expensive plane tickets were to the tiny Northern European country, and so they made alternative arrangements: they hired a fishing vessel to take them.

For Mancunians, this is some seriously forward thinking.

The plan was simple: drive from Manchester to Aberdeen, then take a ferry from the northeastern tip of Scotland to the Shetland Islands, and then board the vessel that would carry them on a 26-hour odyssey across to the Faroe port of Torshavn. Presumably they could then walk to Streymur from there considering how small the islands are.

It's a brilliant plan, and an inspiring one at that. It's just a shame that Mother Nature shat on their parade already.

Within 24 hours of the original story via the Telegraph, the BBC reported this afternoon that the vessel was grounded in the Shetlands due to sustained poor weather. Dear oh dear.

If you needed more proof that Man City were not God's team of choice, that would be it.

However, as with all feel-good stories of love and devotion, the force of human kindness intervened, not without the natural PR upside, and gave these sullen Mancs a happy ending: a Faroes-based airline, Atlantic Airlines, has agreed to come and pick them up and fly 'em round trip for free.

Said company president Magni Arge:

"We've agreed to help these Manchester City supporters because this is a great event in the Faroes having Manchester City here.

This is a great opportunity for us to show there is an airline based in the Faroes which can serve both Shetland and the Faroes Islands and we've got some sponsors to help us make this feasible."

Problem solved! Now all they need to worry about is the Blues coming away with a solid victory.

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