Manchester City fans raise more than £4,500 for anti-UEFA banner as they plot ‘Poznan’ protest against Champions League ban during last-16 clash with Real Madrid
- Manchester City fans are plotting a protest for when they welcome Real Madrid
- The 1894 Group have set up a crowdfunding appeal to create a new banner
- Supporters are also planning to use ‘Poznan’ during Champions League clash
- The club were handed a two-year ban from the Champions League on Friday
Manchester City fans will do the ‘Poznan’ and display new anti-UEFA banners when they play Real Madrid at the Etihad next month in protest over the club’s two-year Champions League ban.
Supporters want to use the game on March 17 to put on a show of unity as well as contempt for UEFA following its decision to punish City over alleged Financial Fair Play violations.
The 1894 Group has launched a crowdfunding appeal to create new banners for the second-leg tie, and by Monday lunchtime had already raised more than £4,500.
Manchester City supporters are plotting an anti-UEFA protest when they face Real Madrid
‘The banners will probably be pretty straight to the point about UEFA,’ said Kevin Parker, general secretary of Manchester City Supporters’ Club. ‘They can be very creative. It won’t be a smiley face, put it that way.’
Following talks between the supporters’ club and the 1894 Group over the weekend, fans are also planning to do the ‘Poznan’ and turn their backs on the UEFA anthem before kick-off.
They want something that goes beyond the usual booing of the anthem before European games at the Etihad, and also creates a positive energy around the stadium.
City copied the celebration off Lech Poznan after playing the Polish club in the Europa League in 2010, but have used it as a show of disrespect before.
‘We think the Poznan is the ideal scenario – it would work for this,’ added Parker. ‘I’ve always liked it. It’s something visual and everyone can get involved. It creates a positive energy and the team see it too.
‘It’s been spontaneous in the past but this is probably the first organised one. The idea is gathering pace. Everybody do the Poznan: turn your back on UEFA and be together as one.
‘Fans would be told to be in the stadium by the time the teams come out, and in position to turn their backs on the anthem.
Fans will face away from the pitch and do the ‘Poznan’ en mass at the Etihad Stadium
‘Booing isn’t exactly right because it’s no different to before and is expected now – and it also starts the game on a negative. Our message is about showing our support for the club and doing something that has a positive impact.’
City fans decided to target the second leg at home because they are unlikely to be seen or heard in the remote section for away fans at the Bernabeu when they travel to Madrid next week. There is also a greater threat of banners being confiscated.
‘We spoke with the 1894 Group over the weekend with the focus on the match on March 17,’ said Parker. ‘It’s an opportunity for us to show that we don’t really care because we are together as one.
‘We are behind the club, the owner, the manager and the players. We want to show the football world that you’re taking on all of us, and that this attack is an attack on all City fans.
‘We know of no reason why we shouldn’t back the club. We see FFP as the elite protecting themselves. They see us as a threat. They don’t want the likes of City. We’re the working-class family from Moss Side who won the lottery and went to live in Hale. We’re not welcome.’