By Cameron Wilson

Liverpool against Manchester United is one of England’s fiercest rivalries and has been for many years.

Insulting chants from both sets of fans aimed at their opponents have been a regular talking point.

But isn’t it time to cut out some of these outdated songs?

During yesterday’s match, the infamous “Sign On” chant could be clearly heard from the United faithful after just a couple of minutes.

(to the tune of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’)
“Sign on, sign on, with no hope in your heart,
’cause you’ll never get a job
You’ll never get a job!
Sign on, sign on, with no hope in your heart.”

This has been a chant used by Manchester United fans towards Liverpool for many years.

It plays on the stereotype around people from Merseyside not having a job and being forced to sign on.

In a time when millions have been hit hard during the pandemic through redundancy at work or families struggling to feed their children, chants such as these ones are tasteless and unacceptable.

Ironically, eight of the top 20 local authorities with the highest proportion of children in low-income families were from the North West with Oldham in Greater Manchester hosting an astonishing 38% of people living in low-income families.

Manchester is also a place with an alarming rate of homelessness throughout the city, with numbers growing higher by the week.

In 2019, Manchester recorded a total of 20 deaths within the homeless community, making it the highest number of homeless deaths that year outside of London.


To add to this, social housing is becoming more and more scarce by the day.

Recent studies showing a terrifying rise from 1,491 families and single people to 1,835 from the time period of March to September in 2020.

Another chant prominent in a small minority of Manchester United fans appears during the festive period of the year:

(to the tune of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’)
“Feed the scousers,
Let them know it’s Christmas time…
Feed the scousers,
Let them know it’s Christmas time.”

In a time in which the number of foodbanks is rapidly increasing, this chant is offensive and disappointing.

It shows a lack of education as to how serious the Foodbank crisis is throughout the country, but especially in the North West.

In Greater Manchester, the Trussell Trust (provider of emergency food packages all over the nation) has 54 distribution points and Greater Manchester Poverty Action has identified 136 from other independent organisations and charities.

Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has identified this issue and worked tirelessly during the pandemic to help raise awareness of the crisis.

Rashford personally drafted a letter convincing the government to extend its free school meal voucher scheme into the summer holidays just as many children were at risk of going hungry.

Rivalries in Liverpool are put aside in what is a fantastic initiative from two another fierce rivalry, Liverpool and Everton in a programme titled “Fans Supporting Foodbank”.


The organisation with the slogan of “#HungerDoesn’tWearClubColours” works to provide for many families across the city who are finding it hard to make ends meet and act as a lifeline for many.

Like Manchester United, some Liverpool fans have not covered themselves in glory with their own offensive chanting.

In a Europa League clash back in 2016, Liverpool were fined just over £30,000 for unacceptable chanting towards Manchester United fans.

The fierce rivalry between the Northern clubs will always remain.

But ignorant and abhorrent chanting must be removed for good.