A longstanding and well-regarded member of staff at Manchester United, who has worked at the club’s Old Trafford ground for some 30 years, has been fired after putting his hand around a female colleague and calling her “love”.
The common term of familiarity in British English was enough to spark a complaint by a waitress against Manchester United host, Vince Miller, who worked as a steward, singer, and compere to entertain guests during match days for fans enjoying corporate hospitality.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, fellow Manchester United colleague Mickey Martin said of the decision to sack the “legendary” 82-year-old Miller: “I think it’s disgraceful and disgusting. All he did was bring a bit of Mancunian warmth to what he was doing by calling someone ‘love’.
“She’s taken offence and reported it. He was asked to resign graciously and offered two tickets in the North Stand for the rest of the season. He refused to accept as it would have made him look guilty.
“Sir Matt Busby would spin in his grave if he knew what had happened. I’ve known Vince for over 40 years. His work as the club has been impeccable. The stars all love him. He’s devastated. All he’s done is bring out the warm Mancunian in him but one of the waitresses was offended.
“Some people in different parts of the country call you ‘duck’, or ‘sweetheart’ or ‘darling’. We say ‘love’. Everybody in Coronation Street says ‘love’. Should they be sacked? I wouldn’t have thought so. I think it’s disgraceful. I really do.”
A spokesman for the Premier League football club, one of the world’s wealthiest, confirmed a complaint had been received about club host Vince Miller, and that he had departed following it. The club said: “As a result of the feedback we received in the Old Boardroom over a period of time, we have changed the offering to supporters in that room and part of that change has meant a change in room host.”
Miller himself is reported to have said he retired with dignity after “29 great years” with the club.