SINGAPORE - As goal after goal went past David de Gea early on Monday (March 6) morning, the prata jokes started resurfacing on social media, with Liverpool fans and even neutral supporters poking fun at Manchester United fans.
“Already, I’ve had three photos sent to me of seven prata kosong,” noted author and football pundit Neil Humphreys on Facebook. “You gotta laugh.”
The running joke seemingly started in 2019, when at least two prata chains offered Liverpool fans four free prata kosong (plain prata) each in celebration of the Reds’ 4-0 demolition of Barcelona in the Champions League.
This time, another prata chain – Srisun Express – offered United fans a similar deal: seven free roti prata each if they turned up in their United jerseys at any of its four outlets on Monday, following United’s 7-0 thrashing by Liverpool. It was the Red Devils’ heaviest defeat since 1931.
The twist? Srisun’s owners are fans of the Red Devils themselves.
“We know that a lot of fans were upset about the loss, so we thought that we could at least put a smile on their faces,” said Srisun Express director Jayanthi Sundar, adding that this was the first time the chain had introduced such a promotion.
The promotion, for prata kosong, was applicable only to dine-in customers at Srisun’s four outlets – in Serangoon Gardens, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, Tampines Street 43 and Bukit Batok West – till Monday midnight.
By 3.30pm, United fans were streaming into the outlets to drown their sorrows in dough and curry.
Ms Jayanthi was confident the chain could handle the potential influx of customers, even if United goalkeeper de Gea could do nothing to stop the deluge of goals.
Liverpool supporter Velan Raj, 28, was among a group of nine who dined at Srisun’s Tampines outlet on Monday. Six in his group were United fans.
“7-0 is a big loss, but the (Srisun owners) took it positively to boost their fellow Manchester United fans... I really respect that as a Liverpool fan,” he said, noting that there were about 25 people waiting in line at 9.30pm when he left.
As at 11pm, Srisun Express said they had given away 6,000 pratas across their four outlets. The promotion ended at midnight.
Other brands also capitalised on the 7-0 hiding. Burger joint Hambaobao in Jalan Besar offered a free 7UP soft drink each to all Manchester United fans on Monday.
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This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.