My view on Manchester City
Samir Nasri has finally finalised his transfer to Manchester City this week for a reported £25million with the Frenchman allegedly receiving £175,000 per week and becomes another piece in the expensive jigsaw that Roberto Mancini is assembling in a bid for domestic and European honours.
In August 2008, Manchester City were purchased by the Abu Dhabi United Group owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan which instantly became a pivotal moment in the club’s, and in my opinion, the Premier League’s, history. The appointment of Sven-Goran Eriksson the previous summer certainly suggested that the club had visions of greater things which I think is a vision we are beginning to see come to fruition with Mancini the man being given the steering wheel to drive the success.
However, the process which Manchester City are adopting to gain success has received much opposition and the accusation of attempting to ‘buy success’ has been thrown at them.
Manchester City finished third last season and begin an adventure into the Champions League for the first time this year alongside a very realistic target of winning the league championship for the first time since 1967/68. I may be in a minority but I am glad to see a different side challenge for domestic honours rather than the inane and rather dull merry-go-round of red and white or blue ribbons adorning the Premier League trophy.
I find it amusing to see so many people cry foul in relation to how Manchester City are muscling their way into the group of teams who realistically have a chance of winning the league; it strikes me as being an element of envy being shown by supporters of sides who a few years ago were sitting at least on a par with Manchester City, if not holding greater aspirations, and a rather conceited arrogance being shown by supporters of the red half of Manchester. I understand concerns levied at Manchester City in terms of the reported wage structure that is in place at Eastlands but that aside, I don’t understand the issue with Manchester City pursuing a method of accelerating their rise to prominence by being able to purchase the best players around.
Manchester City may be using money which they haven’t ‘earned’ as so many people seem quick to point out, but Manchester City’s recent past hasn’t been their most glorious, and opportunity for the commercial sell-out approach adopted by their neighbours and others has not been a viable one. I am sure that if they continue to be successful, a similar model will be put in place and they will reap the dividends that their fellow title contenders enjoy. Some people may be forgetting that Manchester City were in the third tier of English football (only for one season I know) in 1999, and have an average final league position of 17th over the last 14 years. Maine Road (as amazing as it once was) could hold only a fraction of Old Trafford and as a global brand, Manchester City was not in the same league as their nearest rivals.
It frustrates me the continued superciliousness shown by other teams’ supporters in terms of ‘Manchester City aren’t doing it the right way’, yet it seems okay and fine for Manchester Utd and Liverpool to spend millions ‘because they aren’t being bankrolled by foreign investment’; although Chelsea appear to also be tainted with the same brush as supporters of Manchester Utd look down from their pedestal. I struggle to see the difference between receiving lots of money from one single foreign investor and lots of smaller amounts of money from millions of foreign investors.
Other teams are in the Premier League because of initial cash injection by individuals; have we forgotten both Fulham’s and Wigan Athletic’s meteoric rise or is that okay because they are not an immediate competitor for the title? It is becoming increasingly more difficult to enter the elite group of teams as they share their pots of gold between them and castigate any outsiders for daring to enrol.
As for purchasing the best players and the cost of these; this is surely relative to the quality of the league in 2011/12; you no longer can go to your nearest championship rival and buy their two best defenders for circa £6m (see David May and Henning Berg) or the league’s most prolific striker (see Andrew – or Andy as he was still known then – Cole). The real issue is that Manchester City have the money and everyone knows this and therefore inevitably inflates prices. Maybe there have been some examples of costly purchases that have not lived up to their price tag (I’m thinking Jo, Benjani, Roque Santa Cruz and Robinho here); but has any club managed to be successful with all of their purchases?
I for one am pleased that Manchester City are hopefully going to provide the neutrals with the opportunity to see a different name on the league trophy this season; the sooner we begin to lose the virtual autocratic nature of the Premier League the better.