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October 2016
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Why the purchase of part of Man City by the Chinese state is a matter for concern

Football has in fact just become a front for political and economic maneuvering.

By Tony Attwood.

Sometimes in football numbers just don’t add up.  Sadly when this happens the politics always does add up, and the result can be rather alarming.

And indeed there is something worth considering which is tucked away in the recent news about Manchester City expanding into China.  (And may I pause and point out that Untold has been talking about the Man City group’s plans to expanding into each confederation of Fifa in order to make the movement of players between the City Group’s clubs easier to manage for quite some time now).

City Football Group has announced it has received £265m investment from CMC, a Chinese state-owned investment conglomerate which this year completed a deal with the UK theme park owner Merlin to develop a Legoland resort in Shanghai, after Merlin’s shares collapsed following the terrible accident on a ride at Alton Towers, one of Merlin’s ventures.

So what?  Well, two weeks back CMC said that they had paid £862m for the broadcast rights for the Chinese Super League.  But the Chinese Super League only earned £13.9m for the whole of 2014 and 2015 seasons combined. So where is the sense in that?  At this rate it will take 61 years to get the money back.

It is being argued that CMC needed that deal to get the deal with Man City which in turn is only there in order to help build up their audience base, which is perhaps true, but still there is no financial sense here.  Except that the consortium that now has part of Man City includes CITIC Capital, which invests in property around the world.  So one wonders, is this about the value of property and not about football?

The CMC fund also exists to make money out of the foreign exchange reserves China holds by buying stakes in growing foreign companies.   Suddenly the game is not football, but something quite different.

Taken at face value the deal values City Group at just under £2bn – which is a huge amount, and makes it clear that Man City are now fundamentally part of a global money making operation on behalf of Abu Dhabi.

But there is more, because since the owners of all this footballing stuff are government men from the dictatorships in Abu Dhabi and the People’s Republic of China, they have immediate entrance to the UK government’s offices.  Remember, for example, Abu Dhabi holds 9% of the world’s oil reserves and around 5% of the world’s natural gas.  China meanwhile is the country charged with building and owning nuclear power stations in the UK and then selling back to those of us living in the UK, our electricity supply at eye watering prices.

That might be a bit worrying for some (actually it terrifies me, but that’s just my politics and sense of economic insanity, so I’ll move on) it gets quite frightening when we come back to that earlier fact that CMC said that they had paid £862m for the broadcast rights for a Chinese Super League that currently earns about £7m a season.

Now mix this with the fact that the City Group already owns clubs in the US, England, Australia and Japan (who are thus outside all local confederation area control for inter-trading) and that they are building an infrastructure of youth development, scouting and broadcasting, and we can see where power and control is going.

As I mentioned, the future of electricity generation in the UK is now in the hands of China.  So it is not that difficult to imagine that the morally and financially bankrupt FA is looking over its shoulder at all the money, and suggesting to China that it might like to invest in the FA. Or take it over.  One wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Of course in many regards, football is irrelevant in all this.  What the owners of Man City and deniers of the validity of basic human rights in Abu Dhabi actually want is to liaise ever more closely with the People’s Republic.  This is in fact not about football at all – which is why to the people involved the cost and return on Chinese football broadcasting rights is irrelevant.

Although the Chinese president, Xi Jinping has spoken of making China a force in world football, and although the City Group’s link to China will result in more football academies, this is much more about getting oil into China, and building a political and economic powerbase to the USA.

Thus when the City group said, “the deal will create an unprecedented platform for the growth of City Football Group clubs and companies in China and internationally, borne out of CFG’s ability to provide a wealth of industry expertise and resources to the rapidly developing Chinese football industry,” one could actually remove the word football from that statement and be closer to the truth.

Football has in fact just become a front for political and economic maneuvering.   Which is why the potential expansion of City Group into other areas (we’ve mentioned Brazil and South Africa as two others of interest besides China, and let us not forget that City Group also now owns Yokohama F Marinos in the J-League) is a matter of concern for anyone interested in football, because it is not football driven.  Meanwhile Man City now have major power bases building up in Japan and Singapore.

If you want to see just how irrelevant football is in all this, consider how the President of Man City Khaldoon Al Mubarak was host to President Xi at the Etihad Stadium on the same day the Chinese former Man City player Sun Jihai, was enrolled in the hall of fame at Manchester’s National Football Museum.

Now, be honest.  Do you think Sun Jihai should be enrolled in the hall of fame at the National Football Museum?  OK it is a tiny point, but it indicates where we are in this.

Add to the fact that Mubarak has been widely reported as pushing David Cameron, the British PM to take stronger and stronger measures against certain Islamic factions and groups that Abu Dhabi doesn’t like, and we find football has just disappeared over the horizon.

For Manchester City fans it must look wonderful – they are closing the financial gap on Man U.  But the rest of us might ask, what the hell has most of what is going on got to do with the game we got interested in?  Indeed as I started work on this story, the build up to the vote which has led to an expansion of Britain’s war effort in Syria was going on, and I really started to wonder who was pulling the strings.  Abu Dhabi has just agreed to rebuild a run-down part of Manchester at its own expense – which will be wonderful for the people who are moved out of  the slums into decent housing.  But what was the political cost?

Still I wonder about where the power lies in all this.   One detail that almost becomes lost is that Man City were the club whose owner could not believe that Uefa would actually reject its clever accounting deals to get around FFP.   But they recovered, and realised that all they needed was an endless stream of money pouring into the City Group in order to by pass every law Uefa wanted to by pass.  Selling stuff to China, to a state owned corporation that has already paid for the rights to Chinese football at a rate of at least 100,000 times what it is actually worth, seems a good way of doing it.

What next?  City Group buy Uefa?  Don’t laugh.  It is possible, and ok maybe they couldn’t make a worse mess of football than the present lot have, but even so…

With all this background, the statement on Man City’s website that, “City Football Group today announced a partnership with a consortium of high profile Chinese institutional investors led by China’s leading media, entertainment, sports and internet dedicated investment and operating company CMC (China Media Capital) Holdings.  The deal will create an unprecedented platform for the growth of CFG clubs and companies in China and internationally, borne out of CFG’s ability to provide a wealth of industry expertise and resources to the rapidly developing Chinese football industry,” is either screamingly funny or desperately worrying in terms of the way football is being used as a political tool.

And where are the protests?

The strongest I can find is this from shadow sport minister Clive Efford.  “I don’t think Sun Jihai’s record justifies his selection for the hall of fame.  I think it’s a grubby little fix and I think this sort of thing has gone on around football for far too long, where money has dictated what’s happened and not what goes on, on the football field.”

If any of our politicians or organisers of football have said anything else, I’ve missed it.


3 December 1932:  For the fifth away match running Arsenal scored 3+ goals – a feat not repeated until 2008/9.  They scored 21 goals in these five games, this final game being Portsmouth 1 Arsenal 3.

3 December 1949: The Arsenal programme printed a rebuttal of allegations in the South Wales Football Echo and Express, claiming that the Arsenal players came out for the second half smoking cigarettes!

The campaigns


If leaving a comment please try and comment on the themes in the article, not on the personal attributes (known or imagined) or the writer.


94 comments to Why the purchase of part of Man City by the Chinese state is a matter for concern

  • nomad

    Not quite sure what your point is?

    A government supported investment body has invested in football in China and in Man City, so what?

    They also invest in many other organisations all over the world. There are similar bodies in the UK, doing exactly the same with Government support.

    Maybe its that you have an issue with the connections to the Chinese Government, perhaps you should look more closely at your own backyard, Usmanov has got a very questionable background and has been supported by Putin, he seems to be spending a lot of money airburshing his history from the internet. Perhaps its just that Chinese money is different than Russian money?

    Most likely just green eyed jealousy, perfectly legitimate deal. Your only legitimate obeservation seems to be that adopting Sun Jihai into the City Hall of Fame looked a bit strange. Sun Jihai was a bit of a cult player with City fans, still is, certainly not a David Silva though. Fancy doing something like that for the visit of the Chinese President, perhaps Arsenal should petition Platini again behind the scenes to have suitable punishment meted out to City for devaluing their hall of fame?

  • nicky

    The Chinese interest in a share of Man Citeh should be regarded with concern. In the background is a search, not so much for financial advancement but power.
    Football governance in our land should take another look and learn from the German Bundesliga.
    With two exceptions where the clubs are company-owned, commercial interests cannot, by law, obtain control. Clubs are truly owned by the members. Witness the average ticket price of £10 per match. 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    Sun Jihai… Hall of Fame…. LOL

    Before we know it we see the name Zheyun Ye ( ) arriving in Man city…

    It is how he started his match fixing by “investing” money in clubs in Belgium… Since then when a Chinese looking person is seen in the stands in Belgium using his phone, they call him the ‘phone Chinese’ as the person who is calling to China to let the gambling syndicates know if the players “are doing what they are told to do”.

    By looking at some of the numbers in this article… it sure doesn’t add up…

  • Neil Crosby

    Just read Martin Samuel’s brilliant piece on this story in the Daily Mail yesterday. The rest is scare mongering on the basis Arsenal have missed out on this fantastic opportunity.

  • Kentetsu

    £862m for the broadcast rights for the Chinese Super League is a joke. When I lived in China a couple of years ago, few Super League matches were televised. Not suprising as the quality is appalling. And by comparison, the Premier League is much more popular. Such an investment can never be justified for the right reasons. Also bear in mind that football is not very popular to begin with – they prefer their basketball.

  • Phil

    This editorial comes off as little more than the wildly meandering ramblings of someone who wishes very much to oppose something, despite not having any clue as to what it is or what it is about. On the other hand, this is a rather impressive collection of vague assertions made with no supporting argumentation nor evidence in support of.

    Meanwhile, principal Arsenal FC owner Stan Kroenke continues to push his plan to re-relocate his NFL St. Louis Rams back to the massive untouched LA market with a privately financed stadium plan funded on the backs of Arsenal season card holders. Looking around desperately for a budding conspiracy? Try looking in your own back yard and you just might find out why Monsieur Wenger hasn’t found any top-level players (other than the brilliant Alexis Sanchez) worth purchasing for years and years now. And that, in spite of charging what are far and away the highest ticket prices in the Premier League.

  • “Of course in many regards, football is irrelevant in all this. What the owners of Man City and deniers of the validity of basic human rights in Abu Dhabi actually want is to liaise ever more closely with the People’s Republic. ”

    Ironic quote considering you are more than happy to allow Emirates airline sponsor you ,dont you think ?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Sun Jihai…..hilarious. They are going to end up with a pretty big hall o fame if he is an example of the level required.
    I am sure City fans wont care, eecially if they get Pep or Messi or whoever, but it does seem that football is moving more and more into Geopetropolitics….and will soon be run….or at least controlled by people who will make Blatter and co seem like petty pick pockets. Platini was clearly ahead of his time.
    if City are attracting the powerful, expect a cross Manchester shift in Rileys allegiances.
    But the disturbing fat is, if Stan decided to sell to fund his LA project, we will also be at the mecy of the free market….of however one best describes such forces around now….maybe free is not an appropriate word

  • Mandy Dodd

    Should Shaun Goater become a Hall of Famer?

  • BlueWolf1894

    All-in-all, not too bad of a ‘right of reply’ from a Gunner, but here’s the thing though, Tony. As much as the Chinese deal has come as a surprise to many, those keeping an eye with off-field antics has been expecting something similar to this.

    You do not plough over a billion into something without a plan of action (or at least you shouldn’t), so it was inevitable that ADUG’s ideas were going to involve things never witnessed before in the World of Football.

    The game has been about money for a very long time now and what is happening here is nothing but the next step. Yes, we’ve seen incredibly wealthy individuals/parties take over the reigns of clubs, but this is something altogether different. Now whether this is right or wrong, or good or bad for the game we love, time will tell, but it will be interesting to see what other clubs now do to play catch-up.

    City did not create this beast, but they have now shown what has to be done to overtake everyone else. For the traditionalists it’s probably horrific, but for the realists, inevitable.

    The scary thing is, this is just the beginning …

  • porter

    Phil , as much as you would like to muddy the waters , both situations deserve scrutiny . Neither seem to be good for the balance of the game in England in both cases the worldwide popularity of the Premier League is causing it’s clubs to be used as pawns in a much more cynical international power game.

  • nomad

    Think Shaun Goater already is, what would be the problem with that, City had a mega barren spell for 30+ years, if your point is that Shaun Goater (or Sun Jihai) for that matter, is that they are hardly superstars on an international stage, that might be true, but they are still legends to City fans.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Nomad, since when is being a bit of a cult player a criteria for being named in the hall of fame??? I think each club has more than one cult player in their history. So should we take them all in the hall of fame? The fact that the FA in their national museum bows down for a political leader (any political leader) should make alarm bells ringing.
    Football should not be used or misused for political things.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And Nomad, you will not find many “Usmanov supporters” around here at Untold.

  • para

    On Chinese selling electricity:
    It seems a long time ago that China’s whole economy was dependent on the UK. This is the way of the world, changes upon changes, and as we all know, stagnancy is suicide.

    On Manc becoming a global business, well it worries me too for the football arena, but this is what Arsenal is doing too, albeit in their own way. Manc will use the law as it was really intended to be used, that is “don’t get caught”.

    It took me a long time to realise that the laws were made by the mindset of crooks, that is why i did not understand them for so long. Now i can also think like a crook. 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Calling people names will not get your comment published. People who have something to say without doing this with opposite opinions will be published. Thank you.
    (I feel a bit like the Chinese person responsible for allowing who, what and when at the internet 😉 )

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mike, surely you must know the difference between a sponsor and an owner?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree, know Goater is rightly very popular with City fans, but Sun …a national Hall of Famer! Still, this is the FA we are dealing with.
    As for Stan, he certainly is not directly using Arsenals money to fund his LA project. Some suggest he is hoarding money for preferential loan rates….but I have checked, there is no evidence whatsoever he is doing any such thing, indeed our CEO, if he is to be believed, and I see no reason why he isnt….says Stan has been very helpful in securing the likes of Alexis …and Ozil. There is no evidence Wengers pursestrings are being tightened over the LA thing, if they were, I would have expected him to walk last summer. Anyway, Stan is involved in many projects and investments, this is just one that makes headlines.
    I have always been a bit wary of him as our majority shareholder, especially after PHWs comments, but I can find no evidence that he is anything other than a financially responsible investor who lets experts run the club without too much interference from him. Yes, he does not invest his own money in players or infrastructure, in the current climate, that has led to concern from some, but now, we should be self sufficient,well funded, albeit not quite at the level of clubs funded like City or Chelsea, or with the wealth of Utd or Bayern.
    But of course, I could be wrong

  • nomad

    I do agree with the sentiment that football finance has gone mad and i’m not entirely convinced that its for the betterment of the game. As a card carrying City fan, who grew up watching them stood on the Kippax, our sudden catapulting into the ‘big time’ has been amazing, i never thought i’d see the like of some of the players we have now playing in blue.

    Its come at a cost though, clubs are losing their identity, fans are becoming an irrelevance and i now find myself often sat next to foreign tourists at games (nothing against them personally, just that an accent beyond Stoke used to turn heads a few years ago, we’ve lost some of our local identity).

    Arsenal fans having a go at another big club for how their investment comes is a little bizarre i would imagine to a fan of Hull or Wolves. City’s owners (to our good fortune admittedly) have invested hugely into the sport, taken it as someone pointed out above into a new level of finance, good for the game or not, i don’t know.

  • M18CTID

    Walter, there’s no difference insofar as both sponsors and owners put money into clubs. You’ve spectacularly missed Mike’s point which was simply that Tony – or any other Arsenal fan for that matter – isn’t in a position to take the moral high ground over alleged human rights abuses in Abu Dhabi when the official airline of the government of neighbouring Dubai (a place with similar allegations of HR abuses levelled at it) pumps a significant amount of money into Arsenal FC every year.

    Also, any chance you can drop the racial stereotyping in your post about Chinese fans in Belgian football grounds please? Cheers.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Nohing to do with City or China but the beaking news is that what remains of FIFA have announced the WC will be expanded to 40 teams for 2026…meaning an extra week of this borefest…..great

  • Walter i think you miss my point !
    Goose and gander might put you on the right track

  • William rickson

    WalterBroeckx When did City fans get a chance to have say on there owner and his human rights record or that of his allies in business in politics ? What about Thaksin Why was his human rights abuses mentioned less racism ? What about Usmanov and Putin ? What was the point of this article if I can call it that? China should not be allowed to invest to help its league improve and football more generally ? City should not be allowed to make money ? Or are you saying something else is going on ? If so what ? Why would city care that this guy has over paid for Chinese Premier League ? All they care about is his money and connects and the fact he has the rights to the league. if your suggesting bribes there are other ways of doing things

  • M18CTID


    “Beaking” news? Maybe the players will take to the expansion like ducks to water 😉

    (I’ll get my coat!)

  • WalterBroeckx

    racial stereotyping?

    I didn’t realise that saying what was said at one moment in time in my country in specific circumstances was racial stereotyping.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And so do some of you really pretend that Emirates airlines (one of our sponsors) has the same impact at Arsenal as the sheikh has at City?
    come on let’s be serious and admit that there is a difference between a sponsor and an owner. Or is it Emirates that decides if we will buy a player in the next transfer window? Is it Emirates airlines that will allow Wenger to spend money or not? As for City the question is yes of course. If the sheikh wants it, it will happen.

    And if Usmanov is being driven out at Arsenal I will be first to clap in my hands. I even would come over to push the cart. Will you clap your hands if the sheikh who is as bad as Usmanov (as you compared both of them) was driven out of City? Would you? Of course not. You would be scared as hell if that would happen.

  • Chris

    A bit rich from Arsenal fans who didn’t moan when we paid them millions for Adebayor /Nasri and the rest.
    Don’t mind taking our money do you, you didn’t ask where it came from then.

  • M18CTID


    It’s racial stereotyping, plain and simple. What next? A man with a beard, brown skin, and a backpack constitutes a potential suicide bomber? You’ve got previous form for xenophobic comments and it isn’t pretty.

    As for your last comment above, again you are missing the point and going off on a tangent about something that is completely and utterly irrelevant – even if Arsenal only received one penny per year from Emirates the fact remains that you’d be getting money from a company that is aligned to the official government of a country that has been subject to allegations of human rights abuses. In any case, I don’t believe myself that the situation in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with regards to human rights is quite as bad as it is in many other countries but that’s by the by – I’m merely pointing out the hypocrisy of someone supporting Arsenal levelling the allegation at City.


    Well you sound scared to Death that our feeder club may suffer by this investment 🙂

    Look on the Bright side instead.. we may take a Sanchez or an ozil off you at some crazy price.. and you can all sleep easy knowing that some chinaman has paid you over the odds (in a roundabout way ) see you feel better already 😉

    City for the cup & League .arse well better Watch your back your 4th Place could be under threat 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    Chris and bluemoon, as you say the same.

    yes we did moan at the time. We moaned about the fact that players who had contracts were made crazy with offers that your club couldn’t pay (the sheikh could but not the club). Players who wanted out when they found out about the crazy money they could earn.
    One could even say that Arsenal did all they could to hold them (hence the paying over the odds as you say) but as Arsenal is a decent club they allowed the players to earn the money they could earn and that Arsenal couldn’t afford to pay at the time.

    And at the time we were vulnerable because of the financial situation we were facing with the building of our stadium.

    But isn’t it funny that we are bad for accepting the money from the sheikh but you well… you are completely depending on his goodwill. If he would say lick my ******** you would all probably do it and stand in line to lick it.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Ok then I will ask Emirates Airlines to buy us some players.

    Missing the point well probably because English is not my native language then.
    We could hold this conversation in Dutch, French or German and then I would be making my points much better I think.

    And if you want to accuse me you could bring up some evidence?


    Barclays Premier League
    Manchester City v Swansea City
    Saturday 12th December 2015
    Kick off – 3pm

    And IF your club had the investment we have had and will have for the future ( 6000 homes to be built around the stadium) next Project the north stand will bring the Etihad up to 64000 next Project after that the two sides to make it an 85000 stadium ! now you may laugh and smile.. but city WILL be the number one club in the World.. thats the plan so if you just look whats in the last 7 years.. the next 7 years will be even better 😉

    ohh look at this 35 quid for an adult AND a kid thats how they will fill the stadium eh.. thats just a Dream to you 35 quid but the owners are smart it and they will come..
    For City v Swansea City in the Premier League we will have the whole of Level 3 in the new South Stand available for home fans.

    Tickets are available in the South Stand in block 313 and half of block 314 priced just £30 for Adults and £5 for Under 16s.

    Prices are from £44 for Adults and £21 for Under 16s in other areas of the stadium. View further ticket information.

  • M18CTID


    It’s old news now and hardly worth going over again but Chris does have a point – there was a lot of objection coming out of the Arsenal camp about City’s spending at the time yet the club were more than happy to trouser the thick end of £70 million of City’s money (or the sheikh’s money if you’re so inclined) for 4 of your players. It could be argued that we overpaid for at least 2 of those – Adebayor in particular was stinking the place out and I don’t think Arsenal could believe their luck when City offered £25 million for him and I don’t recall a single Arsenal fan that wasn’t happy about that particular deal. Kolo’s best form was behind him too and the £40 million you banked for him and Ade was incredibly good business for Arsenal. I’d say of the 4 we actually paid money for, only Clichy has turned out to be great value.

  • Gord

    I hadn’t heard about the CMC media deal before, but to me that is just the Chinese government printing a bunch of money and making it public by having the left hand give the right hand the money. What is about 1 billion a down payment on?

    But in terms of what appears to me to be the sale of part of Citeh Group, my initial thought was Abu Dhabi has just bought a nuclear bomb from China. I guess that makes me more paranoid than most of you are.

  • M18CTID


    So you’d be perfectly happy if Emirates withdrew their sponsorship of Arsenal tomorrow? If it wasn’t for the money they pumped into your club over the past decade or so, you wouldn’t be in as strong a position as you are. But again, that’s missing the point of what I’m trying to say – I appreciate that English isn’t your first language but you’re discussing something that is irrelevant to the original point that was made.

    I haven’t got all day to go through the Untold archives so we’ll leave it at that – there’s enough evidence of what I alluded to in your post earlier.

  • Andy Mack

    I think most people seem to have missed the point that this ‘could be’ about the one thing more important than money (when you already have a lot of money) which is Power. It could just be a great marketing opportunity where $iteh can get bigger sponsors because of their front line exposure to ‘how many billion people’ in China. But it may not be. It’ll be interesting (and hopefully not too scary) to find out.

  • rich

    It’s just grim. How much of that, for me, is down to moral concern for the game, how much to pure self/club interest I’ll be honest I can hardly say.

    It’s bad news for our club for sure. City don’t need extra money of course, but this will ensure they can spend whatever they want and comply easily with whatever remains of ffp.

    I think my concern and dismay at the amounts of money involved in football is totally genuine, but, as I suggested, it’s impossible for me to separate that from my desire for us to succeed as a club.

    I’ve thought for a while we’ve not hit anything like the worst of it. While Rooney takes home roughly what Ozil and Sanchez do between them (if the figure of 300,000 for him and something like 120-150 for them is accurate), the difficulties in signing and holding onto the very best are stark and obvious.

    Signing those two was quite a feat in a market going that way, and suggests neither were motivated by the highest wage possible; retaining them will again rely on them being people who aren’t after the maximum they can earn. That can surely only become more true in the coming years.

    Think I read that with the new deal the prize for finishing bottom of the league is shooting from 60 to a 100 million. Effectively I see that as meaning we will sit near the top of a pile of a group of clubs who all have much more cash than before, but where the gap between top and bottom has closed significantly, while above that sit three clubs who are on another level, with City, Utd and Chelsea as far above the rest as we are above those near the bottom of the rest of the group (Sunderland,etc).

    Martial seems like a good indicator. That price did not make sense for us nor anyone in our group, but for Utd it does. The same will apply to nearly all players in the top bracket from now on.

    The source for optimism for me is that football is still played by eleven men only, that players need to play to find form, that only one team can win the league each year, that new signings can take time to gel,etc.

    Still, as I said at the time, I think it made the case compelling for adding a couple of players this summer. The prices may have been bad, but when they can only get worse after, that effectively makes them not so bad after all.


  • porter

    City buying the Arsenal players was at the time a tactical ploy. They used their money to unsettle players not only to strengthen their team but weaken ours to get at the coveted Champion’s league spots.
    Furthermore to those that keep raising the Usmanov / Putin connection , I will ask you when has Usmanov been allowed to influence the running of the club . He is a shareholder pure and simple has no place on the board and no say in running the club.
    Whether we would be happy to see the end of Emirates sponsoring the club , personally I would but only if your mentor , Abramovic Sky and all the other sugar daddies and hangers on to the trough cleared off and let football return to what it was :- a game for the people.

  • Walter …and still you miss the point .
    Regardless of whether its an owner or a sponsor ….. the point is you are still happy to receive and spend their money ! (whichever language you choose to use )

  • WalterBroeckx

    I just removed a racist stereotyping from a Man City fan M18CTID 😉

  • WalterBroeckx


    You are excactly showing what is wrong with football these days.
    I will probably be missing the point as city fans keep telling me but for the sheikh you people are decoration.
    As for Arsenal the fans are needed. Without the fans we would lose a lot of our budget. You know budget? Probably not as you don’t have a budget at City, but most clubs do need a kind of working budget to be able to stay in the black numbers at the end of the season.

    But for City the only thing they need is to make sure that the spectators from all over the world see people in the stadium. As they don’t rely for not even 1£ on the money those people inside the stadium have to pay they could even give the tickets away for free. In fact it is disgraceful that your owners even dare to ask you more than 1£ to enter the stadium. They really don’t need your money. The sheikh has all the money he and City need.

    So yes Arsenal is different. We do need the money from the supporters. And why? Well in order to be able to compete with clubs like Chelsea and City. And United but they have a different business model. And they also depend on the fans that go to the stadium in fact.

    So we and the visitors having to pay soo much money is because… well City and Chelsea having put so much pressure on the clubs to spend and spend and spend…that a big chunk of the spending has to come from the fans unfortunately.

    I probably will be missing the point but it is clubs like Chelsea and City that are the reason prices go up and up and up.

  • M18CTID


    Good man. Any chance of removing your own? 😉

  • M18CTID


    Yeah, I agree that it was at least partly tactical when signing those Arsenal players – well Adebayor and Kolo in particular. Clichy and Nasri arrived in the summer of 2011 when we’d already qualified for the Champions League, finishing 3rd while Arsenal finished 4th. I would add, however, that City were originally trying to sign Eto’o instead of Adebayor. It was only when the Eto’o deal was a no-go that club showed an interest in Ade.

  • William rickson

    Walter care to respond to all my questions or are you just going to spout rubbish ?

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Hmm, interesting. One of James Hardly Chase novels says, Without Money You Are Dead. Money talks. Money commands. Money orders, money buys. Money move movements.

    Modern football management is money. And it has to be invested in and sponsored to survive. And in turns give money back to the investors and the sponsors.

    Provided the football investors and the sponsors are not breaching any international and internal laws of the countries where they are investing their money and sponsoring, no axe should be grind to fall on them.

    Let’s not forget that Governments across the World encourage and welcome legitimate investments in their countries. Because for a particular country, that means growth. The country is economically growing.

    Those who have the money to invest and sponsors are the very rich people who either are in politics or have been in politics before or have political influence. So, football has become not only a business investment, but a platform for expressing the investors and the sponsors direction and will that is lawfully.

    I think Chelsea FC is owned by Abramovich and Yokohama tyres are among their sponsors that give extra cash to the club. Man utd are the leaders when it comes to sponsoring. While Man City are now fast coming behind the duo in investments and sponsorship. The owners of these 3 clubs are renown for making their personal money available for their clubs to use to buy top quality players in the market and even rebuild their stadia.

    But in the case of Arsenal our own club, I think our club depend mainly on matches ticket sales and TV money rights sharing by Sky Sports and BT Sports to survive. The money Arsenal are getting from their sponsors like, the Emirates Airlines and their German kit maker is supportive. But not enough to take AFC to the level of their main financial rival clubs of, Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City. Consequently resulting in Boss Arsene Wenger managing to compete with these his 3 main rival managers in the transfer market as Stan Kroenke is well known for not give Arsenal his personal money to buy top quality players in market. Thus we AFC are limited to only 2 World class players of Ozil and Sanchez. At any rate, we give glory to God to have these 2.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Why should I William as I don’t seem to understand the point?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Winning the lottery does seems to have a strange influence on people 😉 It makes them in a strange way feel above people who have to work for their money.
    But that will probably not be the point 😉

  • William rickson

    What about Usmanov ?

  • nicky

    Up to now, no less than 21 folk dislike my 9.04 comment…..but not one has said why.

  • M18CTID


    I think you’re missing the point again. Like it or not, but the long-term goal at City is for the club to be run exactly like a business so charging money for match tickets is part of the plan of course.

    I don’t want to get into another argument about what Arsenal charge but I will say that with the ever increasing amounts of TV money on offer, EVERY club can do something about ticket prices. Away ticket prices in particular are a disgrace when you factor in travelling expenses, etc, and that includes what City charge away fans by the way. This season Arsenal fans will pay £56 or £58 (depending on which tier their seat is) to watch their team at City and that’s way too much money. Not only that, those Arsenal fans will have the added convenience of having the match to be shifted for TV which will limit their transport options of getting to and from the game. The trouble is that we match-going fans have allowed this situation to develop in English football over a number of years (believe me, the seeds were sown long before Chelsea and City became cash-rich) before starting to show any real objection to it. We’ve allowed ourselves to be taken for granted by everyone in the game and it’s only now that we’re now making a real stand is being made via the FSF’s TwentysPlenty for away tickets campaign. As such, we’ll probably never get ticket prices down to the levels of the Bundesliga but if we can make some inroads into away ticket prices then that will be a start and benefit the travelling fans of every club in the country. While I would love to pay only £20 to see City play a Premier League game at the Emirates, equally I want to see Arsenal fans paying £20 to see the Gooners at our place.

  • M18CTID

    Probably the first bit nicky – I’m sure most people would agree with your point about the Bundesliga and cheap tickets.

  • William rickson

    What do you mean winning the lottery has a strange affect on people ?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Never mind Nicky, they don’t like us 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    Nothing William, just me missing the point.

  • M18CTID

    2 posts up – I meant to say inconvenience instead of convenience of course 😉

  • William rickson

    Just tell me what the article was for and what was being implied regarding the over paying ? Then if your feeling generous perhaps provide some proof.

  • WalterBroeckx

    About the 20 is plenty will this also apply for me as a supporter from across the Channel? Would be nice or am I going to be discriminated because I am a foreigner?
    Because for me a visit to Arsenal is a 24hours trip most of the time. I have to travel longer than any other English supporter so in a way I am an away fan. 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    You should ask Tony about that William as I cannot look inside his head. He wrote the article. But he out today.
    Went to London.
    I just provide the missing the point stuff.

  • porter

    William rickson
    December 3, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    What about Usmanov ?

    I refer you to my comment at 1.03 pm

    tells you all you need to know. Please inwardly digest.

  • M18CTID

    Walter, it just applies to away tickets sadly – it doesn’t differentiate between the various distances home fans have to travel to games. Sorry mate 🙁

  • Neil Crosby

    Gord, You guess right!

  • Yellow Canary

    We’re not doing too bad financially. Nearly 200 million in the bank, it’s just that our manager doesn’t like spending it. I’m sure he has his reasons, I just wish he’d let us know what they are. As one great manager once said, “I’d rather have players on the field than money in the bank”. Not suggesting we spend all of it but I don’t think buying a couple of good outfield players would have broke the bank unless of course Mr.Kronke has other plans with Arsenal money. Perhaps there should be an article about that. So Man City may rule the footballing world for the next fifty years. Rather them than Manu or Chelsea and one day, probably long after I’m dead, we’ll be doing mega deals and catching up with whoever is top of the pile at the time.

    And yes before we peer down from our moral high horse perhaps we should distance ourselves from a certain sponsor.

  • Gord

    Thanks Neil.

  • William rickson

    Some is getting very defensive etc despite the fact it is city who should be defensive etc

  • William rickson

    Arsenal like other clubs seem unable to believe how valuable City and City Group are. Remember City Group is Manchester City, NYCFC Melbourne City, Yokoham, There offices Plus London office Abu Dabi office Singapore office. Its scouts and partner clubs all its sponsorship its football know how its brand. I mean the academy is worth 100 million plus the stadium which even though we do not own it is worth more than before

  • M18CTID

    Yellow Canary,

    My comments about Emirates further up weren’t made with the intention of putting Arsenal fans on a guilt trip – more a case that I don’t think we should be taking the moral high ground over each other given that both our clubs receive money from the same part of the world. For what it’s worth, I don’t think Arsenal and City fans should be losing sleep about their respective sponsor and owner (in any case Liverpool’s second biggest sponsor is the national airline of Indonesia and United are currently sponsored by Aeroflot – previously they had Turkish Airlines as a sponsor, and the human rights record of those 3 countries is arguably worse than Abu Dhabi and Dubai) However, there is a legitimate discussion we could all have about these alleged human rights abuses in both Abu Dhabi because there clearly is an issue in those places regarding the living conditions of migrant workers.

    I’ve never been convinced that Wenger is the main reason why Arsenal won’t spend more money on players – I’ve always felt that decision ultimately rests in the boardroom. I think this is a point something both the anti and pro-Wenger camps often miss. The antis blame him for not spending whereas the pros praise him for not doing so and protecting Arsenal’s finances. Of course, I could be wrong but it’s just the way I see it.

    You’re dead right that we don’t know how the footballing landscape will look in future – other clubs could end up getting owners that are more powerful and influential than City’s. Who knows, Arsenal might be one of those clubs.

  • it's Grim oop North

    Another day, another Untold article speculating and failing miserably about a club they couldn’t care less about not ten years ago!

    I would have thought it was blindingly obvious that these governments are using football as a vehicle to bring their respective countries into the civilised world fold, with all the benefits of stable trading relationships, and demystifying the racial stereotypes idly bandied about by the ignorant.

    I support this ideal, it’s the best way to bring peace to our world 🙂

  • Jon

    There have been rumors for some time that City were looking to acquire a Chinese team but there are significant hurdles for foreign companies in China. This is a natural pairing that will allow City to buy a club in China who will then likely receive a City re-branding and for the media conglomerate to use City and the Premier League by proxy as a means for improving their relevancy to football and the Chinese Super League in general.

    City have been at or near the top of the most followed list on China’s version of Twitter “Weibo” for a very long time now. Given the more significant difficulty in obtaining part of a club who is publicly traded, this makes sense for all parties involved.

  • Bluemoon

    Now when qutar buy out west Ham and start a project like city..hohoho

    It will be like Christmas.. You will end up forever moaning…lol

    People who live in real London will love it

  • Edin Ducko

    so we have a rich benefactor, Chelsea have a rich benefactor, Fulham have one, Norwich have one, Wigan have one , Loonypool have one, United have one, and you have one as well.
    Ours is richer than yours and got City to a level of self sustainment.
    Do teams lower down the league complain about Wigan in the league above them being financially doped to get them to there heady heights or do they just get on with it.
    Weren’t Arsenal, United, Chelsea , Bayern munched,mJuventus et al part of the G14 who had a hegemony that no one was able to break into. Well we did, and we have left you,all standing , bleating about FFP.
    Stop whining and just get on with it

  • proudkev

    The similarity between Chelsea and Man City is ironic. 17 years ago Man City were climbing out of Division 2 and like Chelsea, they were a yo yo club. Little history, a bit of fun with Francis Lee, Mike summerbee, Colin bell etc. Nonetheless, a pretty irrelevant football club.

    In one fail swoop, a Country decides to buy the football club and everything is rosy. Like Chelsea, dodgy owner.(at least man City play football unlike Chelsea tbf)

    Football fans are hypocrites. As soon as an owner arrives and BUYS their team success, it’s all fine. But its not sport. Who wins the Formula 1 world title? The bloke with the best car and his team mate comes second.

    I would HATE Arsenal to do this. What worries me is the corruption that comes with money and the tricks to eliminate competition, like the stock piling of players, manipulation of the loan system. I don’t wantxaxbarca, Bayern situation here.

    Politics and football mix = FIFA.

    It’s just not sport to me, sorry. In many ways I loved the 70’s and 80’s, and that was a time when arsenal struggled.

    Where will this end? It’s a shame the winners will always be the ones who spend the most and manipulate the sport.

  • WalterBroeckx

    No Edin, Arsenal have a rich owner, not a benefactor.

    Like I said people who win the lottery, change …

  • Edin Ducko

    So if the roles were reversed and Sheikh Mansour was Arsenals owner with new investment from China , you would have issues with it

  • Mandy Dodd

    Edin, most on this site have long championed a self sustainability model and have expressed no preference for anything different.
    If , and it’s a very big IF, our current owner were found to be hindering us for his own projects, as suggested in an earlier post, or if a future owner was to deviate from this self sustainability model, I cannot speak for all on here, but I would imagine many would be most unimpressed judging by their long held opinions.
    Not saying City shouldn’t enjoy what they have, why wouldn’t they., especially living with obnoxious, and at times a cheating neighbour, but think the point of this article….is it good for the game as a whole?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Proudkev….where will it end, a great question. Could be one club dominating for years……works in Germany,….but would it work here any more?
    Could just develop into a mass of corruption.
    The worry is, there are no checks on what could be happening. At least US sports have processes in place to ensure no team dominates too much for too long., unless they really are special.
    My guess, football will eat itself.
    Then things will get better

  • Arsenal website wants to right the footballing world and so starts human rights debate because a huge football club has sold shares in its holding company.what a sad bunch of wallies arsenal fan are.mcfc onwards and upward arsenal stuck in the past.

  • William rickson

    Arsenal fans complaining when we are not self sufficient and complain when we are or make ourselves more self sufficient mad. They also complain when we improve the game because they worry about competition and being top four and are on some moral ego trip. Just improve yourselves and stop moaning

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I like what ManCity is doing in Manchester. Their academy looks to become first class if what is on the ground already is an indication. I like that there is someone to challenge the red half of Manchester who have too long had things their own way.

    However, and not overlooking Arsenal’s faults, the author of this article points out that the model that is being built is clearly extra-systemic and therefore outside of any national, confederation and what with FIFA in disarray, any international control. Add the fact that the owners are now, not one nation-state but two and despite the attractive football it will undoubtedly produce, it is without doubt an overly-immense amount of money to invest in…football? The author and I share the view that whereas some clubs have become only part of a rich owner’s investment portfolio (Kroenke, Abramovich, et al.) the football operations of City Group seem to be the front for far more than football.

  • Crovax

    There are three certain things in life: death, taxes and butt-hurt Citeh fans commenting on Untold articles about City shenanigans.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Speaking of golden showers and gift horses , would someone like to help this guy ? He has been e-mailing me again and again but I really am not able to take him up on his grand and generous offer . Seems legit enough though ! Maybe it could even save your football club, or your country . Good luck.

    Dear Friend.

    Firstly, I apologize for sending you this sensitive information via e-mail instead of a Certified Post-mail as this is due to the urgency of this project. I will first introduce myself to you.My Name is Yeong Keun Lee I am the executive Chairman Of Bank Of China There is the sum of $150,000,000.00 in my bank, there were no Beneficiaries stated concerning these funds which means no one would ever come forward to claim it and That is why I am asking that you be my partner and we work together as partners so as to have the sum transferred out of my bank into Your Account.

    Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue. Once the funds have been transferred from my Bank to your Nominated Bank Account,We shall then share in the ratio of 60% for me, 40% for you. My Personal mail Address Is : []

    Please if you are interested to be my partner in this project i need you to reply me back. I cannot contact you with my official email-address because it is been monitored by my Bank’s Security System.

    Also you are to Fill the information below.

    1, Your Full names:………………………..
    2, Your age:……………………..
    3, Your private phone number:……………
    4, Your current country and residential address:……..
    5, Your Occupation……………………………
    6, Your Level Of Investment………………………
    7, Can You Handle This Project………………………….

    Please send me your Personal Information above and reply me back urgently via my personal email address which is: []

    Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.

    Kind Regards,

    Yeong Keun Lee.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And in the same absurd vein , here’s another – The suitable suitor

    A lonely widow, aged 70, decided that it was time to get married again.
    She put an ad in the local paper that read:


    On the second day, she heard the doorbell.

    Much to her surprise (and dismay), she opened the door to see a grey-haired gentleman sitting in a wheelchair. He had no arms or legs.

    The old woman said, ‘You’re not really asking me to consider you, are you? Just look at you…you have no legs!

    The old man smiled, ‘Therefore, I cannot run around on you!’
    She snorted. ‘You don’t have any arms either!’
    Again, the old man smiled, ‘Therefore, I can never beat you!’

    She raised an eyebrow and asked intently, ‘Are you still good in bed???’
    The old man leaned back, beamed a big smile and said,
    ‘Rang the doorbell didn’t I?’

  • Brickfields Gunners

    An Irishman’s Philosophy

    There are only two things to worry about.
    Either you are well or you are sick.

    Ir you are well ,
    then there is nothing to worry about.

    If you are sick,
    Then there are only two things to worry about.
    Either you will get well or you will die.

    If you get well,
    there is nothing to worry about.

    If you die ,
    there are two things to worry about.
    Either you will go to heaven or hell.

    If you go to heaven,
    there is nothing to worry about.

    But if you go to hell,
    You’ll be so damn busy shaking hands with friends
    You won’t have time to worry!


    ~ Author Unknown ~

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Walter , this one is for you . Enjoy !

    Ethnic Wit
    (NB The following have been ethnically cleansed so as not to cause offence)

    (1) A person belonging to an ethnic group whose members are commonly considered to have certain stereotypical mannerisms met another person belonging to a different ethnic group with a different set of imputed stereotypical mannerisms. The first person acted in a manner consistent with the stereotypes associated with his ethnic group, and proceeded to make a remark which might be considered to establish conclusively his membership in that group, whereupon his companion proceeded to make a remark with a double meaning, the first meaning of which could be interpreted to indicate his agreement with his companion, but the other meaning of which serves to corroborate his membership in his particular ethnic group. The first person took offence at his remark, and reacted in a stereotypical way!

    (2) Q: How many people belonging to a certain ethnic group does it take to perform a particular menial activity?

    A: A finite positive integer. One to perform the activity, and the rest to behave in a manner stereotypical of their ethnic group!

  • Florian

    Brickfields, this one is for you:

    An elderly man goes into confession and says to the priest:

    “Father, I’m 80 years old, married, have four kids and eleven healthy grandchildren, and last night I had an affair with two 18 year old girls. I made love with both of them… twice.”

    The priest said, “Well, my son, when was the last time you were in confession?”

    “Never Father… I’m Jewish.”

    “So then, why are you telling me?”

    “I’m telling everybody!”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Florian – December 4, 2015 at 7:21 am – Nice . The like buttons seem to be jammed . But you know that I will always give a million likes to the AKBs for their insightful comments !

    In the meantime here is how media ‘facts’ are gathered !

    Weather Forecast

    The Indian Chief thought that it was going to be a bad winter so he sent all the braves out to collect wood. As he watched them return laden with timber from the forest he suddenly felt that he ought to check his forecast so he phoned the local met office.

    “Tell me, is it going to be a bad winter?”

    “Yes” said the forecaster ” it will be a bad one”

    So the Chief told the braves that they didn’t have enough wood and sent them back into the forest again. They returned with more wood but once again the Chief had doubts and he called the forecaster to confirm.

    “It is going to be a really severe winter” replied the forecaster.

    The Chief look at the wood store, decided that more was required and the braves were dispatched back in to forest. The Chief called the forecaster.

    “Are you sure it’s going to be a really severe winter”

    “Look” said the forecaster “its definitely going to be the worst winter on record – the Indians are gathering wood like crazy!””

  • M18CTID


    “Little history, a bit of fun with Francis Lee, Mike summerbee, Colin bell etc. Nonetheless, a pretty irrelevant football club.”

    Come on mate, you’re better than that. It’s comments like the above that actually get my goat a lot more than any criticism of the club we are today. Lack of trophies does not constitute a lack of history. Every club has history and lots of it – from the true giants of the game right through to your Rochdales and Scunthorpes. I wouldn’t expect an Arsenal fan to be interested in it of course but City have a very colourful history that doesn’t start and stop with the last 7 years and the purple patch of Lee, Bell, and Summerbee. A few snippets both good and bad: the record attendance of any English club – 84,569 at Maine Road v Stoke City in the FA Cup 6th Round in 1934. Tempered by the 8,015 that turned up to watch us in a league game against Swindon some 30 years later. The only English club ever to win the league title the get relegated the following season…..with a positive goal difference and having scored more goals than the champions, Arsenal! The only English club to score and concede 100 or more goals in a league season. Joining forces with Manchester United in somewhat shamefully driving a third Manchester club, Manchester Central, out of the league and ultimately out of business. The 1905 bribes scandal where the punishment was so severe that it almost ruined us forever, the beneficiaries being United who snapped up some of our better banned players who then went on to form the nucleus of their first trophy winning side.

    That’s just a brief insight into our history – some good, some bad, and some ugly. Probably similar to most other clubs really, including Arsenal. I don’t actually think you really meant it with your “little history” comment because further on in the post you alluded to things being better in some ways back in the 70’s and 80’s when Arsenal weren’t quite as good as they are today. I get that totally – for me, a big part of football died when the terraces went and it’s been constantly sanitised since. We might get some of the more traditional atmospheres back if safe standing is ever legalised in this country but I can see that being a long battle.

  • it's Grim oop North

    Excellent work Brickfields, you make far more sense than Tony and Walter 🙂

  • John

    Walter we have an owner who takes money out of our club whilst Man City has an owner who puts money in.

  • M18CTID


    Spot on mate. I don’t get the praise for Kroenke that some Arsenal fans have. Even if I was a Gooner that didn’t agree with the way that City did things, I certainly wouldn’t be holding Kroenke up as a “good” owner of a football club. All I see is someone that is leeching off the Arsenal brand – a brand that he has had no involvement in building up. Arsenal were doing fine long before he turned up and this practice of taking out millions of pounds for his “advice and expertise” is murky to say the least. Wenger has done far more for Arsenal than Kroenke ever will yet some people on here find it difficult to separate the two. It is entirely possible to praise Wenger’s work while being critical of people in the boardroom.

  • John

    Whilst i dont agree with the way Man City are run i do agree with the way they they treat their fans reference ticket prices.They at least make it financially affordable for the majority of normal fans and families to go to support their team.The same cannot really be said for us at the Emirates.We are at a stage where we are making huge profits but if its not being spent on the playing side of things at least give a little bit back to the fans who have supported the Arsenal through the last 10 years.We would then be able to at least take the moral highground instead of looking like a club that fleeces their fans and is just there to make a profit for Stan.

  • William rickson

    John what is there not to agree with business wise leaving aside human rights etc

  • William rickson

    Crovax what shannanigans are going on ?

  • William rickson

    Going gooner an afront to more than football what do you mean ?

  • M18CTID


    Well to be fair some of City’s match day prices are too high IMO. Season ticket prices are good with a range of prices to suit all budgets, £299 being the lowest.

    I agree that banking the cash and not spending a bit more on players leaves match going Arsenal fans at the thin end of the wedge. Walter often says that Arsenal don’t have the luxury that City have and are far more reliant on gate money but the fact that a lot of that cash is seemingly just being stockpiled (or chunks of it being siphoned off by Kroenke) isn’t particularly fair on the Arsenal fans being asked to pay some of the highest season ticket prices around. I honestly don’t see why this model of running a football club gets so much praise on here – you’d think that those praising it were accountants rather than fans. There’s nothing wrong with running a club in a prudent fashion but to be doing it to the extent that Arsenal appear to be doing it? No wonder some of the natives are getting restless.