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La Liga awakens to the dangers of City group’s football franchise scheme. But where will they venture next?

by Tony Attwood

It was in 2015 on one of my trips to Australia to see my daughter that I visited Melbourne City FC and was astonished to see how much it was being re-designed to look like Manchester City.  It was a surprise because a couple of years before that I had predicted that City Group might start buying a team in each continent, and from there in each major league.  If you are a regular reader you’ll know that my predictions are not always, well, what shall I say?  Not always accurate, is perhaps the best way to put it (although I did get the doubling in cost of building New White Hart Lane right).

Although the UK media has covered the addition to the group of New York City FC in 2013, something arranged through various “leaks” slipped to the media in the latter part of 2012, nothing much else has appeared about the expansion of the group, and Untold was one of just a few places where it was possible to read about the expansion plus the suggestion of where it might all go.

Our suggestions were one club in each associate region of Fifa, followed eventually by one club in each major footballing country, the aim being ultimately to have enough of a hold on football to be able to create the rules to suit themselves – a group whose teams always won every league and every cup (a bit like Olympiakos), and through controlling the top players around the world, a group that would effectively also run the world cup, champions league and ultimately Fifa.

The response was something along the lines of snorts of derisive laughter, but then that’s normal.  And I’m the first to admit that some of my lines of enquiry deserve that.

But in this case…

Next came a minority holding in Yokohama F. Marinos.  But that minority holding is a bit misleading and I think is just there to accommodate Japanese law, because there is also a local subsidiary company owned by City Group which looks like the obvious vehicle through which they may seek eventually to own a controlling stake in the club.

South America was obviously a prize target, and this year City group bought Club Atlético Torque in Uruguay, followed shortly after by Girona in Spain, a club that was part owned by Pep Guardiola’s brother and which was already being used as a half way house for loaning players to Manchester City.  Girona FC is now part of the Group, as we reported recently.

So it has gone on, and our wild whimsy of the notion that City Group wanted one team on each continent is now not only being achieved but has actually turned up in the Wikipedia article on the Group including another tale we’ve run – a club in South Africa.   But before then it seems there is to be one in China, and maybe one in India.

Now at this point I had to stop writing because the laughter in Untold’s little editorial office was so great that I couldn’t carry on, but I promise you, this seriously is the suggestion.  OK not the proper monitoring, but the appearance of monitoring by a system totally under  the Group’s control.

And indeed it seems City group can go on and own as many clubs as they want, because the regional authorities of Fifa will always be there to make sure everything is done by the rules.

But fortunately for our sanity, Untold’s writers are not the only bunch who don’t believe that Fifa could manage a sandcastle in the Sahara, because the Spanish League has started to get worked up about this.   (At this point we might say it would be nice if the FA and the Premier League were a bit concerned as well, since it affects them as Man City is part of this plan, but that would be asking too much).

The president of La Liga, Javier Tebas, has now demanded Manchester City and Paris St-Germain be banned from all European competitions for financial doping.  He accused Girona of  creating false low values on players taken on loan from Manchester City in order to get around Spanish financial control regulations.

Now at this point you might be laughing a little at the notion of financial controls in a league that includes Real Mad and Barcelona but yes, they do exist – although mostly to stop any other clubs rising up to challenge the special treatment that Real Mad and Barcelona get.

Manchester City (which I suppose we ought to call City Group 1, just to make things clear), sent five players to Girona (City Group 6) on loan in the window just closed but Girona paid no loan fees, which looks suspicious given that there are regulations on how much Girona can spend.  La Liga has estimated the value of trades to be enough to tip Girona over the limit they are given by the League.

Because those discussions seem to have stalled La Liga has gone public and demanded Uefa take action on the grounds of a breach of FFP.

Now Uefa has taken on City Group before, and fined them and reduced the number of players they can have in the Champions League.  And Manchester City are still awaiting to hear if they will face a second ban on signing players following escapades with a youngster, again involving South America.

But opening comments from Uefa suggest that they have bought into the City Group modus operandi, and won’t investigate.  So unless the Spanish League backs down there could be quite an upturn in law suits.  The League has announced it will give Uefa up to eight months to get its house in order vis a vis Man City and PSG.  After that the President of the league said,  it will be a case for the competition authorities in Brussels “and, after that, potentially the courts.”

Uefa however has partially obliged by starting an investigation into PSG following the signing of Neymar and the £166 million “loan” deal for Kylian Mbappe.

If City Group do take this as a green light, then I suspect that their purchasing of clubs across the world will gather pace.  And at least we will have an excuse for a little glass of wine this evening over a prediction that we got right.

Where next?  Scotland?  There are several clubs in that country that would welcome City Group with open arms.

Manchester C under investigation again by Uefa (January 2015)

The new football: Man C enters MLS with Yankees. Any more?  (May 2013)

40 comments to La Liga awakens to the dangers of City group’s football franchise scheme. But where will they venture next?

  • MCFC OK

    Paranoia levels through the roof and a lot on things in this article that are just not accurate at all……..but then that seems to be the Arsenal way.

  • Jax

    MCFC OK
    Not necessarily ‘the Arsenal way’, but just one bloggers views.

  • Minesy

    What are the inaccuracies, MCFC OK ???

  • Funny how UEFA took no action when it was found that the Spanish state was funding Real and Barca.

    Innit?

    Clubs like Real, Arsenal, United and Barca turned football into big business. Along come proper businessmen – hardly surprising, eh? – who are able to crank it up a level. Listen to those left behind squealing… and we’ve got a cracking good women’s team as well.

  • Josif

    It would be great if it wasn’t just a case of Spanish pot calling Manchester kettle black.

    How about state aid in the form of postponed tax obligations that Spanish clubs have enjoyed comparing to other EU clubs such as Bayern?

  • Alphie_Izzett

    The president of La Liga, Javier Tebas!!!
    Well as those of my generation would say, using the Mandy Rice-Davies famed comment, “he would say that, wouldn’t he”?

    Barca and RM have been creaming off the bulk of the La Liga TV money and gaining huge state aid for donkey’s years during which time they have sat comfortably at the top of world footballs rich list. Inter and Milan were instrumental in egging on Platini (have you spotted yet that he was as bent as a safety pin)because the collapse of supporters attending Serie a games and declining TV revenues had relegated them from the top table of European soccer.

    Don’t kid yourself that FFP was aimed at protecting clubs and their fans from failed ownership and unsustainable spending, it was aimed at the “new kids on the block”, seeking to prevent the Manchester Ciy’s, PSG’s and dare I say, Everton’s, Stoke’s or Crystal Palaces of this footballing world from living the dream through sustainable and eventually profitable investment from wealthy owners.

    It is true that PSG flaunted the FFP rules, City marginally fell foul on a disputable interpretation of one aspect, and both clubs accepted the same penalty, nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Since that time City have grown in all areas of commercial development and have been returning net profits in each of their last three sets of financial results. All of the owner’s investment has been capitalised into shares, there are no loans to be financed and the estimated value of the Club exceeds the total investment in the club which includes the a well equipped Academy complex that equals and maybe exceeds quality of facilities at the famed Masia at Barca.

    Now we are being treated to the ill informed whining of those who would jump at their own clubs benefitting from the opportunity that Chelsea, PSG and City have had, and the self serving actions of those who have watched their own privileged positions under threat like the established Euro Elite clubs and gravy train hanger’s on such as Javier Tebas with his phoney outrage.

    Football has always seen sea changes through wealth buying into it. Spurs did this in the 1960’s epitomised by the signings of Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles. The Moore’s family poured Littlewoods money into Liverpool, Manchester United grew out of a very different set of circumstances and Chelsea has Roman Abramovich.

    Your article holds some truths and some genuine concerns, and it is fair to suggest that sensible, effective policing is more important in this era of globalisation than in the past. I get that, but for goodness sake, recognise that Manchester City are not the spearhead of a conspiracy to dominate world football, the owners are seeking to challenge for honours and to win some. They are doing so with a successful business model, not something that European football in general and English football in particular is famed for!

    In run down and deprived East Manchester the club owners are investing hundreds of millions in non- football development. It is funding a huge social housing for rent scheme in partnership with Manchester City Council and substantial commercial redevelopments. This is investment for the future, improving the infrastructure and establishing long term revenue streams. In addition there is a major social and welfare commitment where the City in the Community project, sports based program for kids, is a significant and long standing commitment.

    Altogether this amounts to the building of something both remarkable and impressive but despite the slurs and accusations it doesn’t buy guaranteed success, and thankfully not. Manchester City (and PSG) is not yet quite able to compete successfully against the established and heavily protected European hegemony. If and when the time comes that they are able to climb that particular mountain, the seed money will have been the foundation on which the success will have been built, but it will have been the money earned by the highly effective management of the commercial side of the club that has made the difference since then.

    You need to come to terms with the fact that your club has fallen from grace not through anything that City or Chelsea have done off the pitch but because you have gone from being an example of sound management to being a sad shadow of that in a period in a decline on all fronts that is approaching a decade long and crowned with that laughing-stock transfer window charade. Forget La Liga and its apologists who are all hot air and wind, stop whinging about City and PSG and get your own house in order instead of casting around for pantomime villains. If Arsenal fail to turn this around with firm and decisive action now, the club will become another Liverpool with deluded fans who are living in an ever more historic past with an unattractive sense of being entitled.

  • Phil Ster

    I think Man City will be quite happy to have La Liga, et al., pursue this in the EU court system. That has always been the big stick that City, PSG, Chelsea, etc. have carried with them in interactions with UEFA. Sorry to say, Mr. Tebas, but if PSG and Neymar have been “peeing in the pool” then I’m afraid that RM and Barca long ago turned that swimming pool into a urinal. What really was devastating to Tebas and Bartomeo is not just that PSG swooped in like a falcon dive-bombing its prey, spiriting off Neymar in its talons, but also that the lad himself was clearly desperate to leave Barca for life in Paris. Ouch, that really must have hurt!

    Let’s also not forget that FC Barcelona received a criminal count conviction in a Spanish court for tax evasion (in many millions of euros) in the Neymar purchase and its former el jefe, Sandro Rosell, is a wanted fugitive from justice. That is why he was unable to attend the 2014 World Cup in person.

  • Phil Ster

    This is a wonderful blog, thanks for publishing it. As a Man City supporter, I think it’s remarkable how regularly you manage to proffer one new hair-brained half-baked conspiracy theory after another, many centered on my club. And yes, we’re SO flattered by the unceasing attention. However, in the meantime, you lot might want to spend some more time trying to remediate the toxic-dump site atmosphere at your club, and in its supporter ranks. It seems that many Arsenal supporters have figured out that Stan Kroenke is the real villian in this story, despite the continued bungling of Gazidis and the poisonously comic antics of Wenger, who is now fully exposed as someone the modern game has passed by. You are dangling at the precipice of the floor of the first tier of clubs in the PL, and as it stands now, ManU(re) and Pool seem poised to solidify their status there, with Everton looking to make the leap forward.

    Time to focus on your own considerable failings as a club, not slander clubs with real ambition. The fuse is set, the clock is loudly ticking, but will you awake in time to save the day?

  • nick

    City are loaning players to Girona. Girona are not loaning players to City.

  • Rolee

    ” half way house for loaning players to Manchester City.”

    False, no player has been loaned from Girona to Manchester City.

    “Spanish League has started to get worked up about this”

    The Spanish League authorised it.

    I can’t be bothered picking apart the rest but just wanted to add that Soriano has spoke in great detail about the aims of CFG, so your “prediction” was already stated by the group.

  • You are quite right, I wrote it the wrong way round – Man City are loaning players to Girona, and that is causing some concern. Thank you for pointing that out; a silly mistake on my part.

  • para

    Jeremy Poynton
    “Along come proper businessmen – hardly surprising, eh? ”
    Did you mean to say Along come people with more money – hardly surprising, eh? 🙂

    I still find it hard to realise that people are not aware that he/they who has the most money tends to usually win!

    This is the world we live in and football is already a big part of this money world, because anything that generates the money football does, could not stay apart for long.

    All money is generated by stealing. There is no money in this world that has not been generated by thievery, not even our wages.

    So it is no surprise to me that football clubs are becoming more and more owned and run by the more successful crooks out there.

    The feeling among those crooks is; “May the best crook win”!

  • Pat

    Interesting – the monopoly process as it operates in football.

  • Rolee

    Out of interest Tony, have you a similar article concerning the Pozzo family? If you do could you please post a link, thanks in advance.

  • Gooner S

    @Phil Ster

    Just for a minute, if you can, take a step back and look at what Tony has written from a wider football perspective. Don’t agree? No problem. Where has he got it wrong? Let him/us know.

    Instead you seem to be content at just responding with insults. It’s boring. You bring up the “toxic” environment among the Arsenal fan base. Indeed it is but I suspect that much of it is created by Arsenal fans with a similar outlook to you.

    I personally found the article interesting. There is no other Arsenal blog that raises these issues. I find the response of LA Liga hard to take seriously given the history of the Spanish government supporting Real Madrid and Barca. How accurate is Tony’s article? I really don’t know.

  • There are half a dozen articles that mention Pozzo. The first I think was http://untold-arsenal.com/archives/22185 The most recent was “The gross incompetence of England’s football authorities exposed, once again” http://untold-arsenal.com/archives/57090

  • Goonermikey

    I love it when Man City and Chelsea fans come out defending practices that they would have hated if others had been doing it……………..where were you when you were poor?

    The idea that Arsenal were part of a club with Real, Barca and Man U is possibly the most laughable comment I’ve seen for a long time………………and (surprise, surprise) not backed with one shred of evidence.

    Sorry Tony but when you say we live in a new world where certain politicians believe we don’t need experts, and certain voters support that view, I find it astonishing that everybody who comes on here to criticise thinks thy are actually a bloody expert……

  • Jammy J

    Comments from the City fans are so painfully predictable. It’s quite embarrassing how close-minded some football fans can be.

  • Phil Ster

    Jammy J: What’s truly embarrassing is the level of application by Arsenal’s players against Pool the other day.

  • tobi

    Nice post Alphie_Izzet, You said it all and it’s a shame this is where we are, trying to poo on other clubs who don’t follow our model when we’ve not sorted the massive issues we have . It’s really a sad thing to always want to lay blame on another entity for what is happening in one’s turf, its very convenient but it’s sad

  • Jammy J

    MCFC OK – Yes, please, why don’t you share to everyone the many inaccuracies that you came across? If you don’t reply (which I imagine you won’t), then we’ll just assume that you saying it wasn’t accurate, was purely down to getting annoyed over reading something slightly negative about Man City and you needed a way of hitting back. But that would have be extremely childish, wouldn’t it? Surely no grown adult would arbitrarily insult something like that.

  • Phil Ster

    Jammy J: Please feel free to read my response to Gooner for the information you have requested.

  • Alphie_Izzett I like your retort, it was well crafted. I agree I have no issue with a team making greater investments in an initial period, for the long term business model. I think that Man City’s business model, epitomises what can and likely should be the process if you have an almost endless pot to piss in.

    However, the Liverpool story defines the potential risks, if a owner should just simply pull out.

    Phil Ster correctly points out that it is becoming more widely recognised that the owner is likely to be underfunding the club intentionally to it’s determent, which in any event could well be considered a legal issue by any other stakeholder ‘uh-hmmm’ Alisher.

    However Gooner S has nailed along with Tony, football is suffering, I make the equivalent of the UK’s average house price a week, I don’t feel like playing, I played badly, blame the manager, he’s easier to get rid of. In fact I don’t like this club anymore, I’m moving to the rivals. Player power, well they may have shot themselves in the foot, because the NBA and NFL talk serious money and they have; yes wage caps. And systems for preventing wholesale stockpiling of MVP’s and the likes, not without it’s issues, but it would seem, that capping wages and improving VR and tackling the issue of umbrella corporations and sponsorship deals which would be deemed economically non viable by any reasonable accountant are the logical next step.

    I agree Scotland is a logical next step, I couldn’t see the issue with Mike Ashley attempt, it was sensible and legal, it’s simply that when it suits, Scotland is separate and when it doesn’t it’s not.

    Unless one argues that other than for the purposes of player development and exposure no club may have a vested interest in another, which would be something worth considering.

    What you have with City and PSG is some mild racism, because other clubs are owned by other states essentially but get less attention and political power finally and unashamedly demonstrating itself in football, not just where tournament hosting is concerned. A World Cup costs a lot to host, it generates so much more £££ you can build whole complexes, have them crumble before completion, kill a few people, expose half the world to Zica and still turn a profit.

    What Neymars transfer has done, is point a very bright investigatory spotlight on some serious issues within football and I am glad.

    Because when all is said and done, Arsenal almost always follow the rules and when all is said and done, we will reap the rewards.

    We are nowhere near down or out, the next three games (H)B’mouth (A)Chelsea (A) WBA all come in a perfect cycle, the rotation is there for LC and EL and I am looking forward to Per in between Chambers and Holding and Monreal and Debouchy in the EL.

    Fanny and Theo fighting for the club and International places, they have no choice but to play.

    I like Skys we could have list, they have run out of crap to talk, with thee international break.

    we took 3 from 9, if you had said we take 7 it would have been a good run, 6 reasonable, 9 outstanding, we took 3, because the referee killed us at Stoke, where likely everyone I going to drop points and against Liverpool, when we played worse than in the 8-2.

    The simple fact is, over the next 7 games we will be able to rotate, make sure we win the opening 2 EL games, to almost ensure top spot, progress against a minnow in LC and probably be sat in or just off top four adrift by 2-3 points. If we do all that, we can play second squad for the EL turnaround matchweeks 3-4 and focus on the league, rotate for the next LC game and be all set to cruise through October benefitting from not having to use up the first team or even travel the first team for EL matches, which gives us a clear edge and will see us less fatigued for the gruelling November and December months, where efficiency in EL will see us less taxed than our rivals in the CL.

    Interesting that our worst months in the league will have to be where we make up and if anything pace set in the league.

    I wil say 7 wins in 7 for September. Liverpool was arguably the worst we could have played and the hardest game we face other than United. We know Chelsea’s game now and Spurs are going to struggle without depth, Everton can’t really score and neither can a good load of the other clubs.

    This one is ours to take.

  • So we know that William Carvalho is available for 25m euros now, January, hopefully Sporting don’t make the EL cut, Meyer can be considered and should be prioritised for free in Jan on pre contract, we are a very good option for him.

    The number of Cb’s available increases in Jan or next summer, I have a preference to VVD anyway. and we get to decide on FB’s come next summer after early pre-season at the latest.

    Reus and Eric Pierre come into play, and we find out about Alexis and OZil, who I cannot see leaving.

    We almost got Mbappe, money had the last word, and Lemar did not reject us, confirms Wenger in not so many words, he’s learning.

    I think Neymar may just be the height of the craziness, but I was wrong, Real did nothing, and so did we, not many others did that! And I can pick 4 players who Real want and I can do the same for us, can’t do that for many others.

    £20m for Alexis in Jan, haha!

  • Barcelona are trying to save Money and have gone Brazilian on the Cb issue, seems firm enough. Juventus are looking, however PSG want to keep Munier, City have to offload Mangala and can’t really buy a first choice CB, but Kompany is out again! United need one, but nmot desperately, Liverpool, need to prove they can and they wont this season so, well they have to offer an extra 5m per player and still lose out! Bayern are cool and will likely raid Germany if they can and that leaves Real, and us again.

    in fact they could use a DM or Box to Box Mid and some cheaper rotation FB’s!

    and a GK!

    LOL!

    Butland, get me Butland, no matter the cost, but less than De Gea which won’t be much over 35m, maybe a swap deal. Zlatan out, Benzema in!? Swap deal for Keepers, there is a reason Jose keeps playing number 2 keeper.

  • para- fair enough – but that begs the question, why are City being signalled out for abuse for what many other clubs are doing? You may not like it. I don’t particularly like it, but football is big business now. Apparently a business City have no right to be involved in, reading here, there and everywhere. Well, sod that.

  • Oludotun

    Football – football is not a fantasy or some game that doesn’t affect people. Actually, it’s the most important sport when it comes to the spread of effect on people. It cuts across all nations.
    It’s important to note that football is not a planet that exists somewhere else, but a part of this world we live in.

    Welldone Tony for this article. 👍
    You raise the most thought-provoking issues on the bearing of football with the society. I really appreciated the Brexit issues on here.

    The issue raised in this article is not a fan-hate perspective but the power football holds if certain things ain’t curtailed.
    It doesn’t all end after 90 minutes. Don’t stay in the stadium but get a wider scope on these issues.

  • Bluetobits

    I can’t recall any such investigations by yourself when Arsenal went child catching (along with another club who play in Red ) into South America, loaning those caught, to Spanish clubs to skirt UK qualification rules.

    In addition there was no uproar when Man U bought into a second division Belgian side to do exactly the same.

    As soon as someone outside the big four leaves you standing, just when you thought you were top dog must irritate for sure.

    As you have already accepted numerous errors in your report I would like to point out some glaring omissions:-

    1.FFP rules were brought in under pressure from the G14 (Arsenal & Man U members).
    2.They were brought in with such conditions that only City fell foul of them (PSG was later)
    3.The club negotiated a moratorium with UEFA – who then moved the goal posts at the 11th hour (obviously to please the G14 clubs)
    4. These rules were a deliberate attempt to create an elitist football Klick – no complaint about this by you at the time.
    5. City have just been refunded £33m from UEFA for being compliant- no mention by you
    6. City’s net spend this summer is less than £100m (Players sold + Refund) but the media would have you believe we were the biggest spenders – ALL businesses & household operate on what’s left after you deduct spending from Income.So this leaves Man u Chelsea,The two Milan Clubs & PSG as the benders of the rules as they have spent far far more than they have received
    7.This case regarding a south American Player you mentioned has been ratified by both UEFA & FIFA and has no hope whatsoever of being overturned by this kangaroo court you refer to or both FIFA & UEFA will be complicit.

  • Never heard of the CAS as a kangaroo court… that is quite a thought.

  • Bluetobits. The original plans for FFP were to deal with clubs with huge debts. The clubs with huge debts (Barca, Ral, United and co.) soon put an end to that. The main aim of FFP was then to stamp on the core means of growing a business, i.e. speculating to accumulate. It’s a heap of poo.

    And well said mate. I used to respect Arsenal. That’s long gone.

  • Nitram

    Jeremy Poynton

    The feelings mutual I can assure you.

    I used to respect City. Right up to the moment they became a Nation states play thing.

    Once upon a time City tried to WIN things, in fact once in a ‘Blue moon’ (get it?) they actually succeeded.

    Now they just buy them.

    Oh dear, we’ve failed again. No matter lets spend another £150 Million.

    Oh no, that didn’t work, lets spend another £150 Million.

    And so it goes.

    Wow, that must feel amazing.

  • Goonermikey

    @ Bluetobits

    It’s absolutely hilarious the way you say, “City’s net spend this summer is less than £100m” as though you’ve been frugal. This just goes to show what you people have come to regard has high spending. In a quite summer you spend more than most clubs could ever dream about spending.

    I remember watching you lot lose at the Emirates three or four years ago and remember a mate calculating that your bench had cost more than our entire squad. I later went on to calculate that your entire squad had cost more than we had spent on players in our entire 125 year history. That puts your spending into a more realistic perspective I would suggest………

  • Goonermikey

    Oh and I can’t wait for you to tell me how much that means each of your league titles have cost on average lmao…………….and just for clarification, I mean top division titles. You have an unfair advantage in the second tier as you’ve obviously had far more attempts at that than have we.

  • Nitram

    Jeremy Poynton

    Can you tell me what Arsenal FC have done exactly, for you to of lost ‘respect’ for them.

    I don’t mean the whinging AAA fans or the likes of Untold, me included, who are not exactly Enamoured with the ‘Spend a small Nations debt’ kind of approach to things, but Arsenal FC.

    To me, all they seem to of done, as a club, is to of chosen a ‘self sustaining’ model to follow.

    I mean, can see why some Arsenal fans would want us to join the Billionaires Club, and that not doing so could upset them, but why would that make YOU lose respect for them?

    As far as I know the Club has never verbally abused or disrespected any of the Clubs that are spending Billions.

    To me, Arsenal FC, as a Club deserve enormous respect for the path they’ve chosen.

    It is not an easy path and comes at a great cost to the Club, in terms of the trophies it can compete for, let alone win.

    It has come at a great cost with regards to how they are constantly ridiculed in the media.

    It has come at a great cost in that a fair proportion of there own fan base has turned against them.

    Wenger personally get abused in the media. Gets abused at the ground. Gets abused at railway stations.

    As I say, not an easy path to of chosen, but one I fail to see would cause anyone, especial non Arsenal fans, to lose there respect for the Club over, in fact I would of thought it would of been quite the opposite.

    Maybe you can enlighten me then, as to what exactly Arsenal FC themselves have done that upsets you so?

  • Nitram. Leicester was a once in a blue moon thing. No money, no trophies. Way back when at the turn of the last century, City ruled the roost in Manchester, were responsible for making football very popular there (seek out Gary James’ articles, Uni of Metro Manchester) and the first winners of silverware in 1904. By 1911, United were pissed by this, and a director, a Mr. Gibson, invested a (then) huge sum of money in the club. Yup. They bought the league, and that has always been the case, to an extent until the Premiership (which was hijacked by the likes of United and Arsenal as they saw the TV money and business oppos to come. Were you aware that it was to be the “FA Premiership”, and its prime aim was to improve the England squad? No, bet not. Read David Conn’s excellent “The Football Business”, which relates all of this in full detail). Indeed, United made a huge loss the first 6 years under Ferguson as he built a squad that could win the league.

    Upset me? Well, I’m beyond ****** off with other clubs bitching about our success. And Wenger, who I used to hugely respect, has turned into a whining old woman. May his reign at the Emirates last for may years to come.

  • Nitram

    You still have not said what Arsenal FC themselves have done to make you lose your respect for them.

    It sounds to me like you’re pissed at EVERY Club, hence:

    “Well, I’m beyond ****** off with other clubs bitching about our success’

    Ok, fair enough, if that’s your reason then you must of lost respect for every other Club, no?

    But even so, as far as I’m aware Arsenal FC have never ‘bitched’ about your club, but if they have show me.

    Now it’s not only Arsenal you’ve lost respect for but Wenger as well it seems, who you used to HUGELY respect apparently. And why this sudden loss of respect one asks? Well apparently it’s because he’s now a whinging old women. But wasn’t that ever the case? You must of missed those early whinges because if anything he was worse back in the day.

    But why is it Wengers upset you so much?

    Because of course Fergie never whinged did he?

    Have you lost respect for him as well? Did you ever have it?

    Or Mourinho, he never whinges does he? Do you respect him ‘Hugely’ ?

    I bet you respect your very own Pep hugely don’t you? Well here he is having a little moan up of his own:

    http://www.espn.co.uk/football/blog/marcottis-musings/62/post/3031284/manchester-city-labour-to-victory-and-pep-guardiola-complain

    And here:

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/2674454/pep-guardiola-demands-an-explanation-after-manchester-city-are-denied-a-penalty-for-push-on-raheem-sterling/

    And here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhVo8AY9364

    And here:

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/2527519/pep-guardiola-unhappy-with-the-media-after-being-let-down-at-reporting-of-his-chat-with-txiki-begiristain-after-liverpool-defeat/

    Seems Wenger’s not alone on the Whinging front doesn’t it.

    In fact if your honest every single manager that there’s ever been whinges as much as the other don’t they? So all in all that’s a pretty poor excuse for your sudden lose of ‘Huge respect’ don’t you think?

    And by the way, by highlighting the PEP incidents I’m not picking on him in particular. Just making appoint. Personally I don’t have an issue with managers whinging.

    They get frustrated. Angry. Disappointed. They have a moan. Just like the rest of us.

    But to single out Wenger as being any better or worse than anyone else, including your own manager, is utterly wrong, and a rather lame excuse for disrespecting him don’t you think ?

    Anyway, I’ll await your list of AFC whinges about City with baited breath.

  • Flares

    Phil Ster,

    The attention you get isn’t ‘unceasing’. Considering the volume of articles posted on this site the amount given over to analysing Manchester City is a fraction of a percent. You’re really not that important and talking like a United fan won’t fool us into thinking you’re entitled to their level of bragging rights. Always the bridesmaid etc. Like your stablemate Bluetobits, you appear to be suffering from delusions of grandeur; let us not forget that precisely half your mighty total of four English top division titles has been acquired since the oil money arrived. The Plastics at Chelsea are rightly despised for similar reasons as yourselves, but at least they can boast they’re in London rather than some cesspit inside the M60. Also, they’ve done rather better since their takeover than you. All those hundreds of millions spent and not a Champions League final to your name – even lame old Arsenal have managed that (on a fraction of the budget). The Sheikh is not amused. Maybe you can get Messi on a free next season and pay him half a million quid a week to be way past his best and unhappy in windy Lancashire? I’m literally yawning with anticipation over your next baby-step towards global domination.

  • Nitram

    Flares you old dog.

    At least try and put em down with love, you just say it as it is.

    Way to go.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    I just realized that a proper businessman is some bloke with enormous amounts of money and an improper businessman is some bloke with less money.
    Sad. I am more upset with the PSG model, but with hopes the French League stops being narcissistic and finally does a proper investigation.
    Very sad. I am in a medical profession, and what hurts medicine is the big money from what may be considered “proper businessmen” like some of the big bio pharmaceutical companies, big insurance firms, the for profit medical delivery system, and even some of the malpractice lawyers.

  • Menace

    Leicester – a once in a Blue Moon thing! Get the facts right. Leicester were proof of concept ‘that PGMOL can choose who wins the league’. It proves that the whistle blowers control a volume of money that the city cannot dream of.

    Get the truth into perspective. Football is a strange bag of wind that can be more powerful than Irma.

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