Man City fans were right about Lampard; the club lied and broke the rules.

By Tony Attwood

I recently wrote a piece in which I said that the signing of Frank Lampard by Manchester City involved some sort of jiggery pokery.

In that regard I was right – but those Manchester C fans who wrote in to Untold were also right – because I got the nature of the jiggery pokery quite wrong.  I’m sorry about that.

My suggestion was that Manchester C and New York City FC had colluded in a way that only clubs that are owned by the same person but which are in different Federations, can do, to experiment with ways of moving a player while getting round certain elements of FFP in Europe and the Premier League.

What was in my mind, although not fully explored in the article was that this was perhaps a dry run for a scheme which would put all the clubs owned by Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, via the City Football Group in a position in which they could freely exchange players to the benefit of each other.

I was also thinking that if the City Football Group (which also includes Melbourne City FC and Al-Jazira Sports & Culture Club) continues to expand it could by-pass regional rules quite effectively.

But it seems I was getting ahead of myself.  I do think that the evolution of the City Football Group is something to be wary of, not least because if a South American club is added to he group it would give the Group enormous power in terms of player exchanges), but it looks like this either wasn’t the game this time, or it was the game and they cocked it up.

My information at the time came from the usual sources, in particular the BBC, Reuters, the Guardian and the Independent newspapers, the last two being perhaps the most realistic and reliable of an unreliable press in the UK.

But it seems that in putting it all together I got it wrong.

What seems to be the real story was that Manchester City FC deliberately or accidentally misled the news media in both the US and the UK.

Manchester City have now confirmed that Lampard was and is contracted to themselves.  This comes five months after they very clearly and openly claimed to have signed the midfielder on loan from New York City FC.

What we now know, and what many Manchester C fans confirmed on this site was that Lampard was signed on a 12-month contract last August, which included a December 31 break clause, rather than a six-month deal up to and including New Year’s Eve, as the club had said before.

Anyway, the Premier League is now getting a bit hot under the collar about all this, and it seems fans of New York City FC who bought advance tickets partly in the hope of seeing Lampard because they (like me and a few other people) took Manchester C at their word when they said that the player had signed for New York City and been lent to Manchester C.

Manchester C’s official Twitter account said on August 6 that Lampard had signed a loan deal at the Etihad Stadium.  The tweet has now vanished into the ether and the website link deleted.

The Independent has said that, “Don Garber, the MLS commissioner, conceded at the weekend that an ‘error of judgement’ was made by all parties involved in failing to disclose earlier that Lampard would not actually arrive in New York until July this year.”

Manchester C have also said that, “the statement on the NYCFC website in July saying Lampard’s two-year contract took effect from Aug 1, 2014 was a mistake… the initial statement on the City website that it was a loan was also an error…

“… There was never a break clause in Lampard’s contract dated 31 December – the short-term contract with City only ran to December 31”.

But this is where the old saying about when one is in a hole one should stop digging comes in.

For this new revelation shows Manchester C have  contravened Premier League regulation T11 that says that the minimum length of a Premier League player contract is one year.  So it looked like Manchester C could not have signed Lampard.

And yet, the statement now is that “Frank Lampard has not signed a binding contract with New York, and is registered solely to Manchester C.”

The Premier League is investigating and asking for explanations.

I will know to be more cautious in my use of Manchester C as a source in the future, and indeed not assume that a Premier League club would not flagrantly break a significant and well known Premier League rule in this way.  So, sorry about that.

But I remain interested in the expansion of the City Football Group.  The rules are less stringent in some parts of the world, and I still think the addition of a South American club, if it happens, could be somewhat concerning.  This open breach of Premier League rules in order to get the player they wanted in the place they wanted shows the danger of such a group of clubs spread across the world.  Especially where they get the details wrong.


81 Replies to “Man City fans were right about Lampard; the club lied and broke the rules.”

  1. And the strange thing is that although he never was a player he was mentioned on the New York City website as one of their players in the players list and got a full profile over there. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

    there is something muddy in this case is the least you can say. People are lying about things and now we should know why of course.

  2. And my new second hand laptop seems to be working … my owh laptop broke down the other day and so I was out of the internet for much of the day…. good to be back

  3. If Lampard agreed to join nycfc (and was announced as such) before the said out of contract player joined mcfc with the proviso that he still joined nycfc be it in jan or july 2015 there is no problem. Simple.

    Im sure if any club had been bought by city’s owner and was in the same position involving a similar situation then it would be seen in the same light to that as i have just mentioned.

  4. I can’t even understand an article like this on an Arsenal website! Man City is a well run club & FFP rules were only brought in to hurt them & PSG both clubs that are debt free. They have been clever to strengthen their squad in a manner that sidesteps FFP regulstions their only mistake made has been in transparency.
    Arsenal are a club playing catch up with the likes of Chelsea & MCFC & now Man United.The manager Mr. Wenger is seriously overpaid many of the players have been underpaid for years. Fabregas now plays for Chelski, it is time the bosses moved on brought in a younger manager & started to compete, it won’t happen with Wenger as manager.
    Don’t concern yourselves with Citeh focus solely on Arsensl!

  5. Ah c’mon, get off your pseudo moral hobby horse. Since when has ‘deliberately or accidentally misleading the news media’ become an offence? As a journalist myself I feel bound to point out that the news media is equally adept at misleading readers/viewers much of the time. Most of the under-researched gobbledegook you read about ‘Man City ruining football…’ not to mention the pious claptrap from hacks who support other clubs about FFP itself, comes under this heading. Not to mention the daily transfer rumours with no foundation in truth.

    Yes, I can see a potential problem – say new CFG member Mendoza City, floated with a large injection of funds, buys Leo Messi cash upfroont and leases him back at tuppence a week to MCFC, to take the most extreme of cases. It wouldn’t take the wisdom of Solomon to devise legislation to cope. Mind you, it would probably be beyond the capability of Platini and UEFA.

  6. Wait…. Lampard has signed to city football group. Not NYCFC or MCFC. Isn’t this a proper 3rd party ownership. With no deals with either NYCFC or MCFC!!…

    Breach of PL rules regarding third party ownership!!!….

  7. As usual Tony Attwood twists the story to suit his Anti-City bias. If rules were broken then why have City not been charged?

    If we’re pointing the finger, Arsenal are just a gloried MK Dons having stolen another clubs identity. Maybe you can write a piece on that!

  8. I think City cocked up because there would have been nothing to stop City just signing Lanpard, they had no reason to lie.

    Still if City have to use smoke and mirrors to get around the doomed unfair FFP rules than thats OK with me. The City empire is growing. I am sure NY City fans are disappointed but they know there will be lots of great players going there so they will get over it.

  9. Football is business. Big business. Where there is money to be had all sorts of behaviours will be exhibited and tactics executed to achieve the desires and aims of an organisation. Not just in football but business in general. Clearly some actions taken are more ethical than others and most probably live in a grey area where they go unseen, under the radar for the most part.

    Its a shame that you are getting grief from City fans because I don’t read this as an attack on City the club that the fans support, a club that I’ve liked since the days of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Alison but more of a commentary on the practices of people that own football clubs.

    If one takes a step back and looks at the Lampard transfer objectively you have to ask yourself, as the casual observer, why was it done in this way? Incompetence? Or some other reason?

  10. Man utd. Did the same mistake while dealing with Aaron Ramsey of arsenal, when they claimed Aaron had signed for them on their website

  11. I can’t understand why the FA would be investigating. If Lampard has been playing for City then they must have his documentation already. Lampard must have been registered one way or another for him to be allowed to play. If he was only taken on on a six month contract, the FA must have been forwarded this contract and missed the trick regarding minimum contract lengths. I’m sure the press will keep digging and digging, but I get the feeling it could be the FA that have cocked up.

  12. It’s hailrious at the indignation of people like Gooners and Chelsea.
    Let’s study the facts;

    The premier league have “investigated” and confirmed everything is 100% above board FACT.
    The premier league were in possession of the contract Frank signed with MCFC in August, it was a 12 month deal with the provision to release or retain Frank with that decision being made At the end of December. FACT
    Chelsea released frank at the end of his contract, Frank would have stayed at Chelsea if they wanted him, they didn’t and he signed for city. FACT
    Frank committed to NYCFC but has yet to sign a contract, that would have happened if City had released him using the clause inserted into the 12 month deal he signed in August. Neither lampard of MCFC did anything untoward, no rules were broken or even bent. FACT.

    The rules are the rules, if lampard had not been successful at city and just collected his money, nobody would whine and cry, it’s sour grapes because you all wish you had him in your side, you don’t so get over it!

  13. So my thoughts that the owners of Man City are trying to cheat the FFP and therefore cheat football is correct?

  14. It seems to me that there is a simple way forward from the still murky aspects of the Frank Lampard contracts in the Summer. When a player is registered either as permanent or as a loan then a copy of the signed contract should be lodged with the registering body (together with the permanent contract in the case of a loan). This should be deemed the definitive contract and must be changed by the club if there is any change to the original or it is not deemed valid to comply with the registering body rules. The only issue to then be settled is that of privacy and accountability which I would leave to wiser heads than mine.

  15. As long as rules exist, people will find ways to bend them.
    Now is the time for the regulatory bodies of both countries to expose whoever is responsible for lying and deliberately misleading the press. Its obvious something deliberately untoward has happened.
    FFP and its implementation was never going to be easy. One good thing will come out of this – the whole footballing world is about to find out just how serious UEFA is about FFP.
    As for the City fans – nothing they can do really, its out of their hands. Any supporter would stick up for his club.

  16. Andrew Peate

    You obviously see this in a different way from me. You have written

    The premier league have “investigated” and confirmed everything is 100% above board FACT.

    To me all the information coming from the league and the media I cite says this is simply not the case at all, and that the league feels its rules have been broken.

  17. Cookster, before criticising people the normal thing is to do just a tiny bit of research about what they have written.

    You ask if I have written about Arsenal having stolen another club’s identity. I am not quite sure what you mean by that, but I suspect you might be writing about Woolwich Arsenal’s move from Plumstead to Highbury in 1913, where they continued playing as Woolwich Arsenal.

    There are something like 25 articles on the whole process of the moving on the site – many of which I wrote. I hope you find them helpful.

  18. Milt Croall

    You say I can’t even understand an article like this on an Arsenal website!

    and later

    Don’t concern yourselves with Citeh focus solely on Arsensl!

    Well, if you bothered to look at which web site you were writing to, you would see that on our front page is says, as it has said for the past seven years, “Football news from an Arsenal perspective”. Not “Arsenal news” but “Football news”

    It really is a little odd to write to a site without knowing to whom you are writing.

  19. I have found, the more money the City owners spend, the more defensive the City fans become.

    What I find ironic is, they have slaughtered Man Utd for years over their spending but they have become what they hate and then some. I find them some of the least knowledgeable and most arrogant fans out there. They are rivalling Chelsea fans in the stupidity ranks.

  20. I am not throwing abuse behind the scenes and I am not saying City have not done anything wrong just that if they hve it was a mistake

    The owners are not cheating FFP in as much s they my hve been done they have been punished already with fines nd a reduction in their champs league squad

    We all know FFP is just an attempt by Michel Platini to keep the big clubs big and the rest of the clubs bit part players, no more Notts Forests with Michel Platini unfair FFP rules that are doomed nd will be thrown out of court this year. Lets hope eufa have to pay compensation

  21. @Andrew Peate

    My Word you are defensive. I like Manchester City. I don’t follow them and am not interested enough to dig into the details. It is odd don’t you think that Frank Lampard goes over to New York, says he has signed for New York, New York say that he has signed for them, the New York fans think he has signed for them, he is pictured with a New York short and then seemingly he hasn’t. Odd no? Why so? That’s all really.

    Trust me Arsenal fans are tough on our own team. E.g Wenger gets criticised for signing Ozil. I can imagine the self ridicule and criticism within the Arsenal support if we had signed Lampard instead of yourselves under these circumstances.

  22. “The owners are not cheating FFP in as much s they my hve been done”

    If (and I suspect they are) City are using multiple club ownership to get around the FFP, it is clear cheating.

    What’s to stop Sheik Mansoor buying Messi for Melbourne City and while they pay his wages, loan the player to Man City thus not adding either the transfer fee or wages onto Man City’s books?

  23. Will.

    City fans have not slaughtered united over the money they spent they just pointed out it was the money that made them better than the rest not some devine right or magic. The money was only there because united happened to be the best club in the country when the prem and champs laegue alone with Sky tv started had all these three things started 10 years earlier Liverpool would be the cash cow united is now

    All thats happened at City is that the playing field has been levelled up and United fans don’t like it. Suck it up because City are not going away. They are going to get bigger and richer. This season they will break even

  24. United fans dont worry about FFP the European court will deal with that this year then the breaks will be off and City will be able to spend some real money

  25. “All thats happened at City is that the playing field has been levelled up”

    Levelled up? Really? How much have your guys spent over what you have made?

  26. Will,

    “What I find ironic is, they have slaughtered Man Utd for years over their spending but they have become what they hate and then some.”

    The same boring, hackneyed line that you see from many opposition fans. I’ll have you know that no City fan I know has EVER “slaughtered” United or their fans for their spending. We’ve slaughtered them for a lot of other things but ever since I was growing up as a kid in the 1980’s whatever they’ve spent on players and their greater spending power prior to the ADUG takeover has been an accepted norm amongst City fans.

    As for us being amongst the least knowledgeable and arrogant fans, more hyperbole and rubbish. I get the impression you’ve never actually met and spoken to a single City fan in real life and are just resorting to soundbites for the sake of it. On the other hand, I’ve spoken to plenty of Gooners down the years on my visits to both Highbury and the Emirates and the vast majority of them put whoppers like you to shame, not that I’m saying for one minute that we haven’t got any whoppers of our own. I and some other City supporting mates spent a particularly pleasant afternoon conversing with Arsenal fans in The Compton Arms prior to our game at your gaff a couple of seasons ago. It’s a shame you couldn’t have joined us as you might’ve learnt a thing or two from both sets of fans.

  27. As if that would ever happen with Messi. Stop dreaming up ridiculous scenarios Will and give your head a wobble.

  28. Josif,

    A penalty for a perceived misleading of the press? When the press mislead the public every single day of the week and nothing ever comes of it?

    Oh well, I guess we can get punished for it if the relevant authorities decide to implement trial by Untold Arsenal.

  29. Burt it’s possible under the current rules that City are exploiting yes?

    As for your never met any City fans, met a few from the London branch of the fan club. The more you spent, the more defensive they became and more who cares about football we are out of the shadows they got.

    Just talking from actual experience.

  30. “Levelled up? Really? How much have your guys spent over what you have made?”

    Don’t worry Will – City will be making telephone number profits before long and the spectre of FFP will be a distant memory as a result*

    *Of course, this assumes that City continue to be reasonably successful on the field and if we do we’ll have no worries going forward, even without Messi.

  31. So you’re basing your assumptions on a sample figure of a few fans? Errrr, ok then. And City fans are bound to be defensive, considering the fact we’ve been under almost constant attack from all comers for the past 6 years or so. Any fan worth their salt would defend their club in such circumstances – that’s what true supporters do.

  32. What I would like to see clarity around is if Premier League regulation T11 as quoted in this article states the minimum player contract is one year and it giving been confirmed that lampards initial contract was until 31 December therefore in direct contravention of this. Will this mean automatic points deduction for any Man C match involving Lampard for fielding an ineligible player?? I somewhat doubt it.

  33. @ Andrew Peate

    Little tip for you mate. Just putting FACT in uppercase at the end of every sentence doesn’t actually make something a real fact but it does make the person doing so look like a bit of a dick! (Sorry Tony, I suspect your offence is one of sarcasm lol)

    @ Milt Croal

    I think you’ll find FFP was brought in to stop a few extraordinarily rich people (e.g the people who own Man City) from ruining a game enjoyed by billions of people. To see it as “clever” to sidestep FFP is completely absurd. This is merely a case of people who already have a ridculously huge financial advantage not being satisfied enough. It demonstrates a level of arrogance of gargantuan proportions that they think it is acceptable to abuse something which is for the masses just because of their accidental wealth. To defend this stance is unreal. If it happened to Arsenal, I’d be hugely embarrassed and keep my mouth shut.

  34. Btw It has been mentioned that this shoddy practice cannot be stopped. FIFA/UEFA could just ban players being loaned by top flight clubs……

  35. If a player is not properly registered to play for a club (whether by design or by accident) then the team can have aLL points won when he has played deducted. It happened to AFC Wimbledon last season. And it has happened before when a player was signed from Wales and FIFA clearance was not obtained because they forgot that Wales is viewed as a different country by FIFA.
    Those are the rules and the authorities take a very harsh view if they feel thay have been bent or broken.

  36. Will

    I have never met a City fan defensive about the money the club spend we celebrate and enjoy it.

    As for how much City have spent over what they have made….

    We owe nobody anything and we will break even / make a profit this year. Why after over a 150 years why are we suddenly worrying how much money a club spends over what it made?

    And despite all the money City spent United still fielded the most expensive team in English footbll history against City in the Derby,

    FFP is only there to support the United Barc Madrid etc cartel and like all cartels it will eventually be smashed giving hope to all football fans that their team my have slim chnce of winning the league instead of no chance at all ever again

  37. Sorry if a repeat post, think my posts have been waiting approval?

    I think City is just starting to test FA and the PL. Like Arsenal 13 said, Lampard apparently signed with City Football Group, not New York FC or Manchester City. This could be a way similar to 3rd party ownership in Portugal, where City sign the next Ronaldo, Carvalho, etc., and “loan” them to City.

  38. insideright,

    Yes, you are correct – the authorities do take a very dim view when players aren’t properly registered. It’s a moot point in this case though because the Premier League have confirmed that City haven’t broken any rules and Lampard has been registered correctly since the start of the season. No amount of arguing on Internet forums will change this. Much of this incorrect speculation about this being a breach of third party ownership issues appears to have emanated from a blog written by a Chelsea fan and smacks of sour grapes that they let Lampard go last summer and they’re not happy that he’s now having a positive impact at a title rival.

    The only thing up for discussion here is how much of a PR own goal this is for City, New York City FC, and the City Football Group in respect of people across the pond being under the impression that Lampard would be available to play for NYCFC from the start of the MLS season. That’s an internal matter though.

  39. Goonermikey,

    “Accidental wealth”. Is that how you’d describe much of Stan Kroenke’s fortune given that most of it was amassed as a result of him marrying into one of the richest families in the USA?

    In business terms, I think you do Sheikh Mansour an incredible disservice with that comment. This is a man with a lot of business influence across the globe with a diverse portfolio, a man that bought a tranche of shares in Barclays for example at the height of the UK banking crisis and then sold them 12 months later for a profit of over £2 billion, a man that on the day he bought Manchester City Football Club completed some other business transactions that involved far greater sums of money. A man that has Barack Obama on speed dial no less.

  40. Increasing uneasy feelings about these clubs in the EPL who are positively
    controlled by individuals wielding power through money. Wherever they crop up
    they seem to be a law unto themselves in club matters and the governance of the game does nothing because it is also tainted.
    Arsenal are lucky to have a Board able to provide continuity and a steadying influence on the Club’s major shareholder.

  41. It hardly matters in truth. Manchester City will do whatever they want and the only punishments will be superficial and meaningless. Football is too far under the spell of money and greed to ever break loose. Even if City were openly found to be buying referees and fixing games with their money I am sure it would be swept away with a meaningless fine. The whole sort is actually quite pointless these days – not so much a sport as a huge cess pit of greed.

  42. @Jayram,
    You are quite right of course.
    Football became big business (and all the sharp practice, greed and chicanery that involves) with the advent of global TV and its evil associate Advertising.
    It was a licence to print money and true sport has suffered ever since, in many respects.

  43. Not sure you can blame lay all football’s ills at City’s door but if it makes any of you feel better feel free to rant away 😉

    A more sensible analogy with regards to the amount of cash involved in the game these days would perhaps be that City are a symptom rather than the cause. As for the hypothetical scenario regarding us being caught red-handed paying off referees, I highly doubt we’d get away with just a meaningless fine lol.

  44. Andrew Peate is wrong!

    Schedule 2 is the clincher, I quote:

    Supplemental Provisions and Employment Rights Act 1996
    The following provisions shall apply to supplement the provisions of this contract and the information as set out herein in order to comply with the requirements of Part 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

    1. The Player’s employment with the Club began on……
    2. The date of termination of this contract is 30 June 20…..

    HOW can there be a break clause?

    Premier League Handbook for Season 2014/2015. Form 23, which is headed Premier League, the Football League Contract.

    The player has to be signed by the Club (MCFC), and not a third party.

    Manchester City FC has signed to obey the Premier League Rules and thus, the Football League Rules.

    Too many of the internet bloggers, have not read the Rules. Their comments are worthless. This applies to scribblers such as Jeremy Wilson of the D.T. and Amy Lawrence of The Guardian.

  45. Kroenke had and does have his own independent wealth before he’s marriage money marries money.
    Your owner was lucky to be born in to a family who ruled and rules a county like feudal lords. And are able to use the wealth the country produces like personal pocket money.
    I am not having ago at anyone I am just correcting some ideas that seem to be wrong.

  46. Gunnerjoe

    Anyone who has billions even millions of pounds is ripping someone off be they a Feudal lord a billionaire business man.

    Any team that has done well is lucky

  47. Far from using the wealth of Abu Dhabi like “personal pocket money” I’d suggest that the Sheikh and his family members are diversifying their business interests to help ensure AD flourishes long after the oil has run out. Buying MCFC is only a small part of that and may seem like a rich man’s plaything from afar but it’s actually turned out to be an inspired acquisition and has helped raise the profile of AD beyond anyone’s expectations. It might seem like a “loss leader” in his portfolio in terms of outlay vs money recouped thus far but give it 5-10 years and let’s see how much of a loss leader MCFC is then.

  48. I wonder would you feel the same if the queen of England (arsenal fan) decided she was going to buy Arsenal at its current market value. And then spend 2billion on the club and the government had to find the funds.
    Now I am not a millionaire or a billionaire but after putting billions in to the club it will take very long time to get their money back when the club starts making profits.
    Can you explain to me why abu Dhabi which is a county, one only has to look on a map to discover were it is why does it to have it’s profile raised.
    It seems to me like Dubai it will become a tourist destination and it is that now when the oil runs out.
    but if you take out all the money that yours owners family put in to Man City you would have a big problem.
    I think in truth it’s hard to look beyond what you said yourself the club has become a rich mans play thing

  49. Remember I am not having a go do you really think Man City even when it starts making profits your owner will take does profits out to help replace the lost revenue From oil.
    Or Man City will even come close to to making the kind of money to replace it’s lost oil income.
    Now I am being ferocious I know countries spend money to get tourist to visit them but not billions.

  50. I do find City fans funny.

    For years they run there Club like some back alley sweat shop, hiring and firing managers like some kind of demented Alan Sugar on Prozac.

    Win sweet FA.

    Then as if by magic they have a Billion quid dumped in there laps. Mind you,

    Not earned by winning anything.

    Not earned by working hard for it.

    Not earned by being smart.

    Nope, just picked out of a hat on the whim of some dodgy Arabs in need of marketing tool.

    Yet for some reason they feel they ‘deserve’ it. And why do they ‘deserve it’ ?

    Well, from what I’ve gleaned over the last few years there’s a couple of main reasons.

    1) Because the poor little lambs have had it tough, really tough, what with there neighbours pissing all over them for so long it’s hard to remember. Ah, there there.


    2) Because, no matter how crap they where, and lets be honest they where pretty crap most of the time, a lot of fans still went to watch as they floundered in the lower divisions. Well done.

    What gets me is, when you hear them talk they make out like it’s all just some big ‘community project’ they’ve got going on.

    I even get the impression they actually think we should be proud of what they are doing, even happy for them.

    My God, they are so utterly deluded, with such an overblown sense of self entitlement, it’s mind boggling.

  51. Nobody “deserves” anything Jambug but I believe every fan of every club that puts in the hard yards in terms of supporting their club does deserve to see some success and I’m damned if I’m not going to enjoy any success that comes our way since we won the lottery/bought success/ruined football. I don’t want a Blue Peter badge for following City during our darkest hour – after all, support for a football team should be unconditional in my eyes and while not a happy clapper I abhor those fans that constantly whinge and moan. Those Arsenal fans that abused Wenger at Stoke train station a few weeks back were little short of a disgrace. Even if Wenger had been the worst manager in Arsenal’s history he wouldn’t have deserved that kind of abuse.

    If you want self-entitlement try Liverpool fans. Not all of them of course but some believe their club is more special than any other in the world. City are by no means special – I’ll defend the club where I see fit as any fan of any club worth their salt would, otherwise if we didn’t we’d effectively be the City equivalent of the AAA that are so derided on here.

    As for “dodgy Arabs”, you might want to do yourself a favour and leave the casual racism at home next time you want to make a point. You might do my head in at times but you’re better than that mate.

  52. I am not getting into this debate, but I feel when they say “accidental wealth” it could mean that the middle east country’s just have oil, they did not have to work for it. Its even drilled for them by the western countries. They have % in that.

  53. What I don’t understand is why Pellegrini said as recently as Boxing Day, not even the five months stated by Tony in the article:

    ‘It’s not so easy because Frank is a New York City player. He’s only on loan until December so we must respect the other people.’

    Of all people, you would think the manager himself would be aware of Lampard’s situation. So Man City have been lying to us as recently as three weeks ago. Only Man City fans will argue that there is nothing at all unusual about this.

  54. Ok, I’ve done some more reading. Apparently the current story they are going with is that Lampard only signed a two-year contract with NYCFC starting 1 Jan 2015, and that the problem is all NYFC’s for lying to the public about the situation (and so that must apply to Pellegrini as well).

    The claims are that Man City then came in and offered Lampard a six-month contract, which he accepted to keep his fitness up. The fact that it was a six-month contract comes from Lampard himself:

    “I was offered the chance to train and be part of the Man City squad in the interim to keep myself in the best shape going into New York. This period has since been extended by Man City…

    This clearly implies Lampard initially signed a six-month contract, which as someone stated above, is against Premier League rules.

    Well, that doesn’t make any more sense. Why would a free agent agree to sign a contract one and a half years in the future, with no plans for the interim? The story clearly states that Lampard accepted the Man City contract after he signed for NYFC, for the sole purpose of maintaining his fitness for a contract 18 months in the future, all while there was nothing preventing him from signing immediately for NYFC, and beside the fact that the initial six-month contract would expire months in advance of his move to NYCFC, so his stated reasons for signing the contract are nonsense.

    But I’m sure M18CTID will explain all of it to silly old me.

  55. I gave up with this as MAn City fans will never see what they are doing wrong. they will twist half-truths, ignore facts and just shout you down accsuing you of all kinds of itterness and jealousy.

    As far as i can see as a fan of the game, having two teams in a league who can uy anyone and everyone ans bsically guarantee a top 2 finish is bad for the long term future.

    It will tell well run teams, you have no chance, fight for 4th.

  56. Quincy,

    I’m not sure why you’re asking me – I said last week it was all very confusing! As far as I know, Lampard never signed a contract with NYCFC last summer despite NYCFC stating otherwise. He originally signed a “head of terms” agreement to provisionally join them on January 1st this year but in the meantime, during City’s US tour last summer and after discussions with Pellegrini, he signed a short-term agreement with City. As I understand it, and despite quotes from Lampard and Pellegrini to the contrary, this was a 12 month deal with a December 31st break clause which has now been removed. If it was only a 6 month contract then the Premier League wouldn’t have allowed him to be registered in the first place so despite all the confusion this is a non-story as far as broken rules are concerned (unless you think you know better than the Premier League of course) but as I’ve said previously this is a PR own goal for City in respect of NYCFC and the confusion over people being under the impression that he signed a deal with them rather than us last summer.

  57. The financing of clubs has been historical in the English Game. The Littlewoods /Moores family bought Liverpool success; the Edwards family & circumstance followed by the Glazers bought Manchester United success; Abramovic did for Chelsea and the Sheikh is doing for Man City. These clubs will all probably show the injected capital as loans (directors or otherwise).

    Arsenal has had wealthy shareholders but has survived without huge directors loans thus far.

    I have nothing but admiration for the fans that support their clubs. Where there is an uncertainty is the security of the club should any lender foreclose for whatever reason. That will also have an impact on the league in which the club plays. We have sadly already had examples of clubs losing position amongst other areas of impact because of bad practice.

    I wish all fans and all clubs sporting success where competition is fair & equitable….& may Arsenal always come out on top.

  58. M18CTID

    Nobody says don’t enjoy it but at the same time stop trying to pretend it’s something other than what it is.

    As you say, you DON’T deserve it.

    Dozens of Clubs have fans that put the ‘hard yards’ in. I did it with Arsenal in the 80’s especially. Spurs fans have been doing it since the 60’s FFS 🙂

    There is a case to suggest City actually deserve it less than others, because City once where a very big Club in the 60’s and 70’s, and blew it. They’ve actually had a taste of success.

    Some fans follow there Club the length and breadth of the Country with little or NO chance of seeing ‘success’ EVER.

    Okay, YOU may not be one, but the general tone of City fans defending themselves is that of ‘entitlement’

    And as for City fans trying to make claims such as, ‘we’ll be breaking even very soon’ as if that restores the balance is ridiculous. Who are they trying to kid?

    Pay back the Billion quid first, then at least you MIGHT have a leg to stand on. I say might, because even then, NON of it, yes that’s NON of it, was achieved by anything other than spending someone else’s money. Not a penny of it earned.

    On a slightly more serious note:

    Notice I dropped ‘dodgy Arabs’ as you seem to see at as racist, though why I don’t know.

    I’m sure your owners are Arab. I’m also sure they are dodgy. So what else should I call them?

    Maybe ‘dodgy businessmen’ is more to your liking.

    Whatever you want to use I’m fine… long as it says ‘dodgy’

    Liverpool: I don’t have much of a problem with there fans. They are loyal to a fault, yes. I wish some of our fans showed a bit more of that (more anon). I actually understand how they must feel. All those Championships. All those European Cups. If they do have a sense of entitlement I can understand that, but to be honest I don’t get that from the fans. I think that sense of entitlement is a media thing. The media can see no wrong in whatever Liverpool do and constantly yearn for the day Liverpool return to what they see as there rightful place back at the summit of English football. Where City’s sense of entitle comes from I don’t know. I would suggest simply going to watch your team during baron times is hardly reason enough is it?

    As for the way some of our own fans behave. Disgraceful. I totally agree. But you knew I would. You know what I and the general populous of UA are like. I find what those guys did at Stoke, along with the banner wavers and the like, an utter embarrassment.

    Look, it isn’t you. From your many posts on UA I know what a staunch and loyal fan you are. It’s not City. I’ve said many times that I’ve always had a soft spot for them, like many, since the Lee, Summerbee, Bell era. Despite myself and my dislike of the ‘oilers’ (to use a colloquial term) I still like City. I like most of the managers you have and most (most mind) of the players. But most of all I like the way you play. I enjoy watching City.

    As for that other lot down the Kings Road, I cant take them or there odious leader at any price.

    But I go back to my opening line:

    Nobody says don’t enjoy it, but at the same time stop trying to pretend it’s something other than what it is.

  59. @ Jambug – first of all take care, JeSuiCharlie etc., I don’t want to see you looking for your head somewhere – someone might get offended somewhere, you can never know.

    Second and to the point – you are both absolutely right and a bit wrong. Absolutely right because they have been rubbish for years, and all of the sudden act like it’s not the moeny and they deserve it and it just brings diversity, this big community project in blue.

    You are a bit wrong because for all honesty I would say (as I did in a previous article) – we were in the fortunate group for years and years – money is very relevant, and I don’t think it’s fair that only the “nobility” (like us) would be morally justifiable to use the extra funds, whereas the nouveau riche (like $hitty) are not morally justifiable to do the same (only 10 times fold).

    Even when we were “the bank of england club” – we never just brought in the 4 out of 6 best strikers in england and let 2 of them rot on the bench. Or get 2 of the 4 best left backs, and 2 years afterwards, do the same with right backs…

    It’s the abuse of money $hitty are employing that makes it look so tasteless.

    And to sum it up – that boring joke again:

    Little Jonny comes home from summer camp – before he was supposed to be home. His mum asked him what happened and he said the supervisor sent him home for peeing in the pool. Jonny’s mum calls up the summer camp, furious – “all the children pee in the pool! How come you only sent little Jonny home!” to which the supervisor replied: “Ma’am, your son peed from the jumping board”.

    All clubs with money pee in the pool; $hitty pee from the jumping board. And THAT’s the big difference.

  60. Jambug,

    I know you’re not going to be reading this for a bit as you have more pressing matters to tend to – good start by the way.

    Little of what you’ve said is what I didn’t know already with regards to your stance. I know how you feel about how City go about their business and it would be pointless me trying to change your mind on that. You may also remember that I agreed with your view as to why City were bought in the first place so again I’m not trying to dress it up as anything else. What I would say though is that the defensive stance I and many other City fans adopt tends to be because of the amount of inaccurate stories and comments we see in relation to the club. If I made an inaccurate comment, accidental or otherwise, about Arsenal that showed the club in a negative light I would expect and hope to be corrected. I actually blame the press more than opposition fans for this – they’ve been guilty of all manner of negative stories about City over the past few years that have little basis in truth and it naturally follows that many readers will believe it. I certainly don’t expect an easy ride from opposition fans regarding City (despite all the wonderful work the club does in the community – that bit was meant as a joke by the way ;)) but I do expect to see a fair bit more accuracy in terms of articles and comments and that goes for this site too and some of the stuff Tony posts. Much of what I post on here is simply correcting inaccuracies.

    As for me stating that City should be in profit before long, I wasn’t saying it in the hope that it might change the perception about City as a club – it was just in response to those that think City will continue to struggle to meet FFP over the coming years

    You might’ve missed it but I totally agree that fans of dozens of clubs have put the hard yards in, hence why I said that all die-hard fans of all clubs deserve to see some success. I certainly wasn’t just referring to City fans in that respect.

    Re the “dodgy Arabs” comment. It wasn’t just the possible racial connotations of the term (by the way, I wasn’t trying to claim you were a racist as such). I was also surprised why an Arsenal fan of all people would use it given the ethnicity and origin of your main sponsor. You wouldn’t refer to the people that own Emirates as “dodgy Arabs” or “dodgy businessmen” for that matter even though they will surely have a similar approach to business as City’s owner as there are extremely close ties between the ruling families of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

    As for some of the other stuff you posted, are you sure you’re not a City fan? You seem to have far more reasons to like is than to hate us lol. Then again, May 26th 1989 still remains my favourite non-City moment in football 😉

  61. Tommie Gun,

    Apologies for being facetious but it would’ve been a bit difficult for Arsenal to have 2 strikers rot on the bench in those days as no subs were allowed when you were known as the “Bank Of England” club 😉

  62. @ M18ctid – all you’re saying, is that back in the days they didn’t have jumping boards poolside …

    Look, maybe in 20 years time, there will be a new mega-rich club; the guy who will own the moon or Mars will buy Spuds and invest one hundred million zillion dollars in them, and just buy EVERYBODY.

    But right now, you guys are peeing from the jumping board, and this Lampard thing (together with THIS – it seems like you’re even wagging off your cock after squeezing out the last few drops …

  63. Tommie Gun,

    I wouldn’t read too much into that Mail article if I were you. Nick Harris is a freelance journalist trying to make a story out of nothing. City’s accounts are scrutinised like a hawk every 6 months by UEFA these days as part of the settlement agreement and Harris is stating the obvious with most of what he says. He’s looking for breaches that aren’t there.

    And if someone comes along one day to buy a club who is infinitely richer than City’s owner then you won’t hear me complaining. It’s all part of football’s rich tapestry as far as I’m concerned.

  64. Will said

    As far as i can see as a fan of the game, having two teams in a league who can uy anyone and everyone ans bsically guarantee a top 2 finish is bad for the long term future

    You did not seem to mind when those two teams were united and arsenal

    As I see it there are four teams that have a lot of money to spend, Utd Arsenal Chelsea and City closely followed by Spurs Liverpool

    You are worried tat Arsenal cannot compete with City and Chelsea. Were you worried that Everton and Villa and dare I say it even City could not compete with your spending power 10 years ago? No you are a bad loser

  65. Gary if you are going to join in the debate you really need to get some facts and perspectives.

    In the time when Man U and Arsenal were going head to head for a few years, Arsenal were a profitable but not a wealthy club. The ground held 38,000, and Arsenal’s marketing income world-wide was miniscule compared to Man U. Arsenal’s success came from buying fading players (like Bergkamp and Henry) for modest sums and developing their potential, and setting up a youth system that constantly produced brilliant players like Cole, as well as bringing in young players who had potential such as van Persie and Clichy. That seems to me a good business model which any club could have copied.

    But instead of doing the hard work Man C and Chelsea have gone a different route.

  66. I’d hardly call Bergkamp and Henry fading players. Bergkamp was in his prime and Henry was, what, 20 when Arsenal signed him? He already had a World Cup winners medal to his name. That hardly constitutes a “fading player”. As for modest fees, Bergkamp was signed for a British record fee at the time. £7.5 million might not get you much of a player these days but back then it certainly did.

    Arsenal were hardly a small club either when all this was going on – you’ve been one of the biggest clubs in the country for the past 7 or decades, were one of the biggest spenders during the 1990’s, and had huge support at the time (70-odd thousand fans at Wembley for Champions League games proves this) so the notion that “any club” could have copied the Arsenal model is ludicrous. Oh, and you also had Danny Fiszman’s £50 million investment to help you along the way. Not the kind of money that City have been splashing out admittedly but this was at a time when £7.5 million got you a world-class striker remember.

  67. *7 or 8 decades I meant to say. Apologies – I normally proof read my posts beforehand.

  68. Why arsenal and their merry band of tarquins worry about city I will never know, the fact is you have never won promotion legally to the top division, until you do, then I for one will never recognise any trophy arsenal have won since the end of the 1st world war. The fact is the self appointed moral guardians of the game were the perpetrators of the biggest fraud the top division has ever seen. #henry norris

  69. Bergkamp and Henry had both failed in Italy, we effectively took a gamble on both players, Bergkamp was still the big name but Henry wasn’t living up to potential, also many many clubs could’ve outbid us for their signatures but didn’t choose to, that is the proof in the pudding.

  70. Bergkamp was still a quality player though – some moves just don’t work out no matter how good the player is. As for Henry, he was still young and yet to reach his prime – he spent less than a year at Juve so hardly had much chance to prove himself. Credit to Wenger for turning him from a winger into a striker but the talent was always there and you can’t describe players aged 26 and 21 respectively as being “fading players” – that term suggests they were both in their 30’s.

    In any case, my incredulity was as much down to Tony’s suggestion that those players were acquired for “modest fees” yet Bergkamp signed for a British record fee so I’d hardly call it modest. It did give me a good laugh though – in fact, I’d not laughed so much since United lost at home to Southampton yesterday 😉

  71. M18CTID

    We are not a million miles apart really.

    I just wish City fans would put there hands up, say, yep we’ve been bank rolled to the tune of a Billion quid, we love it, we understand why your pissed off, but that’s life, instead of expecting everyone to swallow some have baked notion that city are actually a profit making industry and what’s more it’s really all about the ‘community’, because frankly that’s bunkum and everyone it seems but City fans know it.

    Then I can carry on being pissed off and whinging and whining as is my want, and City fans can keep enjoying the fruits of those lovely honest respectful middle Eastern businessmen’s labours..

  72. Jambug,

    I realised months ago that you and I aren’t a million miles apart. I totally agree with your next line and despite all my jousting on here, that’s how I view things as do many other City fans – it’s worth noting that the vast majority of fans of all clubs don’t go on internet football forums and therefore never get into these discussions/disagreements and will be blissfully unaware of what gets said online. To this end, I should perhaps stop reacting to perceived slights on the club, regardless of the source. I do let a lot more of it go over my head these days and I’ve been doing my best to try and keep out of the FFP discussions on here of late. I’ve actually contributed to the odd Arsenal related topic because a lot of the stuff that gets touched on I can identify with – the arguments between different factions of Arsenal’s support is something I’ve seen at City down the years and I’m sure goes on at pretty much every club. I’ve always been a “back the manager and team” type of fan as you probably know but I do believe constructive criticism shouldn’t be stifled.

    The community stuff is usually a retort to those that say we’re ruining football or some other hackneyed saying. When it comes down to it, it’s just a pointless game of moral top trumps and most fans care far more for what happens on the pitch.

  73. M18CTID, please keep posting, its always good to have your views here on the FFP (etc), as you’re on the other side of the fence(etc)and certainly bring another angle to it.
    If only Tommy Hutchinson hadn’t headed in his own goal back in 1981! The free kick was going wide/Corrigan had it covered…then we had to endure the pain of the replay!Bloody Tottenham!

  74. I’m back. Totally agree with Jambug. These City supporters are just doing their version of spin doctoring. Just call a spade a spade. It is what it is, Nothing else. In my youth I have done things I am not particular proud of. But I never tried to whitewash or justified them the way some City supporters are doing on our website. Every time Tony writes an article about Man. City These motherfuckers come out of the woodwork like cockroaches when the kitchen light comes on. Just tell it like it is, Your club was a shitty team gong up and down through every division in English football. Then some dodgy Arabs pumped billions of cash into your club and you recently tasted success. End of motherfucking story. Nothing more and nothing less. Stop trying to twist it into something that it aint, Man up and tell it like it is and enjoy the ride while it lasts.

  75. Morning Bill,

    Nice to see you. You didn’t get out of bed the wrong side this morning did you? 😉

    Look, every City fan acknowledges we won the lottery and that without our owners cash we’d be nowhere near where we are now so I don’t see what you’re getting at. As for justifying it, we don’t need to justify anything to anyone and most of the articles about City on here aren’t anything to do with our lottery win as such – they tend to be about FFP and often contain inaccurate information and conjecture. What do you expect City fans to do when one of these articles pops up on Newsnow? Kow Tow to them and agree with every word even if it isn’t accurate, explain where the author has gone wrong, or don’t bother posting at all? Judging by the tone of your post, you’d sooner we all cleared off which is fine by me – I’m not going to lose any sleep if I never post on here again and then you can pat yourself on the back and tell everyone how you succeeded in driving all those nasty City fans away but that is at odds with what another poster has said who has asked me to keep posting.

    Oh, and let me re-iterate – City won the lottery and I’m enjoying it but don’t expect me to agree with everything that gets posted on here. That’s not spin by the way – it’s called offering an alternative opinion which we’re all entitled to, even us cockroaches.

  76. M18CITD, I really was not venting about you in my comment. You have always come across as an intelligent and erudite person. It is those other City fans whom I was ranting about, The ones who just twist the facts to suit them. Have always enjoyed your comments and look forward to hearing more from you, Not those other motherfuckers who rant about why an Arsenal site is writing about Man. City. Peace my brother and hope in the future you don’t take my comments personally.

  77. Bill,

    Fair enough mate – I saw it as a sweeping generalisation of all City fans that post on here whereas I should’ve seen the funny side of it and taken it in a different context. We do have our whoppers like every other club and one of the disadavantages of the internet is that it makes it easier for people to make comments that are far stronger than if they were doing it face to face. I’ve been guilty of losing my rag a fair few times in the past but I’ve had more run-ins with our own fans than those of every other club put together, including a death threat some years ago lol.

    I will continue to post one here but accept that I’m a guest in the house so to speak and therefore will make a renewed effort not to rise to any perceived negative comment about City.

  78. MC18CTID, I am very pleased that you didn’t take my comment personally. Certain supporters of various clubs have come on this website and hurl abuse at Tony because how dear he write an article about their sacred club. This is a website devoted to football and run by Tony and Walter and it is their baby therefore they can write any motherfucking article they choose to. They always try to be fair and never write lies and tend to stick to facts. I like to read comments from supporters of other clubs as long as they don’t distort or twist the facts in their favor. I have always enjoyed your comments and will do so in the future. People from other clubs are welcome to post without getting abuse as long as they conduct themselves as you always have. Cheers mate.

  79. To be honest, city shouldn’t even be playing arsenal on sunday, you are nothing more than imposters to the top division, you still have never been promoted, you bemoan city’s wealth like spoilt kids, and yet you have had the best part of a century earning money on the back of a promotion that was never earnt, how does that stand with FFP?

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