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Why the Sun decided to support Manchester City against Uefa

By Nitram and Tony Attwood

  • CHAMPIONS BLAST BACK
  • VENDETTA

The Sun’s coverage of the Manchester City story concerning whether or not the club has been engaging in financial activities that breach Uefa rules is something to behold.

Of course given the way that the Sun presents stories, and given the literacy and intellectual level that the writing is aimed at, the coverage is in one way to be expected.   The Sun was enthusiastic about Britain leaving the EU, and tends to hate most things European, but it is interesting just how far the paper has gone in supporting the cause of Man C.

Is it just down to their hatred of the EU, or do they have a direct engagement with Middle East oil money, or is there something else?  Of course a couple of bloggers working on their own can’t unravel all this, and we can’t make any allegations, but we can wonder.   So here we go with the wondering….

In essence the background to the story is simple: using information revealed through a series of leaked emails it is suggested that Manchester City flagrantly broke Uefa’s financial rules.

In response, those who have followed the story then tend to split roughly into four camps:

The first group believe that Manchester City as a club should be punished for their misbehaviour.

The second group believe that the owners of Manchester City should be punished for their misbehaviour (either alongside Manchester City as the club, or instead of punishing the club).

The third group believe that no case can be brought because the “evidence” is a set of leaked documents, and these should not be admitted as evidence as they were obtained illegally.

The final group believe that Manchester City are innocent, and that these sort of accusations are simply made by people who are would like their club to have success than Manchester City has had.

The Sun normally makes its position on any issue blazingly clear, usually in two feet high banner headlines, but its treatment of the City story is slightly odd.  Take these headlines for example…

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  • ‘City think Utd & Euro giants are out to get them’
  • ‘Fury at Etihad over damaging leaked report’
  • ‘Manchester City believe there is a campaign by Europes elite, including local rivals United, to bring them down’.

Such headlines have also been presented with pictures of two waring galleons, one with Man City Sails and the other with FIFA and UEFA along with yet more headlines such as

  • MAN of  WAR
  • ‘City ready to fight to the finish’
  • ‘They insist FIFA fair play model is wrong’

Interestingly much of the commentary is then carried forward by Martin Lipton, the Sun’s deputy head of sport.   So not a regular football reporter, but a very senior man in the newspaper’s sport department, which suggests this is not just a spot of space filling anti-Euro copy but something a little deeper.

A typical piece from Lipton reads…

“If  Europe’s big guns thought they could pick Manchester City off, they know different now.  The “noisy neighbours” will not be pushed around around by FIFA UEFA or anybody else.”

Such writing gives a clear impression that it is already settled that Manchester City have done nothing wrong, and that a conspiracy of other clubs, Fifa and Uefa have joined together to put Manchester City down.   Quite why they are doing this is, presumably, because Manchester City are the new kids on the block and the old guard which (by implication) control Uefa don’t want to lose their powerbase.

But, it is suggested by the Sun, Manchester City will not be a pushover.

This theme continues with

  • Man City v UEFA
  • GOAT TO HELL
  • ‘City war with a nanny-lovin’ ex-Belgian PM’
  • ‘CL ban looms after chief’s FFP ‘guilty’ verdict’

Lipton then writes:

MANCHESTER CITY are at war with goat-loving Uefa investigations chief…’ continuing on the inside back page…

  • ‘City bosses bite back in FFP row’

There is very little evidence given here.  The conclusion that Manchester City are innocent, that the old guard are out to do them down, and there is something seriously wrong with the person leading the investigation.  He is “nanny lovin”, “goat loving” a Belgian citizen (an insult in the Sun’s terms because being Belgian means a supporter of the EU which is hated by the Sun), the word guilty is put into inverted commas implying that it is not real, and nothing is written concerning the other side of the case.

Now you may recall that when the leaked emails first came out Untold spend a lot of time going through all of them, reporting on each release and working through the allegations to try and tease out the details.

But it was long before this, in fact over four years ago, that we ran Man City decides to take on Uefa; the result will finally decide who runs football.  Then after several more forays into the issue and the tales that were emerging following the leaks we tried to cover as much of the detail of the investigation into Manchester City by Uefa as we could.  The series started here, and continued day by day if you want to go back and take a look.

Of course we are biased – we are Arsenal fans and the notion that another club has broken a lot of rules as part of its route to success, is interesting.  Also, as Tony has often confessed (as if it were not evident anyway) his personal support for human rights movements, and his dislike of the political activities of many Middle East countries which deny the human rights which we take for granted in much of the west.  The Sun however has made no mention of this – although it does regularly stress the stuff about Belgium and goats.

But it is possible to argue that it is Liverpool and the Sun that are at the heart of this story.

The Sun famously accused Liverpool supporters of being to blame for much of the outcome of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 in which 96 people died as a result a disasterous crowd management at the Sheffield Wednesday ground for an FA Cup semi-final.   Since then many Liverpudlians and Liverpool supporters elsewhere have singuarly refused to buy the Sun, and estimates suggest that the boycott of the paper by the city has cost the publishers £15m a month at 1989 prices ever since.

So in response the Sun has, it appears, looked for other causes to support in order to boost sales.  And where better than with Manchester City, a club whose owner Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family has not always had the best of publicity.

This might therefore be (and I do stress “might”) a way of recovering some of the losses by cosying up both to the owners and supporters of Manchester City FC, thus increasing sales to those who follow the club and perhaps bringing in some welcome advertising.

Of course there is nothing that a lifelong supporter of the club can do about the fact that the Sun is now actively engaged in supporting the club also, except perhaps not buying the Sun if such a supporter doesn’t like their manipulative approach.  But for the rest of us, it is a move worth watching to see how far it is taken.

13 comments to Why the Sun decided to support Manchester City against Uefa

  • Sammy The Snake

    Can we get excited about Europa League Final, and talk about that?!

  • nicky

    Like all newspapers, the Sun is only interested in good circulation. Without it, the paper will die.
    All season, Man City have been news, not always for the right reason.
    BUT NEWS SELLS……

  • Bobome

    The newspaper just might be doing what this posts suggest. Will the owners of Man City buy into it? To the rest of the world, their religious beliefs should preclude an open romance with that tabloid. A conundrum both sides have to deal with if this courting will produce offsprings.

  • Andy Mack

    It’s about readers/viewers and advertising obviously.
    Lets see which other ‘news’ (Hahaha) outlets make a big noise against Man Citeh…
    I suspect none of them will. They may say it gently/quietly but they won’t want to lose the advertising revenue of a major airline.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I think Man City who down to their progressive overspending in the transfer market in the past 7 consecutive seasons or so under the watch of Manuel Pelegrini and Pep Guardiola the club’s 2 past and current managers who with the backing of the club owner had resorted and resorting at doing excessive overspending to sign world class players in their numbers from the transfer market in attempts to make the club become an all conquering football monster club side in the PL in the other 2 domestic Cup competitions and be winning the domestic treble every season. A feast in the 3 domestic competitions they’ve achieved by winning the treble last season. But they failed in the CL to Tottenham Hotspur in the semifinal stage to win the CL this season, Man City aren’t satisfy with the treble wins that they won as they lust after to want to win the CL too all in a single season’s campaign to win the quadruple but which they failed to win last season. But if they have succeeded to win it, that would have fulfil their uncommon ambitions to win the quadruple but win it through the spending that is cladinetine in outlook. However, it has now been revealed publicly that Man City has systematically been fallen foul of the Law regulating spending to stop overspending by Uefa in the form of Financial Fair Play which Man city have been ignoring in their attempt to achieve their the quadruple win ambitions but unjustly. And as a result of this foul play by Man City, the club has been thoroughly investigated to find out if it has beyond all reasonable doubts broken the Law stopping overspending by any club side. Which I think in this case, Man City after due investigations have been done to find out if the club has fallen to a serious foul play offence of the Law that stops overspending which will warrants a red card be shown to the club Man City have been caught red handed breaking the FFP Law. And a red card is looking will be show to them as they looked to have been caught red handed doing serious overspending in signing many world class players to win titles and also commiting other related offences too.

    Consequently, by Man City so doing intentionally and flagrantly too, I am of the opinions that have opined that heavy punishments be handed down to the club for breaking the Law to serve as a deterrent to other would be FFP Law breaker club side who could be nursing an ambition to buy title wins through overspending in the transfer market to assemble world class players together.

    Therefore, in accordance with the provisions of the Law to not condone impunity in doing overspending by any club side to over recruit world class players to enabled the win of titles unabated to the detriment of another club side like Arsenal who doesn’t do overspending to win. But if after following due process diligently to give Man City a fair hearing to defend themselves which I believe has been done. At any rate, if Man City are found guilty of breaking the FFP Law, the punishment of a heavy fines should be slammed on the club to pay. And a ban of the club banning it from playing in the CL next season should also be placed on the club too by Uefa adjudicatory court that is responsible for doing so. But if Man City feels aggrieved to disagree with the Uefa punishments will be handed down to them to appeal them, then of course, they have the right to appeal the punishments to the Court of Arbitration for Sports for redress if they want to do so. But should Man City lose their appeals. I think Uefa should make them an example by handing down to them a more severe punishments that will the fines slammed on them treble from the initially one imposed on them to pay. And extend the ban that will be placed on them to play in the CL next season to 2 seasons.

  • Josif

    Meat-pie journalism at its worst.

    Then again, The Sun is hardly journalism. It’s more of a number of not so articulated shouts compiled into one big pile of crap.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I think Man City who down to their progressive overspending in the transfer market in the past 7 consecutive seasons or so under the watch of Manuel Pelegrini and Pep Guardiola the club’s 2 past and current managers who with the backing of the club owner had resorted and resorting to doing excessive overspending to sign world class players in their numbers from the transfer market in the attempt to make the club become an all conquering monster football club side in the PL in and in the other 2 domestic Cup competitions and be winning the domestic treble every season. A feast in the 3 domestic competitions they’ve achieved by winning the treble last season. But they failed in the CL to Tottenham Hotspur in the semifinal stage who knocked the out to stop them from winning the CL on 1st June, Man City aren’t satisfy with their winning the domestic treble that they won last season which have never been won before by any club side in the PL as they remain lusting after to win the CL by furiously lamenting over their lost at home to Tottenham in the CL who out smarted them in the game to reach the final in their attempt making last season to win the quadruple in a single season’s campaign. But which they failed to win last season. Had they succeeded to win the quadruple last season, the achievement would have see them fulfil their uncommon ambitions to win the quadruple but would have won it through the spending that is cladinetine in outlook. However, it has now been revealed publicly by Uefa that Man City has systematically been falling foul in the Uefa FFP Law that regulates football clubs in the form of FFP to not do overspending in their signing players which Man city have been ignoring in their attempts to achieve their the quadruple win ambitions but not minding if it is through the unjust way. And as a result of this foul play that looked to have committed by Man $ity after the club has been thoroughly investigated to find out if the management of the club has beyond all reasonable doubts broken the Law that stops overspending by any club side. Which I think in this case, Man City after due investigations have been done to find out if the club has fallen to a serious foul play offence of the Law that stops overspending which will warrants a red card be shown to the club. Man $ity have been found out by Uefa investigators to covertly be breaking the FFP Law overtime. And a red card is looking will be shown to them as they are looking to have been caught red handed doing serious overspending in signing many world class players to win titles and also commiting other related offences too.

    Consequently, by Man City so doing intentionally and flagrantly too, I am of the opinions that have opined that heavy punishments be handed down to the club for breaking the FFP Law to serve as a deterrent to other would be FFP Law breaker club sides in the future who could be nursing an ambition to buy title wins through overspending in the transfer market to assemble world class players together.

    Therefore, in accordance with the provisions of the Law to not condone impunity by any club that did overspending by any club side to recruit world class players to enabled it the win of titles perpetually to the detriment of another club side like Arsenal who doesn’t do overspending to win. And if after following due process diligently. And gives Man City a fair hearing to defend itself, which I believe is being done or has been done. At any rate, if Man City are found guilty of breaking the FFP Law, the punishment of a heavy fines should be slammed on the club to pay. And a ban of the club banning it from playing in the CL next season should also be placed on the club too by Uefa adjudicatory court that is responsible for doing so. But if Man City felt aggrieved to disagree with the Uefa punishments that will be handed down to them. They could to appeal the to punishments to the Court of Arbitration for Sports for redress if the want which of course they have the right to do so. But should Man City lose their appeals. I think Uefa should make them an example by handing down to them a more severe punishments that will see the fines slammed on them treble from the initially one imposed on them to pay. And extend the ban that will be placed on them to play in the CL next season to 2 seasons ban.

  • Nitram

    nicky

    “Like all newspapers, the Sun is only interested in good circulation. Without it, the paper will die.”

    I agree. But they don’t have to ‘support’ City do they? It would still be News if the Sun spent a week stressing the unsavoury side of this story with respect to City.

    Why choose to support City?

    Is at as Bobme suggests, just an attempt to curry favour with them in order to increase circulation or not to jeopardise advertising?

    Maybe, but they are just one club, and lets be honest, not one of the biggest supported in the World, and if what City are suggesting is correct there is effectively a cartel ‘ganging’ up on them, presumable including some of the best supported clubs in the World such as United, Barca, Real etc.

    Surely supporting that side of the argument would curry favour with a much much wider audience?

    Backing City so vehmently suggests they don’t give a hoot about losing the United readership, if of course readership and advertising is behind it in the first place, which I personally doubt.

    City have over the last 10 years fed Billions into the game and it is this stream of oil money that they wish to maintain.

    Add to that the Suns rabid hatred of all things European and this stance on the City machinations provides the perfect platform for their jingoistic rantings about those bully boys in Brussels.

    Poor little old City, if they don’t like a rule why shouldn’t they be able to break it?

  • Gord

    Corruption News

    PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi is in the news, being charged with corruption by French authorities.

    CAF President Ahmad Ahmad in in the news, being investigated by FIFA Ethics committee for corruption.

    Ireland Football is investigating strange betting patterns over the Limerick FC and Cobh Rangers game.

    I don’t see any corruption headlines involving 😈 Mike Riley, the PGMO or The (sweet) FA.

  • goonersince72

    Off topic a bit but regards finances in the EPL. I’m not as fluent in numbers and tables as other Untolders (including Mr. A) but there’s an interesting correlation between money and places in the table. Just an observation.

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/may/22/premier-league-finances-club-guide-2017-18-accounts-manchester-united-city

  • Ben

    Wow that was like a petty child with the name calling.

  • Andy Mack

    I should have added that pretty everyone dislikes and/or distrusts UEFA (Really Baku was a good idea and certainly wasn’t picked because some UEFA officials got a financial benefit from it! Hahaha) so even if you don’t like Citeh it’s not like you hold UEFA in high regard either…

  • Andy Mack

    *’Pretty much everyone’