The Blue Moon Rises (Again)


Hallelujah, after the transfer of the EPL trophy to the wrong side of Manchester last year, it’s returned to Eastlands and the “Noisy Neighbours”. Greg Dyke may be depressed but who cares, we’ve had to play catch up because of Fergie and Mourinho’s spendthrift previous decade. When you consider the amounts paid by Tottenham for their ineffectual flops of this season, plus the career transfers fees accumulated by the likes of Darren Bent and numerous others, most of our signings have at least proved successful.

The new FFP regulations limit losses between 2011 and 2013 to £37 million, an attempt, UEFA say, to control clubs spending beyond their means. City, who posted a loss of £149 million for the period under scrutiny, failed the test and will face punishments, but with their losses reducing and their revenue increasing, it’s clear the club are moving toward self-sufficiency, exactly what UEFA president Michel Platini desires.

It’s clear to me that punishing a club who are injecting money into the game at both first-team and youth level, as well as in the decrepit neighbouring area of East Manchester, is incongruous, predominantly when their figures quite clearly demonstrate a tendency toward self-sufficiency.

The marketers are undoubtedly working hard at establishing City as a world brand, with their franchises in New York and Melbourne providing platforms in America and Australia, the club’s spanking wealth is in turn boosting Manchester’s reputation and economy. Etihad have established Manchester as their UK base.

The club have invested in the Etihad Campus, a £200m 80-acre site providing world-class training and medical facilities to players of all ages across the club. One corner, on 5.5 acres, has been given to a new college, sports centre and swimming pool, at a £20m cost to City, improving a blighted area of east Manchester.They want to develop homegrown talent capable of having a career at the highest level, again, exactly what Platini and his fellow UEFA bods rehetoric implies they want.

Across Manchester, the Glazer family bought United with £525m of borrowed money and have caused almost £700m to drain out of the club in interest, fees and other charges. Yet, because that has not pushed United into big losses in 2011-13, they face no sanction. So United fans can sit and pontificate about hollow success and buying glory and so on, but the difference between City and their contemporaries is how deep the foundations have been laid.

There are those who comment on the fact that City’s starting line-ups hardly ever include more than one British player, Joe Hart in-goal, while James Milner makes irregular substitute appearances but looking at the academy roll, you will see that a hefty percentage of the players enrolled are locally sourced Manchester lads.  Of course time will tell, few of them might make it to senior level with the club, let alone become first-team regulars. In saying this even if they are sold on, the fact remains that they were trained and developed by Manchester City. Ironically, the sons of Phil Neville and Robin van Persie are now enrolled, a conflict of interests? 🙂

It’s all a far cry from dad getting £20 for winning the 1956 FA Cup Final but my heart still fluttered when that final whistle went early on Sunday morning. Don’t forget I’m in SK.

Manchester City Football Club English Premier League Champions and Carling Cup Winners 2014, our most successful season ever.

Thank you Sheikh Mansour!