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Unread 20-05-2019, 09:23 PM
Default "I've reached a tipping point with Manchester City" - A neutral fan writes...

I always knew I'd reach a tipping point with Manchester City. The moment I'd stop feeling like "after everything their fans went through for so long, they deserve it", and start getting cheesed off. Well - that moment has arrived.
People really do forget just how much those fans suffered. Relegated despite scoring the most goals in the top flight. Champions in 1968, only for United to win the European Cup. Relegated after Steve Lomas wrongly thought a draw would be enough.

Signing Rodney Marsh having the same effect on their title hopes as Newcastle signing Tino Asprilla. And relegation to the third tier! It's 18 May today. We are just 12 days short of being exactly 20 years on from City's miracle escape against Gillingham, Paul Dickov and all that.And while City were doing that - being seconds from a second straight year in the old Third Division - United were winning the treble, and stretching ever further away into the distance. "Manchester United Ruined My Life". as Colin Shindler's famous, brilliant book was entitled.

So growing up, what could I or many other people do than have a soft spot for them? I'll always remember how that devil's familiar, Alan Wilkie, cheated City at Old Trafford just as he'd cheated Norwich at Elland Road. City the loveable losers robbed yet again.City the loveable losers, who went 35 years without winning anything - and after the incredible 1981 FA Cup Final, couldn't even get past a quarter-final in anything. Given all this, I was thrilled at the way Joe Royle turned things around: "Feed the Goat and he will score" . Then Keegan came in, splashed the cash, and they waltzed through the First Division... before overspending to such an extent on players straight out of the 1996/97 Rothmans Football Yearbook that they imperilled their whole future.

Which was where they got lucky. Very lucky. First with Thaksin Shinawatra buying them (winning 2-0 at West Ham on the opening day of 07/8, City fans were singing "what the **** is going on?")... then with him getting into such personal trouble, they had to be sold again.Which was when, only days before the global crash transformed everything, they struck gold. They won the lottery. With the possible exception of Newcastle, maybe no set of fans deserved it more. They'd been through enough. Now was their time at last.
When they were bought, I remember this ridiculous level of scepticism from observers who, when it comes to football, seem to think everything is always static. Nothing ever changes. United would just dominate forever. But the world had already tilted on its axis.

What I respect about City is how they've built their whole club. They have a brilliant youth setup. They've always known what way they wanted to play. And unlike Chelsea, who like a patient rejecting a transplant, have kept playing eye-bleeding football, City's is beautiful.Not only that, but they showed patience with Hughes, Mancini and Pellegrini: all of them given time, until it was obvious they needed someone else to take them to the next level. Which as the best manager in the world, Guardiola has... and how!

But the problem isn't how dominant they've become. Liverpool dominated the 70s and 80s, but were never hated in the way United, Chelsea or in the 70s, Leeds were. Chelsea were/are hated for a combination of awful football and classless arrogance.Leeds were hated for being a bunch of filthy cheats. United for their never-ending "Biggest Club In The World" arrogance: which practically invited their being bought by horrible venture capitalists - and of course, for their, ahem, rather abrasive manager.I - and many others, I suspect - have had a patience with City because of what they used to be. But I've run out of it now. And the reason is their methods.

Their owners could hardly be more implicated in horrendous human rights abuses... and on here, their fans attack anyone who points it out. Their football 'group' owns clubs all over the world (including in Uruguay): they're more an empire than a football club.The club itself is basically a glossy brochure for a nation state: football as soft power device. And then, there's Financial Fair Play - and how ugly the response of their top brass has been to UEFA's investigations.Which leaves me thinking: "You're THIS rich, you can buy anyone you want... and you cheat regardless? Where's the glory or achievement in that?" Not only that - but take a look at this: Not good. Not good at all.


If they did that with their manager, who else have they done it with? This is the sort of stuff that got Swindon relegated 29 years ago. Yet right now, as they go 6-0 up in a Cup Final resembling Lions v Christians, we're all supposed to salute them? Sorry... but I can't.And no, City fans, it's not a question of "but clubs have always bought success!" Other than Chelsea, not like this, they haven't. The behaviour of clubs like City, funded miles and miles beyond their natural means, distorts the market: thereby imperilling other clubs.It distorts the market in transfer fees. It distorts the market in wages. It causes massive inflation. And in any other business, regulators would step in and act against anti-competitive practices. Which, of course, is what UEFA are looking to do.

That's not about an 'agenda' against MCFC at all. It's about preserving the health of the sport, and punishing those who endanger it. Punishing those who break the rules and are so arrogant, they think they're above the law.Back when United were at their peak, City fans swore that if their club - whose potential was always obvious - ever enjoyed similar success, they wouldn't behave like that. They were right. Because their behaviour's far worse than anything United ever did.

If UEFA do properly punish City, will the Premier League do the same? Because the same thing will apply domestically too: the same rules broken, the same unfair advantage gained over their competitors who comply with the rules.In fact, domestically, are treble-winning City already too successful for the Premier League to punish them? Think what a global scandal it'd be if they were; how badly it'd reflect on what, sadly, is more global brand than sporting competition.If those owners remain, there's very little any other English club can do to haul City in. The world's their oyster. But the manner in which they're achieving all this is not good. It's like a doped-up athlete winning Olympic gold.

I still don't hate City even now. You have to admire their football; it's incredible. But among England's leading clubs, my sympathies will remain with Tottenham and Liverpool, whose joint progress to the CL final has left me feeling vindicated in my life choices frankly.Both clubs are run ridiculously well. Both clubs are up against it financially. Neither club have ever sold their soul. Both have incredible atmospheres in their magnificent stadia. Both have hugely likeable managers.

I hope Liverpool go on to win the league next season, and Spurs win an incredible European title. But I also hope, very much in vain, that football rewards clubs who do things the right way. Who aren't funded by human rights abusers and don't financially dope and cheat.

Bouquets to Manchester City for their football. Brickbats for their methods. Not that their fans will care: it's just that they'd better get used to being hated by many in the years to come.

(taken from Shaun Lawson on Twitter)
Unread 20-05-2019, 09:25 PM

Unread 20-05-2019, 09:31 PM

Originally Posted by silv
you should, it's very good
Unread 20-05-2019, 09:35 PM

He had me up until the bit about Liverpool winning the league next year

City’s owners need to be stopped or they will kill football stone dead
Unread 20-05-2019, 09:40 PM

Originally Posted by Spock
you should, it's very good
Apart from him wanting the vermin to win the league next season
Unread 20-05-2019, 09:42 PM

Liverpool weren’t hated in the 80s? Riiiiiiight.
Unread 20-05-2019, 09:50 PM

Loads of articles condemning city and their ownership


It was a belter that journo asking him pep about payments.
Unread 20-05-2019, 10:01 PM

Originally Posted by Throw
Liverpool weren’t hated in the 80s? Riiiiiiight.
Yeah i get the impression that he's in his late 20s or 30s because there's no way you could have been around during that era and not hated them.
Unread 20-05-2019, 10:02 PM

Originally Posted by dunk
He had me up until the bit about Liverpool winning the league next year
really? you got past this?

Liverpool dominated the 70s and 80s, but were never hated in the way United, Chelsea or in the 70s, Leeds were.
f*** off, they weren't. f***ing back passing, midfield cloggers kicking any c*** they could (souness, case, mcmahon..... and on and on) and aldo diving at anfield all f***ing day? just f*** off.
Unread 20-05-2019, 10:10 PM

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