Monday, September 29, 2008

There's no point in hating Man City

Graham Fisher has penned an interesting blog entry over at, where he admits to hating Chelsea following their takeover by Roman Abramovich, but having no such feelings about Manchester City.

It's an interesting thought. Perhaps, without wanting to put words into somebody's mouth (or should that be without forcing their fingers towards a keyboard?), it may be because the Chelsea takeover was the first mega-money takeover and those that have followed have been caused by the first.

Sure, takeovers are nothing new. But the Chelsea deal marked the first time somebody came along with the attitude of "hey, I'm a billionaire, I don't care about making a profit, let's get some trophies in any way we can". And, of course, Chelsea and Roman achieved their aim..

Those who own Man City clearly have far more cash than Roman - though when it comes to these sorts of sums, does comparing bank balances really make any difference? Probably not, as their modus operandi appear to be similar - ie spend, spend, spend, win, win, win!

Other traditionalists may not even hold anything against Roman and Chelsea. For it is quite possible to point towards the Sky takeover of English top-flight football - for that's what it was, for all intents - and argue the door had already been opened at that point for the mega-money men.

As soon as the Premier League, backed by Sky (or is that "controlled"?), offered a platform for the super-rich to get one over other super-rich people, and on a global scale, it was only a matter of time before it was exploited. They buy bigger and bigger yachts, give more and more money to charity, do whatever they want to win a big-money piddling contest, and football club ownership is just the current fad.

So is it worth hating Man City? Is it worth hating Chelsea? There are probably reasons to do so, but few have anything to do with money. If they remained the same clubs they were 10-15 years ago, there is no doubt two other teams would be in their position.

From a sports entertainment viewpoint, something top-flight football has been for years, it will certainly be interesting to see how much damage the two clubs, and their owners, do to each other during the upcoming few transfer windows. Interesting until it leads to the death of football, of course...