TUES, 2:45PM ET
BVB2
ARS0
TUES, 2:45PM ET
LIV2
LUD1
TUES, 2:45PM ET
REAL5
BAS1
TUES, 2:45PM ET
OLY3
ATL2
TUES, 2:45PM ET
JUV2
MAL0
TUES, 2:45PM ET
BEN0
ZEN2

Manchester City Is The New Chelsea Of Premier League

roman abramovich Manchester City Is The New Chelsea Of Premier League

When Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 and splashed £600 million to-date on the football club, few would have expected that a rival billionaire would outspend Chelsea’s owner. And even fewer would have predicted that the club would have been Manchester City.

But Manchester City has done it by being taken over by the investment company for the Abu Dhabi royal family, making waves with an audacious bid for Dimitar Berbatov, David Villa and Mario Gomez, and securing the capture of Brazilian superstar Robinho right under the noses of Chelsea.

Incredibly, the Abu Dhabi United Group manages oil reserves worth an estimated $1 trillion. In comparison,  Abramovich has a net worth of $23.5 billion. Forbes magazine ranked him as the fifteenth richest person in the world.

When was the last time that Chelsea got embarrassed in the transfer market? In this window, they put so many of their chips in signing Robinho that by failing to do so, they’ve lost a lot of power in the business of English football. In just one day, Manchester City outdid Chelsea with the Robinho signing and would have signed Berbatov if he hadn’t been so gungho on signing for Alex Ferguson’s side.

By ploughing massive amounts of money into the Premier League, Manchester City has bought itself into the Big Four. Now Mark Hughes has to prove that his team are worthy of breaking into the Big Four.

In the meantime, where were the other Big Four clubs in the transfer window? Crickets were chirping at the Emirates Stadium on transfer deadline day. Liverpool got rid of Steve Finnan and Andrei Voronin, picking up a few youngsters from around the world as well as left winger Albert Riera from Espanyol. The longer that Arsenal refuses the advances of investors such as billionaires Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov, the further the Gunners will fall away from the pack of the top clubs in England.

It’s easy to get caught up in the transfer dealings today, but the biggest news is that the Premier League has changed forever beginning today. The new oil money of Abu Dhabi will be the first of several English clubs that will be bought by Middle East billionaires in the next few years. While Europe and the United States are suffering from the credit crunch, the Middle East has the capital to buy any players they wish thereby dramatically driving up the transfer fees and wages in the Premier League. At this rate, there’s no turning back.

My concern is how the Abu Dhabi United Group will change the face of the Premier League. Manchester City’s chief executive Garry Cook has already dicussed the idea of turning the Premier League into more of a NFL model with no relegation and promotion, to protect the financial interests of clubs such as City.

The buyout of Man City by the Abu Dhabi United Group is a massive win for Manchester City, the Premier League and the chances of the Premier League playing league games overseas. It’s awful news for the other 15 clubs in the Premiership who will find it impossible to compete both on and off the pitch with the big clubs.

Is this the end of the Premier League as we know it or just the beginning of a new chapter in the league’s history? Share your opinions below by clicking the comments link.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

14 Responses to Manchester City Is The New Chelsea Of Premier League

  1. wayne says:

    city have come a long way from the dodgy bloke with a couple of shops selling tellys

  2. Charlie says:

    I suspect you’re right, Gaffer. Just to play Devil’s Advoccate though… A team owner can spend all the money he wants to on players, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee the team will go out and win championships. Just ask George Steinbrenner.

    I predict that 10 years from now, one or more of these three things will happen:

    1) Every Premiership team will be owned by rich Middle Eastern oil families who will think nothing about spending £30M on a backup keeper, just because they can…

    2) There will be some sort of salary cap in European football.

    3) The Prem as we know it today will no longer exist — The Big Four will have broken away to form some sort of a Super League with Big Fours from other major European leagues. (What would become of the Champions League in this scenario would be an interesting discussion).

  3. AtlantaPompey says:

    How can you state that this is a win for the Premier League, but awful news for the other 15 clubs who won’t be able to compete? Don’t those two statements contradict each other? If 15 of the 20 teams in the league can’t compete, how is the league benefitting? Sure, the Big Five love it, but that’s only 5 of 90-something teams in the football league. If this is the way it’s going, then the Big Five need to join a European Super League and let the rest of us worry about England.

    Fifth is the new First might have just become Sixth is the new First.

  4. Lonnie says:

    I agree with AtlantaPompey…great for Manchester City…bad for the league as a whole and will not be good for player development in England. Will a young player like Michael Johnson or Micah Richards come up from the academy in the future? No! They’ll simply buy someone from another club.

  5. The Gaffer says:

    AtlantaPompey,

    It’s good news for the Premier League as a whole and as a business, not for the majority of the individual clubs.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  6. Truthfully Pompey wasn’t even a club with a decent chance of being a Premier League Club until American Milan Mandaric (A football man himself) bought that club. Southhanpton was the top flight team on the south coast, so Pompey fans being upset smacks of hypocrisy to me.

    However, this is very bad for British Football and eventually parliament may have to step in and regulate the Premier League. Too much foreign ownership and far too much speculation and debt leverage with clubs.

  7. ALLY says:

    I think this is a great thing. We are so used to the top 4 being either Man Utd or Chelsea then Arsenal then Liverpool but now we have another team that can compete and the big 4 will be watching over there shoulders. It gives the leauge something to get exicted about

  8. Dave M says:

    It’s great that Man City has been rescued – a week ago it looked like they would be following the path blazed by Leeds United, which must have been devestating to contemplate for City’s lifelong loyal supporters. But this amount of cash is just plain scary. Same goes for Chelsea and their owner. If owners have no regard for their clubs ever being profitable, there is no sanity – let’s just skip all the formalites and sell the trophies to the highest bidder. Arsenal gets criticized for having the opposite approach – trying to maintain sanity in transfer fees and pay packets – but the entire league could do with more of that kind of thinking.

    Rather than player salary caps (which will never happen unilaterally in England), why not mandate that clubs have 5-year profitability plans. Points deducted for excessive deficit spending.

  9. JLay says:

    It will be interesting to watch over the next few years, but right now it’s much ado about nothing. Yes, they hijacked the Robinho deal, but what does that really mean?

    Depending on what they can do in the January window and how well Hughes does his job, they could end up in a UEFA spot.

    It will still take them a year or two (or three) to build a side with “Big-4″ talent – and even then it’s no sure thing. You can only spend so much on players because you only need so many. And even if they went out and bought the consensus “best in the world” at each position, there’s no guarantee that they’ll play well together.

    Maybe it’ll be the “Big 5″ from now on, but this isn’t going to change the face of the league.

    As for middle eastern oil billionaires buying up more and more teams, we should be so lucky – all that would do is provide you with more parity (Big 6? Big 8?) and more talent.

    Finally, to the development of English players- I think it’s all a load of BS. Bringing foreign players into the professional league has nothing to do with development – either you can play or you can’t. These kids in South America and Africa come up kicking wadded up socks around a dirt pitch, with little or no coaching until they hit their teens. They have far fewer advantages than the British youngsters, but they seem to be kicking our a$$es all over the place.

    We’re just looking at a generation of mediocre players- it happens.

  10. JLay says:

    HAHA, sorry for the double post, but I had to share this one – the Guardian is reporting that City plans to bid 135m GBP for Ronaldo in January… God, I hope they do.

    It gets better – they plan to make “at least 18 signings”, including Fabregas, Torres, Villa, Henry, and Fat Ronaldo (go figure).

    This is going to get interesting – either it’ll change the dynamic at the top of the table, or it’ll be good for a few belly laughs – maybe both!

  11. MrBlue says:

    From a life long city fan of 34 years…mainly living in Utd’s shadow this is the greatest news ever!

    I have said since it happend to Chelsea it was only a matter of time and once we got our new stadium I knew they would come!

    Money doesn’t just buy trophies…but it gives you a chance…other than the big 4, the chances are few and far between for any other club to win anything (probably why everyone so happy to see Pompy do so well, great result)…However, any fan of any Premier league club would welcome a takover of their club if it meant they could buy the best, compete with on the worlds biggest stage and against the richest of clubs…it’s just human nature, i.e. to look out for number one…I don’t think it will spoil the premier league at all but I do feel sorry for smaller clubs that really can’t compete such as Bolton…but hey, the only success I have really seen in all my years is one memoral 5-1 win against Utd and some 2nd divion (now 1st division) promotions…hence the only time we ever had some good results was when we had been relagated…well maybe now, we can start pushing Utd around especially as Fergie will be off soon…I wonder if he wants a fresh challenge…maybe he will get a decent wage to stay on at city…lol

  12. MrBlue says:

    Oh an Jlay…You are talking about the wrong Ronaldo…It’s Utd’s prized asset they are after not fatboy…u fool…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Blue Moon, You saw me standing a lone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own……Blue moon…….CITY!!! CITY!!! CITY!!!

  14. Big names don’t guarantee big trophies
    There is no doubt that Citeh will have some big names enter the frey, but I can’t see them being able to keep a huge squad full of top players happy at Eastlands….United have always had big names, but the “supporting cast” was always top notch and came mostly from within and grew up in the ranks…Giggs, Scholesy, Beckham, the Nevilles all played their part alonside stalwarts such as Denis Irwin, Pallister, Bruce,…put that with the bargain Cantona’s and Sheringham and Ole et all and then sprinkle in a few mega transfers of Rooney, Ferdinand, Van the man and Tevez and you have your success…Who do Citeh have to compliment their 35 million man other than Elano?
    Shaun Wright Phillips?
    Stevie Ireland?
    Your havin a laugh!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>