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Hypocrisy Typifies The Reaction of Opposing Fans to City Takeover

Manchester City crest L Hypocrisy Typifies The Reaction of Opposing Fans to City Takeover

Color me sky blue and call me biased. On Monday, my concern about the takeover of Manchester City by Arab investors from Abu Dhabi had me concerned. Could these men be as callous and destructive as the American and other foreign ownership groups that have invested in Premier League clubs? Three days later after much soul searching and subsequent events, I am here to say I was wrong in my initial reaction and the club I have supported for many years even in the depths of England’s third flight ten years ago is now going to be massive. We could change Football forever. The group from Abu Dhabi, which after all is the capital if not the most prominent member city of the United Arab Emirates seems to understand world football and are ready to play a high stakes game. They seem prepared to elevate English football beyond the heights its achieved and help make Manchester City FC a linchpin of the world sporting culture.

But reaction coming from supporters of opposing sides has been more than disturbing.  In an era when a club like Portsmouth has used the generosity of two consecutive foreign owners to bolster what was a traditional second division club into a perennial contender for Europe and when Dave Whelan has built Wigan Athletic a traditional third or fourth flight club into a lasting Premiership team, why is City being singled out for hatred?This is also an era where traditional top flight clubs like Southampton, Ipswich and Nottingham Forest are struggling to stay afloat in the new footballing world. So again I ask why all the visceral hatred directed towards City’s good fortune? Where was the outrage with Pompey or Wigan who have in the last four seasons played far above their traditional levels of football?

The most amusing part of this is the amount of vitriol spewing from supporters of Liverpool and Manchester United. These two clubs have enjoyed a traditional monetary advantage over their rivals and many of the supporters of these clubs particularly in the United States and Asia simply discovered these clubs because they were constantly winning. These same fans now act as they are the vanguards of traditional football while many of them know little if anything about the history of the English game. They do not care partly because they have convinced themselves that their clubs are the entire history of the English game.

My club has more than arrived: we could change football forever. I’m not going to apologize for it, and those of you spewing hatred throughout the blogosphere take note: Manchester City Football Club is here to stay.

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About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

15 Responses to Hypocrisy Typifies The Reaction of Opposing Fans to City Takeover

  1. Raatzie says:

    The best thing that could happen to the Prem (but which, unfortunately, never will) is a salary cap.

    As a Liverpool supporter, I say that today.

    And if DIC or the Sultan of Brunei bought LFC tomorrow, I’d keep saying it.

  2. Darren says:

    funny you say that, considering the reason why MLS struggles is because of the salary cap….

  3. Abhishek says:

    I wonder what Man City supporters used to say when Chelsea were transformed from also-rans into one of the richest & most influential football clubs in the world. Utterly vitriolic comments & jibes about ‘buying’ the league & other assorted rubbish have been hurled at Chelsea fans over the past few years. City fans, brace yourself for a similar amount of abuse & hatred. After all, no one likes the rich & powerful.

  4. Burt Reynolds says:

    What Portsmouth and Wigan have done is nothing at all like what’s going on with Man City right now. Who gets mad at an underdog for doing well? Unless they support the underdog’s rival club or if it’s at their favorite club’s expense, it’s pretty silly to have hatred directed towards them. Both those teams have struggled to survive relegation since being in the Premiership. There should be no ego boost for them in surviving relegation battles, just a huge feeling of relief.

    What irritates me is teams thinking they’re entitled to something because of who they are, what they’ve done in the past or how much money they have. Prove it on the pitch.

  5. You can be a City fan and still be uncomfortable with the takeover. Abu Dhabi have already demonstrated that

    a) they will say reckless things about other players less than a week into ownership, which has already muddied the waters for future transfer deals.

    and

    b) they don’t care about the club; they’re in it for the glory of Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi alone. If I were a City fan, I might be a little perturbed about my club being used as a pawn in a tale of two cities.

    Read David Conn’s piece on this in the Guardian — http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2008/sep/03/premierleague.manchestercity1

  6. JLay says:

    A salary cap wouldn’t work unless you managed to convince every club on the face of the Earth to abide by it. Never, ever going to happen.

    Kartik, as a lifelong United supporter, I have absolutely no problem with the takeover- I’m happy for City and it’s fans, and welcome the competition.

    I probably feel a little less strongly about it because I am an American, and I don’t have any deep-rooted local or tribal ties to any of the clubs… I simply love to watch the game. To me, another big club means more quality in the league, cutthroat competition for CL play (5 big clubs and only 4 spots), and 8 additional “big” ties every year (2 games against the 4 other “top” clubs).

    We’re also getting WAY ahead of ourselves -
    an influx of cash doesn’t necessarily mean that City will be world-beaters anytime soon. It takes time to scout and acquire talent, get the players used to playing together, and find a tactics that work best for your lineup.

    I also don’t think that these guys will be the last great billionaire investors to join the league.

    In the major US sports, we are plagued by owners who have no concern for anything but the bottom line. CHampoinship rosters are decimated in the name of generating obscene profits (my local Florida Marlins experienced that TWICE).

    Now, in the EPL, we’re seeing an influx of owners that have such a passion for the game that they’re willing to spend any amount of money in order to make their teams better – is that really such a bad thing?

  7. Raatzie says:

    @ Darren

    I think MLS struggles for other reasons as well.

    Make it about who best can evaluate talent, not who has the deepest pockets to buy it.

    Imagine a club like Wigan, on a level financial playing field, making the Champions’ League because, in a given year, they evaluated talent more shredly than the so-called “Big Four.”

    Better yet, imagine four different clubs in the Champions’ League every year.

  8. With all the talk about MLS, it’s lost that USL-1 a second division (who I support because they fillefd the void down here when MLS unprofessionally picked up and left town and didn’t even inform the players in a proper fashion)now has put two teams into the group stages of the CONCACAF Champions League while the two MLS teams that had to go thru the qualifying stage have been eliminated. Money doesn’t buy everything: MLS has more money but also a salary cap which restricts your ability to sign out of contract players when you have injuries or other issues. While USL teams live on a budget about 40% of MLS sides, they also can sign new players. So a salary cap is more prohibitive as the experience between our first and second divisions tells us in the USA than just restricting salaries and spending. Caps are hard items and once you start making exceptions the caps don’t matter. So MLS has kept a hard cap for non Beckham/Blanco rule players and thus our second division is now more successful on the international stage.

    The same thing could happen between the PL and Championship with a cap. American sports that use a cap exist in a vacuum whereas MLS does not as the second division, USL now essentially competes with the first division for players. So caps do not work in football is the bottom line.

  9. Steve the Cabbie says:

    Seems to me that the bad feeling that has come about is due to an immediate need to throw horrendous amounts of money around. What was seen with Portsmouth and Wigan was a gradual evolution, whilst money has been spent it is nothing like spending 32,000,000 on one player. When this sort of money is invested in one club it is always going to turn them into the team to hate, just ask Chelsea. What bothers me more than anything is the rich get richer whilst the lower league clubs scratch around trying to survive. What would be of more use to the English game would be for someone to invest properly in a scheme to bring young english players through rather than spending more than 32,000,000 on one player who may or may not make the grade in English football. There is no doubt of his talent but many players just don’t adapt to English football. It’s not Man City that people hate it’s watching the rest of English football die.

  10. Paul Bestall says:

    Would that be Portsmouth that were one of the footballing powers of pre and post war England? They have returned to the level they were and are nothing like Wigan.

  11. Todd says:

    as a man utd fan i couldnt stop laughing in reading this ‘piece’. city are going to be so massive? more than they already are? change the game of football forever you say? hahahaahahaha

    this is not mine, but still quality:

    Has anyone ever witnessed a more rapid abandonment of principles than that shown by City fans this week?

    For years they have banged on about being the people’s club; a football club that is still a football club as opposed to an organisation obsessed with money; supporters who were in it for the love of the club, the love of the game; 30 years and we’re still here; the true Manchester club; ‘This is our city’ and all that nonsense. An entire generation of fans who have built their identity purely on being whatever United are not.

    And what were United? A greedy, rich club that bought success with its vast wealth. Wealth which came before all else, acquired through disgraceful commercialism and a soulless disregard for the beautiful game. Fans who cared only about trophies and expensive signings, and who understood nothing of what it meant to be a true football fan – a City fan for example.

    But this is the United whose fans at least cared about retaining its identity as a Mancunian football club. When foreign owners with the wrong motives came sniffing round Manchester United, we fought and fought and fought to keep them away. We used every means legal, and some illegal ones too. We mobilised, we collected, we protested, we campaigned, we lobbied, we vandalised, we wrote, we phoned, we emailed, we rallied, we marched, we flash-mobbed, we rioted. We made it impossible for them to visit Manchester peacefully. And the loss of our club to people who didn’t give a toss about its identity and traditions meant so much that some of us walked away altogether. Home and awayers with decades of fanaticism to their names had decided that forming a new club, with the incredible effort that entailed, was the only alternative to seeing their club used as some egotistical bastard’s plaything.

    Contrast this with 1st September 2008. The only sound you could hear that day was that of 100,000 zips being simultaneously lowered as the blue quarter of Manchester collectively dropped its trousers and bent over, willing to be shamelessly violated by some slimy rich man’s c**k. Not a shred of pride, not a moment’s defence of their supposedly salt of the earth club; just a panting mass, all ready to be anybody’s Bi*ch in exchange for money with which they can buy success.

    There really is only one true football club in Manchester, and it’s not Manchester City.

  12. Blue Evertonian says:

    Good luck City. Knock those two bastards (Lpool & Manu) off their perch and as far as I’m concerned it improves the League. It needed stirring up and it looks like you will do exactly that. Wonderful to see a club put into a position to threaten the top 4. I hope you are ready for the bandwagon jumping, glory hunting twats that follow Liverpool and Man U. They are sure to be singing Blue Moon shortly. (Not all of them … I KNOW that!) Sad that I am so bitter isn’t it? Sorry , just soooo tired of the same old and the tiring, boring repetitive talking heads that seem to support them.

  13. Raatzie says:

    Don’t come back till the Toffees win a home match.

  14. Matthew says:

    As a Liverpool supporter this just makes me sad that DIC didn’t take over the club.

    Think of all the players that would have been purchased.

    Hicks and Gillette are going to run this club into the ground.

  15. Todd says:

    still selling your soul? how many jobless cunts were outside the middle eastlands? who the eff is salford now you bitters?

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