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.