I read the article on the Manchester City fans and our route to success yesterday, I’m a City fan since 1973 (aged 9) so feel well qualified to comment.

Totally get your point(s)….and the following needs to be added to the narrative.

manchester city fansSheikh Mansour wanted to buy a PL club, end of, for amongst other reasons –

– Enhance the Abu Dhabi image

– Oil is on its way out in 50 years (ish) and so the need to diversify, hence they have tonnes of property in New York, Formula 1, Etihad Airline etc etc

He tasked Khaldoon Al Mubarek (active chairman at MCFC and resident in Manchester as the Sheikh’s right hand man).

So off they went looking to buy a club…

And I think it is fair to say (not many Manchster City fans will like this but we were NOT 1st choice, nor 2nd, nor 3rd)…

Chelsea (not a chance)

Arsenal (not for sale)

Spurs (would Levy sell Spurs – I doubt it)

(To feature like Phil, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])

So London would have been preferred but no other suitable candidate, West Ham at that stage were not getting the Olympic stadium, so in 2007 when they were looking the Hammers were not on the radar, might be different now.

Man U (forget it, not dealing with the Glazers)

Liverpool (told to f*** off)

Everton (Kenwright told the Sheikh where to insert his money, for which we are eternally grateful).

Newcastle (the meeting with Ashley lasted 12 minutes before Khaldoon asked for his coat).

And so it was left with ickle Citeh!

The Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra arrived at Abu Dhabi airport, asked for an audience with the Sheikh (as he’d heard about the shopping trip) and sold him to Man City for I think £80m….

– New ground

– sleeping giant

– loads of potential

– loyal fans (core is 40,000 I think)

This was one of your points in yesterday’s article, my guess is we have a core of 40,000 fans thick & thin loyal and true.

The average gate is around 45,000 each game (capacity 47,500), not going to discuss away fan take up…

We don’t have a groundswell / swathe of 1000s of people clamouring for each spare ticket like a One Direction concert or Man U (for the moment).

The core is growing (at a glacial pace), the day trippers are growing as the number of foreign students at the ground and the sale of the (hateful) half & half scarves goes up as souvenirs increase.

manchester city fansBut the core fans grows ever so slowly as it needs families (I’m sure its no different for the toon army).

You are right as our scum friends from Trafford keep pointing out ‘blue seats, I can see blue seats’, which is their source of solace now that their 34 year banner has been torn down and auctioned, plus 2 of their favourite anti-city songs have now been deleted from their repertoire.

We ARE picking and choosing games as it is too expensive to go to 4 competitions sadly, so yes the observations are spot on.

However, I’m sure it will be addressed. The new south stand 3rd tier will be season ticket only at £299 per season, which is pretty good (£15.60 per game). It is ambitious to make the stadium 54,000 then 60,000 but – BUILD it and they will come is the optimism at the minute.

The JCL (johhny come latelys) are indeed annoying, and we could do without them, but you can’t pick and choose who comes thru the door.

I hope you have joined the campaign for safe standing ???

The City academy team won 8-2 on Wednesday night and going to the final of FA (under21) cup hopefully ,so the academy should start to produce players soon, they WILL make it happen I am sure…The Abu Dhabi group don’t do failure…

Just for the record, there are some teams I take NO pleasure in beating and others I take obscene delight.

Newcastle, Sunderland have top top fans (you may disagree) but the Mackems doing the Poznan to United after the Aguerrooooo goal made us all smile. I don’t like beating West Ham either, as when I lived in London they were my team (just like how your writer Robert picked City when he was a student in Manchester).

Obviously enjoy beating the Rags (Man U), Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool (need I go on)…

I could give you another story on FFP as well – Platini est un grand branleur (tosser)!

Good luck this season….I hope Newcastle can hike the black and white cocktail skirt and get rid of Ashley and attract another Sheikh (not an Oligarch). For me, if by the end of this decade it means City, Newcastle Everton and West Ham are scrapping it out for Top 4 I’d be very happy…

Trust me, if a Sheikh came knocking and you were bidding for Ibrahimovic then you’d enjoy it, you just need to get rid of the cancerous toad Ashley, who is doing you no favours.

He was like our Peter (comb over) Swales all those years ago – still wake up in a cold sweat thinking we still have Frank Clark in charge and Gareth (16 stone) Taylor at number 9….

  • GToon

    Nice read Phil. You are right, I wish it was us and good luck to you. I had a mate at work who was a City fan and i used to spend ages asking him how it felt. “Monumental” i think was his reply. Wonder why the meeting with Ashley was so short!!! I think a lot of the reaction from Newcastle fans is the fact that we seem to have had an amazing ability to avoid any kind of success when others always seem to grasp their moment – teams like Oxford, Wolves, Portsmouth etc etc. They have all won things in the modern era but when we had a final to play in or a title to go for we always blow it. Thats the issue. And obviously the current regime coupled with the money at some clubs basically renders our chances of winning anything ever again as virtually zero. We cant even hold on to a decent player never mind build a team.

  • Toonster

    Good article mate.  I’ve always had a soft spot for City since my old man used to take us to Maine Road in the late ’70s / early ’80s when we went to visit my granddad in Manchester.  I would have loved it if Sheikh Mansour had snaffled us up instead of City but sadly we’re still saddled with an owner who has no love for our club and certainly doesn’t understand its significance to the city and supporters.  As long as he’s in charge I will sadly continue with my self imposed exile from SJP.  Given that we were looked over I couldn’t have wished for a better club to benefit from the Sheikh’s billions than City.  I think we are kindred in many ways.  Following both clubs has been a bit of a tragi-comic experience over the years I think and both sets of fans raise the bar with their loyalty.  Chelsea look the part this year but I hope your lot manage to win the league again.

  • hettonmag

    Good post mate and good luck to you  only wish it had been us but there you go, we will just have to put up with Ashley till he decides to go and  destroy some   other supporters faith in football. Having had Manure stuffed down our throats by sky  for the past 20 odd years  its like a breath of fresh air  some one else taking there thunder.

  • Brian Standen

    Rumour, with more than hint of truth….Ashley turned up late for his meeting for whatever reason ( prob best not to publish the reason he was late) which shows disrespect, hence the oil rich sheiks were not interested in doing business with him!

  • A lex

    Very good post – thanks for taking the time to write this.

    I’ve no problem at all with you, or what’s happening at City. I’m not even jealous, I just have pure admiration for the way your club has been dragged up and being built into a world class sporting institution.
    I travel quite a bit through Abu Dhabi, and would agree that they don’t do failure out there. Some people say that Ashley doesn’t do failure either. He does – big time. Maybe his ‘bottom line’ is a success story, but his treatment and regard for the human aspects of his business interests is just one massive FAIL. We know what he’s like, and it’s easy to see that the Rangers people are feeling the same now. 
    I read some fortune figures a few weeks ago regarding Alan Sugar and Donald Trump. Ashley is worth £800m more than these two put together!!! Astounding. How can a ‘man’ (used in loose terms) be so tight, when he could bring so much happiness to a whole region and give himself wonderful rewards of great footballing nights?
    For me, this is the main issue at NUFC. He won’t let us ‘wipe our own nose’ because he restricts so much income from advertising and merchandising. And, despite his personal wealth, he won’t invest in his club, either. It’s the worst double-whammy of all.
    Anyway, moving on. Good luck for the season – from a neutrals perspective, it’s looking like a cracking fight between you and Chelsea. Enjoy it, mate.

  • No Brainer

    Wee gives a

  • DavidDrape

    Very honest and don’t to earth Phil. enjoyed reading this & agree with lots of sentiments in article and posts. Putting the match day banter to one side I trust there is lots of respect between both sets f fans instead of hatred and this can be built upon over the next few years. Lets celebrate on the 7th of May 2015 this year as it will be 60 years for you winning the FA cup & 60 years since we last won a domestic trophy. Good Luck MCFC and hope you can beat Chelsea to the PL. PS. I totally agree re cost of match tickets these days and would never criticise another club for having empty seats because as we all supporters already make exceptional sacfrices to support there teams