Manchester City fans defiant ahead of Newcastle show down
In the first of a two-part series of articles reflecting on the Kaka transfer saga, MCFCfans makes no apologies for broadening and balancing the debate. In part two we find fans desperate to put the papers in the bin and make some noise on Wednesday night.
What has been most disappointing about the recent press speculation and coverage of the Kaka approach, and Manchester City’s ‘project in general, is the narrow range of debate that has tended to dominate. It is currently in vogue to ‘bash the rich kids,’ and there are so many parallels to the narrow coverage of the credit crunch. Find a simple target and blame it for the world’s ills.
The word ‘obscene’ was used generously
In what one BBC Radio 4 presenter called, “the biggest made-up story in history,” the use of the word ‘obscene’ to describe City’s approach tells you all you need to know about the propaganda trap that City walked in to.
Simon Caney, Editor-in-chief of Sport Magazine, rightly pointed out that the generous use of the word ‘obscene’ was missing the point. Sheikh Mansour does his share for good causes, but in any event this was a fair and legal approach in a transfer fee-based market. If Jo and countless other players can transfer for £18m, then Kaka can transfer for £100m.
“We recognise the need to ensure that our sponsorship activity reflects the process of restructuring that the bank has under way,” a Royal Bank of Scotland spokesperson said in reaction to reports (BBC Wed 21 Jan) that RBS had extended its’ title sponsorship of the Six Nations Championship for a further four years to the tune of £20m, a figure denied by RBS. This is the story of arguably one of the biggest contributors to the UK’s credit crunch putting up what is arguably taxpayers’ cash at a time when they are laying off staff. Is this not ‘obscene’? Not if the relative column inches are anything to go by.
The credit crunch – upside down thinking
“It is a bit bizarre that, in these times of credit crunch, we are talking about a club paying £100m for one player,” wrote Gordon Taylor, Chairman of the PFA, in his exclusive column on givemefootball.com. Virtually all of Gordon Taylor’s comments are worth challenging, but this notion that Manchester City are going against the grain during the credit crunch is utterly absurd.
David Conn, writing in The Guardian in May of last year, reliably informed readers that Manchester United’s accounts showed the club’s total creditors at £764m. £666m owed to financial institutions, including £152m to hedge funds. Reports stated RBS joined Deutsche Bank in arranging securitisation for the acquisition finance. Hicks and Gillett at Liverpool are no different with The Financial Times reporting on Friday that their RBS loan extension of £350m lasts only until July. If you’re looking for contributions to the credit crunch then look no further. Was all this debt labelled as ‘obscene’ by Mr.Conn or the wider press?
Manchester City has no such debts and therefore does not contribute to the UK’s possible bankruptcy. Indeed it offsets the UK’s leveraged position. The investment by ADUG constitutes new investment, a fresh injection of cash, and a removal of debt. Does that not sound like good news during a credit crunch?!
The boost to Manchester and the UK of having a new investor with capital to invest will not be quantified until specific development projects are announced. However, the circulation of new money within the game at a time like this could indirectly end up being a lifeline for some clubs. That it may give Manchester City a short-term advantage is open to debate. In fact it may give the club a short-term disadvantage, something that most reporters chose to ignore.
One City fan recently wrote to David Conn at The Guardian to question the, “unanimous opprobrium.” He went on to write to Mr.Conn,” I have always felt that, amongst the ignorant and predictable pap emitted around the world of football, The Guardian is a voice of reason.” Conn had the decency to reply, but the damage to City was done.
Part two of this article will be published at the same time tomorrow. In the meantime why not add your vote to our Mark Hughes poll, "Should he stay or should he go" on our home page.
Breaking news: The re-arranged Portsmouth away fixture will be played on Saturday 14th February at 3pm. As if travelling all the way down for the cancelled fixture wasn't difficult enough, now you've got to fight the missus to go to the replay!
Breaking news: New signing Nigel de Jong will wear the number 34 shirt, while Craig Bellamy has taken number 39.