Keep your mails coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can turn your back on City
In response to Mark, you act as if the idea of boycotting your own club is some alien concept, something so far-fetched that the very suggestion is madness. Don’t get me wrong, I do agree with you that there should be no expectation that you should do it – after all, as a fan you have no control over how the club is run -, but turning your back on your club is something you can do, should you wish. From memory, I have seen Blackpool fans, Charlton fans, and Newcastle fans boycott their club in response to their owner. I have seen fans rip up their season tickets in disgust live on television, at a game. I have even seen Arsenal fans turn their back in an attempt to get rid of Wenger for goodness sake. If you actually cared about the things you’r club was doing, or didn’t like the owners, you would turn your back.
And that’s the crux, you don’t care enough. And that is absolutely fine. As you have mentioned, you have no control over your club, who owns it, or how it is run, so to expect you to shoulder the blame and burden is beyond stupid. This was your club, and has been taken from you, but please don’t act like it bothers you only to say you cannot do anything. If you really wanted to, you could.
European super league here we come…
Spent most of yesterday clearing out a shed and missed the morning mailbox, sacrilegious I know! Just read the replies from mostly City fans today.
In fairness you can’t argue with the ruling of the CAS and shouldn’t try to, that’s pointless. But does that mean that City are innocent of all wrongdoing or just that the case failed to stand. We will all have an opinion on this and rightly so.
However the effect of all of this is to see UEFA humbled and City, PSG, Chelsea open the purse strings again, the first billion pound player doesn’t suddenly look that far away.
But don’t forget UEFA, and Real Madrid, and Barcelona, and Bayern and Manu and Liverpool and Juventus and Ajax.
How long before they decide that since the solution isn’t to exclude City and PSG from the current competition that they just form a new one, European super league here we come.
Like my kids playing on the green, if some kid is dominating all the others and ruining their game, they make a new club. Sooner or later UEFA will realise it’s power and do the same backed by the non infinite resource European super powers.
Today’s ruling will be a landmark in so many ways, for City fans celebrate your victory but beware the ides of March, UEFA hasn’t gone away you know, the great cash cow of the UEFA champions league might be about to get a facelift.
An objective look
If we are all done back slapping and cursing over the overturn of the City verdict, let’s have an objective look at the case.
Were City guilty? Looks very likely. Emails leaked of senior members of City show them admitting to disguising cash injections as sponsorships. Just a quick look at City’s accounts (and their inflated sponsorship earnings points in position to their fanbase points towards the same) but these emails merely confirmed what many of us had known all along.
Why then was the ban overturned ? CAS did not absolve City of blame but merely pointed out that the alleged breaches were time barred. The detailed award will give more clarity on CAS’s rationale for its verdict.
Is FFP fair? Not really. Chelsea and even Manchester City as well as other clubs across Europe have proven that if you put in significant investment into a club and manage it wisely, you can turn it into a sustainable, profit making club capable of competing with the elites. Doing so organically is extremely difficult if not downright impossible.
What does the verdict mean for fans? City certainly cheated, but they have gotten away with it. City fans may likely see it as a fuck you to FFP which protected clubs like City from sitting at the adults table. What they can not do is claim that the verdict proves City’s innocent.
Seriously – Juventus spending decades building a reputable brand – you do remember Calciopoli? Real Madrid and their huge profit on land sold to the Spanish Government just coincidentally wiping out all their debts all the time of course ‘building a reputable brand’.
Open your eyes mate – the reason the FFP stuff came in is because those who reached the top (however they got there) want to preserve that status and don’t like the idea of an ‘upstart’ club coming along with more money. Buying a reputable brand more like.
Steve Leeds (still hoping for QSI investment if we reach the PL)
A kick in the teeth for the ‘Liverpool Hegemony’ theorists
Really astonishing response from other fans (the old top four) ) following the CAS ruling to reinstate City to the CL. Not because there is a general belief that City have got away with one, or that UEFA have largely dropped the ball. No, the astonishment comes mainly from the idea that City fans shouldn’t be happy with the ruling! Really, did you expect anything less? I get that it’s a kick in the teeth for the ‘Liverpool Hegemony’ theorists but after a season of “it’s the end of city..” “the dirty oil cheats are going to be playing in league 2 next year..” “once they lose all their good players it’ll be back to obscurity” I think it’s entirely understandable that City fans are pretty happy. It’s football guys. It’s a game of emotions and irrationality. If someone subjects you to any form of unpleasant criticism and then the tables turn then guess what, you’re going to get some back. I think it might be called human nature!
There does seem to be a significant amount of bitterness from Liverpool fans who had really pinned their hopes to the idea City were going to be banned. Not because they hugely object to financial impropriety, but mainly because they’re football fans who want to win matches and it’s hurt to see City so dominant. Gents, you won the league , enjoy it. You’ve spent big to achieve that, it’s pointless denying it. You’re going to have to get past city to win more trophies, it’s a simple fact now. It’ll cost you more money and you’ll find it. FFP is pretty much dead now. The FA can’t do squat because they know the thoughts of CAS in a binding arbitration.
City may have overstated some sponsorship deals but in a world of such nuanced valuation It’s almost impossible to determine that -and please spare me the nonsense about the leaked emails. That was never going to be close to enough evidence of wrong doing. You could put any spin on the meaning of those messages and the clubs culpability as a whole. UEFA massively screwed it. My own thoughts are they panicked with the deadline for action and just wanted to be seen to do something to avoid chucking FFP down the toilet.
I don’t like FFP and I don’t think it’s fair, but I recognise it’s a fact of life. Have city tiptoed around the edge of it? Probably. Will other clubs do the same? – yeah course they will. Does it mean the end of football – don’t be stupid. It might mean your team won’t win as many trophies next year but that’s true of 99% of football teams so spare me the crocodile tears.
The quality of football on offer in the PL has never been higher. It’s the greatest league in the world to watch bar none. It’s just football people. It’s an entertainment. We’ve seen what happens when people try to prove it means more than that and it’s ugly. Try to relax and enjoy it.
Confusing City defence
Greetings everyone. I’m a Liverpool fan but I don’t have any particular beef with Manchester City (Man U and Arsenal are the teams I really hate). I’m open to the possibility that City were indeed innocent of the specific charges and it’s entirely possible that UEFA were indeed driven by ‘old money’ clubs. Unlikely but feasible.
That said, some of the defences by City fans in the mailbox left me quite flummoxed. There were multiple references to the fact that the emails that formed a key part of the evidence had been hacked and the person who did so had been arrested. Why would that call into question the veracity of those emails? The leaker wasn’t charged with falsifying the evidence and indeed is still awaiting trial so he hasn’t been convicted yet. If the veracity of the emails is not in question- and as far as I’m aware City haven’t claimed they are forged only that they don’t show the full context- then the fact that they came from the hacker shouldn’t be relevant. If the position of City fans is that any whistleblower is acting unethically and hence everything they produce should be ignored then that’s a bit of a slippery slope and something tells me they wouldn’t be taking this position if this situation was happening to say Manchester United instead.
Another confusing defence is the ‘no owner is perfect’ line that pops up whenever City is in the spotlight. Are we really saying that comparisons are irrelevant in life? We compare things all the time and it would be completely bizarre to say all owners are on the same ethical and moral plane because they aren’t all saints so all their misdeeds are equal. It seems obvious to me that not all ethical breaches are equal and the fact that all owners aren’t squeaky clean doesn’t mean that they should all be judged equally because that would be irrational. Yes some companies (and people) are worse than others and to argue otherwise is disingenuous.
Turiyo Damascene, Kigali
Why should they worry about FFP?
FFP is going to be a hot topic for discussion due to the Manchester City and CAS news this week, now here are my thoughts that you didn’t ask for on the issue, which will be kept short and precise but may cause someone to dislike me for saying this.
When it comes to a football club if an owner purchases a club and wishes to invest their own money into the side by purchasing a world class forward or splash big on a new goalkeeper why should they have to worry about FFP, Manchester City and Chelsea have both been purchased and been kept stable in such a manner, in fact if Roman had not bought Chelsea nearly 20 years ago it is highly likely the club would not exist today at all, but before they were purchased these two sides were not able to splash big money on big name players, you may argue “but what about if the club owner suddenly decides to pull all funding, like what happened in Russia to Anzhi?”, well we have the questionable “Fit and Proper Persons Test” to look into these potential owners, so that should be doing its job, however certain proof of funds as well as a certain time frame of commitment should be brought in just to cover this potential negative outcome if it was to arise.
Maybe my thoughts are a bit to basic, maybe I am missing the bigger picture, however if I purchase a house and then decide to invest my own money into the building, by the means of building an extension, a new bathroom refit, change of kitchen appliances or whatever, then I am able to do so, it is my money after all, it should be the same for a football club.
Someone please think of the children!
Can we please stop with the Helen Lovejoy’s ( Simpsons reference to keep up with the youth) “won’t someone please think of the children” screams over Man City being hit with a £10mil fine for fudging the books. Yes they did wrong, yes they got punished. Yes the authorities initially went in hard knowing the appeal would knock it down to something both sides could be happy with. But let’s be honest here. Can someone please tell me which super rich club is actually being completely honest in its financial dealings (and I include my own team the current English, European and World champions). It really doesn’t matter if these clubs state income came from revenue or sponsorship, they are never going bust a la Leeds, they have too much money. Lets not forget though that UEFA screwed the pooch with the investigation anyway and if you thought CAS wouldn’t see that then I’ve a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.There is a much bigger problem at UEFA than mishandling FFP. In the past 10 years they have dolled out, according to my Google maths, fines for racist incidents totalling £668,110. Roughly 6% of City’s fine. IN TEN YEARS!!!!! The largest single fine was about £80k to a national FA.
This shows the average fan that UEFA don’t give single solitary f*** about helping to stamp out racism, purely because its filled with men who look like me (according to the missus a bit like Michael McIntyre but not as funny) who don’t actually understand the problem. So the knuckledraggers know they can spout their hate filled bile and pretty much get away with it. Clubs and national associations that have form don’t care because the punishments are peanuts. And then you end up with a 12 yr old child abusing a player over social media mere hours before a match. This is the real scandal in football and the authorities need to treat it as such. Start dolling out competition bans and 8 figure fines and soon the situation will police itself. Forget protocols and stadium announcements. Monkey chants heard from your “fans” £20mil fine and competition ban for 2 seasons. We’ll see how quick the situation is dealt with.
Davy( chubby middle aged white guy causing all of society’s problems) NI
Where’s Liverpool’s cash?
With City’s ban being overturned yesterday, the news reports are immediately turning to the money they will spend in the transfer market. The figure being quoted of £150m is probably plucked from thin air, but it’s safe to suggest they will be splashing the cash. Chelsea have already done the Werner deal it seems they will not be stopping there. United are being linked with every player under the sun, and while they may ‘only’ be willing to pay £50m for someone like Sancho, they clearly aren’t going to be shy of spending.
Liverpool however are different. Although rumours of signings fly around, the tone coming from Klopp and the club is one of prudence. Werner was too expensive. Thiago isn’t worth it for a 30 year old. No major signings will be made.
My question though, is why? Logic would dictate that Liverpool’s financial footing should be extremely strong. 3 successive Champions League seasons, including 2 trips to the final. Lucrative kit deals. Premier League champions. Record levels of income.
Of course, they have spent money on the team, but nowhere near the levels of other clubs. In the past 3 years they are 6th in Premier League spending. When we factor in our old friend net spend, they’re 13th with spending exceeding sales by just £80m. That’s less than £30m per season.
So why the lack of funds for transfers? Is it just they are being overly cautious? Are they just operating in a different world from the billionaire backed teams like City and Chelsea? Is it due to money spent on improving the stadium and facilities? I genuinely don’t know. FSG have barely put a foot wrong since taking over, but if Liverpool fail to win a trophy next season because rivals spent and they didn’t, one or two questions would surely have to be asked.
Mike, LFC, London
Recent mailboxes have seen more City fans writing in to celebrate being allowed to play in the Champions League than turn up at the Etihad for Champions League games…
Lewis, Busby Way
JohnnyWicky the Scouse scamp really likes to comment about United doesn’t he? He tells us all United bottled it, I think Johnny you’ll find the ref bottled it as Southampton should of played the majority of the game with 10 men. Southampton was always going to be a test but for a horrific injury to Williams United would of probably held out for the three points. So Johnny boy United may have dropped a couple of points but they certainly didn’t bottle it as you suggest.
One last point, the crowing and baiting of Liverpool fans seems to be getting louder, methinks they are getting nervous at United looking like a team again.
Paul Murphy, Manchester
Jose wouldn’t have lost…
I take the point that Ole is more positive in the postmatch interview, but it also pains me to admit that with a bit of crafty game management, Jose’s team would not have conceded in the last minute.
Thomas (MUFC) Cape Town
Scouse Solskjaer love
It pains me to say it but after watching ole in his post match interview he seems genuinely a decent man.
He doesn’t moan about officials, he doesn’t question VAR, and he is respectful of all players.
He is actually doing a good job, bringing a once great club back to an acceptable level.
I have been king of the doubters, especially towards mates who support united. I love football tribalism but find it hard to knock him, he’s even got the hint and stopped boring on about “ the spirit of 99”.
I guess what I’m saying is bring back SAF or Jose and I can resume my absolute hatred of united.
At the moment all I have is apathy and sometimes I admire what he’s doing. Thank god they spent £80m on Maguire allowing me a healthy giggle every time he plays
Ade ( champions) Guildford
United are allowed an off night
Ah lads (and ladies)! I opened up F365 this morning to see the main headline “Were we all getting carried away with Man Utd” which just seems all a bit too reactionary, Southampton played (as they generally have done since Christmas) a very competitive game, well coached with a defined Game Plan that for the most part worked, kudos to them, they play some neat football and have some very talented players, in their midfield particularly. This does not mean that we were all getting carried away with Utd. Maybe we were all dismissing Southampton? Why wasn’t that the headline?
Are Utd the seconding coming right now? No, and any fan can see that, massive improvements have been made within the team and its structure/playstyle since Bruno arrived for sure and since the return, they have at times been breathtaking going forward while being a little rocky at the back at times, this is to be expected, the team is growing and will hopefully improve more as time goes on.
I think it’s obvious that Utd did not play to their previous post lockdown levels last night but it was hardly the end of the world either, they drew a game that’s it, I don’t remember getting carried away before the game, as a fan I was just happy to be looking forward to watching my team play, which for the past few years hasn’t been the case, I don’t know how the rest of the season will go, nor if they right players will be signed in the summer, but they appear to be on the right track and like all teams it’s a long haul to get them to the level of Liverpool and City. Let’s enjoy a team playing well and allow them to have some grace to have an off night against a decent team. If in 6 months they are 6th and rubbish, them yes we probably can say we got carried away, right now 3rd is still a real possibility and of the teams below the top two, Utd look as least as good, so Utd fans have much to be positive about
Vernon. Dublin, Ireland
Good article in terms of the idea. An interesting question posed without an answer. Anyway, two things:
“If Ralph Hasenhuttl and Jurgen Klopp switched jobs, would we even notice?”
Triggered Liverpool fans must be ob the way like you planned you naughty naughty Will.
“The new United didn’t fail, but they didn’t pass the test either.”
Can someone draw a test? How does that work? Genuinely looking for an answer here.
The Vocal Minority
In response to Manjo LFC justifying Liverpool’s hacking of city’s youth system……
Absolutely hysterical, that is the most Liverpool-y excuse ever.
Always someone else’s fault!!
10-game theory revisited
Was chatting with a friend last night about how this season has gone. And it reminded me of an email I sent earlier in the year, after 10 games, when I think the league table starts to settle down. If you will allow, I would love to revisit those and see how it went! Maybe my 10-game theory was all wrong?!
“Top 4 – Liverpool, City, Leicester and Chelsea
Liverpool have had an incredible start, but will lose games at some point. I fancy them to beat City to it this season, but only if they maintain a big enough gap until the Champions league gets real, at which point – with successive titles in the bag already – I think City might lose focus”
Well, this one went well.
“Leicester look great, 9-0 aside (an incredible, but freak result), they have a good shout of keeping their heads above United, Spurs and Arsenal, but it will be very, very close. I also think you can see the difference in Brendan Rodgers. He’s set up a really nice system and defensively they look a grade above most of the league. Also think the experience of pushing that Celtic side to such heights and for so long will stand him in good stead at the tail end.”
Fair to say this is looking very close!!! Was all wrong about Rodgers though.
“Chelsea look the best of the rest for me though. I think they will finish 3rd. Consistency is not there yet, but they have enough quality”
Stand by this. Just.
“5-16th – The mess!
Incredibly just 6 points separate Arsenal in 5th and Everton in 16th. That midfield is so congested and I fancy it to stay that way. Despite all the doom and gloom, I still back Utd and Spurs to emerge towards the top of that group, but Arsenal to come out on top of the 3 I think. Just a hunch. I’d also like to see a bit more from West Ham, I think if they don’t finish higher than last season’s 10th it will be a big disappointment for them. I back Villa and Sheff Utd to stay up….but they will get dragged down closer to the bottom 3 as the season goes on. Wolves to finish bottom half, which is no great shame in only their second season back up. Steady seasons for the rest – which will be nice for Brighton after last year. ”
United have certainly, belatedly, pushed on. Arsenal to top the 3?!! wow. That was bad. Sheffield Utd probably will stay up. Villa probably won’t. Wolves bottom half?!
“17-20th – looks bleak already!
Southampton are in what I would call a ‘Sunderland spiral’ – doing just enough for two seasons, not really addressing the problems, then hitting free-fall. Watford look beaten. To stay up looks a fight between Norwich and Newcastle for me. I think Newcastle edge it, just – they can’t score, but Norwich have conceded 24 goals already – it’s tough to grind out points if you can’t keep a clean sheet. Newcastle to survive on draws.”
Norwich are gone, though far worse than I anticipated. Southampton have made me look a right idiot. Newcastle have drawn 10 games, but won 11, so don’t think I can get away with Newcastle to survive on draws. Watford look likely to stay up, but it will be very close.
All in all, I’ve not done brilliantly.
Anyone else feeling stupid yet?