Nobody really cares about Manchester City but a Manchester United owned by Qatar? Now that we can really get on board with…
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Imagine Silence Of The Lambs without Hannibal
The Premier League needs a club we can all passionately hate.
It needs an all-powerful villain that people actually care about. Whether loving or viscerally hating. A villain whose triumphs actually cause rage and whose defeats feel like sheer joy.
That’s not Manchester City, because literally no-one cares about them. At all. They fraudulently stole titles and players but no-one really cared because it was so transparently false and tainted. When they fail it’s mildly amusing, when they win no-one cares. Even Aguerrrrooooooo was entirely about United losing, not City winning.
It’s not Liverpool, because if they were a dog they’d be trembling and shivering on ancient stick thin rickety legs, pleading with clouded painfilled eyes to be taken behind the wood shed and mercifully shot. That’s not hate, it’s mildly disgusted pity.
It’s not Arsenal. They’re London Napoli, they might win an occasional title on an upswing but they’re not going to be a long-term force to hate and fear.
It’s not Chelsea, they’re just a more dislikeable Man City. No-one cares except Fulham fans and any minority group sat next to John Terry.
It’s not Newcastle, an actual football club with actual fans that just happens to have the absolute worst choice in controlling boyfriends/owners/pimps. They aren’t ever going to win titles in any case, every other Premier League club also has money and no other Premier League has to try and persuade players to live in Newcastle rather than London or Manchestpool. They aren’t a threat, and their fans make them fun rather than scary.
It’s really not Spurs.
It’s Manchester United, that’s the supervillain.
The problem is, it’s difficult to hate this Man Utd. You feel that under Ten Hag and with Rashford, Eriksen, Varane, Casemiro and Martinez they’re.. likeable. They’re charming rogues so even if you want to hate them you can’t help but sneakily enjoy them, like Liverpool under Benitez and then Rodgers.
With the Glazers sucking the life out of the club they also generate reluctant sympathy.
This cannot stand. The Premier League needs a powerful club we all passionately hate or passionately love, with no neutrality. Where every match against them feels electric, whoever you support, where you desperately want their opponent to smash them and you know that if they somehow do, millions of United fans around the world will genuinely be furious and upset.
Where when they smash you, those millions of United fans being smugly happy fills your heart and soul with a dark rage and nausea so that when you do beat them it’s like a thousand years of repressed pent up rage erupts out of you like a volcano, leaving nothing but joy behind.
The Premier League needs a super villain to hate. The Premier League needs Manchester United to be that villain, and currently they’re.. likeable.
We need to all hate them, to make the league better.
So f**k it, let the Qataris have them. Paint a swastika on the stadium. Appoint Kurt Zouma as the mascot and have him kick off every game with a terrified cat as a ball.
It’ll be good for us all.
Tim Sutton (I feel bad for being so right about Nunez and Liverpool)
READ: Liverpool, Man United, Leicester, Spurs and even Watford benefit as we re-allocate City’s 17 trophies
Talking of which
Man Utd fans getting giddy re FFP made me a bit nostalgic. Football and the Premier League were both a bit better when the refs just kept playing injury time until Utd won. And because it was United, the media turned it into a catchphrase known as Fergietime, and it became something that pundits talked about with a grin rather than call it out for the base corruption that it was.
Football is a mess.
Aidan, EFC, London
Is this the new Mailbox catchphrase?
This “eras come to an end” quote from Ten Hag is going to become the phrase of the mailbox over the next year or two, isn’t it?
The mailbox 2023 equivalent of Einstein’s “definition of insanity” quote that was thrown around to criticise Wenger all the time.
Still, anything is better than seeing GOAT parroted everywhere.
Silvio (F*ck it, if everyone else has an Arab owner then it’s about time United did too) Dante
The ultimate end game
I suppose it’s going to take a little while longer for all the hyperbole to settle down, but eventually some smarter people are going to see the forest from the trees and realize what is going on here.
Firstly, since the inception of the game, rich owners have been bankrolling clubs. Then even my own club Manchester United, raised (or lowered) the bar by focusing on the commercial aspect. Not too long ago, Real Madrid sold their training ground to the city for millions, only to rent it back for 1 euro a year. Barcelona are on the brink of bankruptcy despite receiving the lions share of Spain’s TV revenue. Everyone who can is doing it, and no club would say no to millions petro dollars if they got a chance.
This is not about Manchester City, or cooking the books. This is about the eventual creation of an European Super League. So called “closed systems” like the NBA, NFL, etc. Are raking in the money for a small select group of owners and no one gets squeezed out from the trough.
Apple or Amazon might buy a club and only show their games on their eco system. Other nation states will snap up other teams. Football will eventually become a form of entertainment that bears little semblance to the grassroots sport (look at the NFL).
What about the fans you say? Covid showed that clubs could survive with no fans, and with a bit of minor media ingenuity, could develop a virtual fan experience. It may have already reached a point where a club is generating more revenue from sources other than ticket sales.
If the F.A. does sweet FA about it, in 10 years, there will not be an FA.
Adidasmufc (There is a very simple solution… 51% fan ownership)
Erm, City are not guilty yet
Well, well, well, the Media and the Mailbox are all very excited, aren’t they?
Much like Der Spiegel did with the hacked emails, let me present edited highlights of todays’ Mailbox….
The Fact is…
Accusations are undoubtedly true…
Nothing is ‘evident’ and none of you know what you’re really banging on about but in the rush to pre-judge, all the fantasies, hopes and dreams that have existed since the noses of your own clubs were put out of joint, are now coming out.
“…asked if anything could tarnish his memories of what he and his former team-mates achieved at City, Vincent Kompany, the Burnley boss, said: “I kind of look at it and sometimes roll my eyes a little bit. “No doubt there’s a lot of righteousness in the world to come and tell you what you’ve done wrong, and then if everybody looks at themselves, I think the football industry in general is not one that can afford to point the finger too many times. “I think all of you will have a little bit of a smile on your face to know what the football industry is about”.
What’s that about glass houses, Vincent?
Everyone should calm down, stop wasting that feverish energy and wait for the legal punch up to start. After THAT, have your say.
Just trying to help.
Levenshulme Blue, Manchester 19
PS. Paul Murphy, Manchester is soooo Red, that the official MUFC Fan Club was based in its natural home of London for years, wasn’t it? Manchester is Red….my arse.
…It’s going to be absolutely hilarious on here if/when City are exonerated.
The (Catty, till I die) Cat
Glass houses and all that
City fan here. Firstly, to any fellow Blues suggesting or asserting that Guardiola must go I would, and with great respect to their opinion, ask them to jog on, (as my London friends would say). Yes he can be infuriating in his team selections and/or tactics but he’s also been our most successful manager ever. All is clearly not well at City (with the players that is) but if anybody has earned the right to a huge amount of leeway at the club, it’s him.
Secondly, I’m quite enjoying the speculation around what punishment City will receive from the independent commission. Relegation to the National League? Titles stripped and divided amongst Liverpool and Man United? ‘Aguerooo’ wiped from history and deleted from every digital platform worldwide? Player bans, huge points deductions and the right of any non-City fan anywhere to defecate on the Etihad pitch whenever they feel like it?
OTT, I know. But the thing is, and like everybody else reading this, I have no idea whether:
1. City are guilty of any of the alleged PL breaches.
2. Whether, ultimately, the PL will have the cojones to go full metal jacket on City if the independent commission says they are.
In the first instance, and after just short of 30 years of experience in the UK Criminal Justice system (which, admittedly, doesn’t apply to this legal issue. Well, not yet anyway), I am a firm believer in the adage that there is no smoke without fire. In the second, I am all too depressingly aware of the abilities of lawyers not necessarily to prove that their clients are innocent, per se, but to adequately show why, under any kind of legal technicalities, a conviction or ruling (in a civil case) should not be made.
In other words, the defendant isn’t innocent, but that the case cannot proceed because of some legal precedent. (How I wish we had the superb Scottish option, of ‘not proven’).
Readers may also recall a number of celebrities accused of alleged traffic offences, for example, that seemed to be fairly open and shut, but subsequently were thrown out of court by a legal professional who has made his name by exploiting such loopholes. Might not like it but them’s the rules.
I’m not defending it for a second, but you’d better believe that City will employ the best in the business to achieve that very aim as, indeed, they did with the UEFA business.
My final point is this though. If it is your certain sure belief that, since 2008, Manchester City (if true) are the ONLY club in the top four leagues to have cooked the books, then I absolutely admire your ‘glass-half-full’ attitude to life. On the other hand, you may wish to entertain the outlandish thought that, God forbid, other clubs may not be, shall we say, as squeaky clean in terms of their own financial activities or, indeed, have key officials within the PL hierarchy been since 2008.
Hypothetically, what would you do if you were the MCFC Board? Go down quietly or take such PL members or other clubs down with you?
Oh, but you’re right. I’ve been excessively downbeat especially as I cannot think of any other clubs tapping up either players or managers since 2008 and nor can I think of any other dodgy owners that have either brought their clubs to the brink or actually sunk them.
Sorry. Got nothing.
Mark (Sorry Peeps. But footbalI’s rotten from top to bottom). MCFC
In defence of Manchester City
Can’t believe I’m writing in defence of Manchester/Abu Dhabi City, and I seriously doubt they’ll face any significant (non-financial) punishment for their years of blatant book-cookery… But are their crimes actually all that bad?
This is just the way football works. It’s a fundamentally unfair sport, and everyone is looking to take advantage. What about Man Utd? In debt to the tune of one billion pounds, their stadium crumbling around them, their subs bench filled with unwanted players whose transfer fees could fund entire divisions of lesser clubs. Another shiny new manager and a few more vastly expensive players later, the mood among their fans isn’t “we can’t afford this, something is horribly wrong with the system”, it’s “we’re back”.
Chelsea and Newcastle are too obvious, so how about West Ham, paying a knockdown price to lease a stadium that was built with – and is still largely funded by – taxpayers’ money? And the only reason they even got that stadium is because they’re bigger and wealthier than the struggling club that was actually located closer to it.
Or Leicester, who escaped the Championship by doing pretty much exactly what Abu Dhabi have done? Their title-winning season shortly afterwards was proclaimed as a sporting miracle, not a triumph of prior financial doping. Leicester’s cheating back then was settled with a £3m bung to the Football League, but now they’re being “monitored closely” by UEFA for more recent dodgy dealings, so the only lesson they’ve learned is that it really doesn’t matter.
Everybody is at it. The Premier League seems to be particularly fond of this sort of thing, to the point where even La Liga (of Real Madrid and Barcelona fame) is crying foul. But unless you could somehow curb the transfer market and stop the richest clubs hoarding the best players (i.e. the American franchise-sports model), the only way to beat them is to join them.
Martin, BRFC (ace financial dopers in their day)
Who wants titles that they didn’t earn?
As a football fan in general and Liverpool fan in particular, I am as interested in the (alleged) shenanigans happening at Man City as the next man. If they are found guilty, short of executing the people responsible, I dont think there is too heavy a punishment. In fact, I would Kevin Keegan it if the PL threw the book at them. Fine, points deductions, titles/trophies stripped, transfer embargoes, relegations/expulsions, the works. Let the PL make an example out of them.
If they have cheated, they should face the most severe consequences feasible. As a football fan, I would rejoice at any and all sanctions/punishments meted out because cheating is just plain wrong and in so doing, they have screwed many a club/player/fan over with their (alleged) unfair advantage. Death to City’s dominance I say!
However, as a Liverpool fan I am a little conflicted with one potential punishment – stripping of their titles and trophies. If their PL titles are stripped they would be given to whomever finished runner up in the relevant seasons. Off the top of my head, that would mean Liverpool get 2 more PL titles and Man Utd get one.
So the record books get changed to reflect Klopp winning 3 titles rather than 1. Great, brilliant. Couldn’t be better. Except that it could. Would those 2 extra titles actually mean anything to anyone? No chance to celebrate, no chance to watch whichever game in which the title is decided. No excitement, no nerves, no release of pent up energy. No opportunity to see Hendo’s shuffle as he lifts the trophy, no chance to see Jurgen grinning insanely. Just history changed from 1 title to 3. I wont remember Liverpool winning the title in those seasons. Apathy I think is the word I’m looking for and I don’t know how I should feel.
So, if City get all their tainted trophies taken off them and redistibuted the actual deserving winners, are there any fans of clubs who would suddenly have more silverware got any opinions? Will Mourinho’s title ”win” mean much to Utd fans? Would the 427 Carabao runners up be excited about retroactively being given a cup?
P.S. Everton to stay up this year to rejoin the relegation battle again next season, the cycle remaining unbroken for another season