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Why Man City Are Becoming The Most Hated Team In The Premier League

It seems like eons again now that Manchester City became the richest club in the world. It took the entire league by complete surprise when, on the final day of the 2008 summer transfer window, the club was purchased by the Abu Dhabi United group. That…

It seems like eons again now that Manchester City became the richest club in the world. It took the entire league by complete surprise when, on the final day of the 2008 summer transfer window, the club was purchased by the Abu Dhabi United group. That same day saw the club sign Robinho from Real Madrid for a then record £32.5m.

That signing was an indicator of things to come from the new owners of City. With Premiership and Champions League glory the goal for the club now, it was hard for fans not to be envious of the clubs new found wealth. Here was a side that had gone from mid-table mediocrity and have now reached the promised land of the Champions League.

However, it is a known fact that an incoming sugar daddy alienates a club from the rest of the Premiership. The same happened with Chelsea and is now happening to City. Is it jealousy? Perhaps, find me one fan who wouldn’t want their team to become the richest over night and I’ll find you a fan that’s lying.

City fans must have been dreaming when the news reached their ears that they were to become the richest team in the world. The inevitable recruitment drive soon followed. Robinho was certainly not the last high profile player to join the Citizens and the likes of Yaya Toure, Carlos Tevez and Vincent Kompany soon followed suit.

Yet for every Tevez was also a Mario Balotelli, for every Kompany, an Alexander Kolorov. But with the money that the club had, every poor signing was merely a pocket change blip for the club. However, with the likes of Balotelli and Emmanuel Adebayor on the books, it was hardly going to be a match made in heaven with the players, fans and the club.

Balotelli was in the media for all the wrong reasons rather than right, Adebayor caused a major storm which Arsenal fans will famously remember as the club began to find themselves hitting the back pages for all the wrong reasons. It led to a lot of negativity from fans of rival Premier League sides, a negative vibe that continues even to this day.

But fellow professionals and managers weren’t drawn in to condemning the Blues for their escapades until their 0-0 draw with Arsenal back in January. It what was considered a dull affair, the Eastland’s side felt the full wrath of the press for their display, considered by some to be too defensive for a team that possesses flair in abundance.

That game saw managers and player’s alike stand up and take notice of the side City were becoming. Manager Roberto Mancini has his team playing the Italian much to the dislike of all those associated with the English game. Yet, they finished third which, credit when credit is due, is a fantastic achievement for the club.

Yet while the season may be creeping back into the heads of fans, the criticising of City didn’t slow during the off season. The main reason for the hating? City’s £400m acceptance from Etihad to rename the City of Manchester stadium. A huge coincidence considering the Financial Fair Play quotas that recently came in effect.

The likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have all called for the deal to be investigated by UEFA who feel that, while the deal is within the rules and regulations, they believe that the legality of the deal needs to be looked into. The reasoning? Etihad is owned by the same Bin Zayed family that owns Manchester City.

Another key factor in this is that Etihad have never declared a profit in their history which, effectively, sees City giving themselves the money, something which UEFA strictly prohibits in the guidelines for FFP. The footballing association are set to investigate the deal and, should City be found guilty of any wrong-doing, could see the deal pulled at the club, potentially, banned from participating in European competitions until the matter is sorted.

Mancini then took it upon himself to publicly declare his interest for want-away Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri. Naturally, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was pretty pissed about it saying the Italian has disrespected his club. Mancini felt he did nothing wrong but going to the media regarding a potential move for Nasri.

It is a difficult situation to deal with for Wenger. He hopes to convince Nasri to stay but he has already lost Gael Clichy to City and is having to deal with constant speculation linking the French international and captain Cesc Fabregas with moves away from the Emirates. The latest fiasco will do little to improve relations between the two sides.

Either way, Mancini’s outburst and the Etihad deal hasn’t put the club in a positive light. Fans of rivals clubs criticise them for buying their success and now the clubs themselves are beginning to see them in a whole new way after this summer.

Submitted by Football Friends



  1. UnkleKev

    July 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    “Find me one fan who wouldn’t want their team to become the richest over night and I’ll find you a fan that’s lying.”

    Comments such as this merely serve to highlight your own sensibilities. There are plenty of us out here who despise the sugar daddy culture and would rather see our clubs play at a lower level but remain true to the spirit of fair play.

    • Suzagooner

      July 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      Totally agree with you Kev.My husband is a Chelsea fan and he has said that he prefered the pre-Ambramovic Chelsea days.He has followed them when they were going from the 1st division and the 2nd.Now,he said that he expects them to win all the time and,when they don`t,he gets pissed off.It was far better when every win was a bonus… especially against Arsenal,Man U and Liverpool.Players played for the team because they wanted to and….they kept the manager for more than two seasons!

  2. martin

    July 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    as a MU fan i couldnt care less how much money chelsea or city have. Its the game that counts. Whats the point in buying 11 players let them win a trophy then buying again. Need more stability in management to develop proper long term teams so the game can come back to its roots and not the pay a whim to the overpriced players prctising for their acting carears when they retire. fa cup win for city> i wa their and their team deserved the win no matter how much money they have they earned it

  3. sheikhmansourmylord

    July 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    holistic – and what proof do you have that we are cheating? I would love to know, City have even come out and said that the amount stated is way of the mark. You just read the front page of the sun and jump to conclusions that we are cheating if you can see that we are cheats then why can’t Platini aaahhh thats right cos your special and you have inside information from your freind who knows a person who used to work with a person whos dads mate worked at this girls brothers dads shop who used to work at city. The truth is nobody really knows the facts but I’m sure if we were so clearly cheating and not hiding the fact that we are then we would not be able to go ahead with it but I forgot YOU KNOW EVERYTHING.

    • holistic view

      July 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      Proof: well given that in any market the ability to attract this sort of revenue stream is based on previous accomplishments as well as future. As for proof well let me put it this way, I dont know anybody who knows someone who knows someone else nor do I need to because the affiliate company here is owned by the same people who own YOUR club, they are one and the same and this is indisputable just look at the company registers. If NIKE/addidas/apple had offered the deal there would be no issue. If you cant see that then I accept that bias is a wonderful thing to the slightly retarded.
      As for FIFA/Platini what makes you thik they dont have a problem with it? let me guess it’s the inside information from your mate of mate. Stop being a Man C fan with a presecution complex for a moment and put yourself in the shoes of any other club and look at it from their hilltop and possibly you may see that that old adage about denmark and rotten.

    • Hedkandiman

      July 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm

      What makes me laugh is how Citeh fans have become more deluded than any other set of fans, anywhere.

      The deal is clearly a case of financial doping. Yes nobody has the full details – hence why it needs to be investigated – but to think that Citeh havent dodged the rules is just plain naive.

      • Kev

        July 21, 2011 at 10:50 pm

        City fans have always been the most deluded. It’s just nobody but utd fans had to hear their sh!t talk, before the Arabs made em rich.

    • Suzagooner

      July 21, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      I hope that FIFA investigates this sponsorship deal.I have read that the sheik and the Etihad owner are related.To be honest,it stinks.Anyone with half a brain knew that $hitty would try to find a way around the `fair play` ruling and,this apears to be it.Mancini said that £400 mill is way off the mark but,he`s yet to let on how much it supposedly is.He also denied saying he wanted to sign Nasri before the end of the month…what lies…I saw the interview when he said it on Sky Sports.Proven liar in my books.

      • CTID

        July 22, 2011 at 1:38 pm

        Aww you abit jealous there Suzie? dont’t blame us cos your manager doesn’t spend a penny king of the bottlers I bet your bricking it because you know that your going to miss out on top 4 Cockney belle&nd

  4. chopzy

    July 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I’m not one for claiming city are the best club.I think most of those fans are new young fans, who are just getting in to the game, and are young and emotionally driven with excitement. I personally admire the way Spurs have tried to do business, I just feel it is doomed to fail. United, Liverpool and Arsenal have been paying prices and wages for players no one else could compete with. Wenger did well for a while, poaching french players and giving them a nice wage that their current clubs couldn’t afford. It was hardly ethical, just opportunistic. I feel wenger knows he should have won something when the playing field was easier. We are cheating our way to the top, just like chelsea. Man U and Liverpool had some consecutive years of success and investment which starting the ball rolling for them. You need to get to the top, and spurs are good proof that you cannot do it with a sound business plan. You simply can’t compete with United,Chelsea who spend millions revitalising their squads each season. Madrid are the biggest culprits, infact, I feel City are already differing their approach. We have consistent management, and a team which is sticking together, have bought in my mind some fantastic cheaper options, I hate the galactico approach, and i don;t feel it works. Unless we spend millions on players like the other top dogs in europe and uk, there is no chance of success. and unless spurs find investment I doubt they’ll have success either. This culture of buying the best has been around for a long time, Madrid, United, Chelsea ‘still new to this culture’ and barca sink the other teams when it comes to landing a player. Not forgetting the Milans. Unless you are fans of these teams you should enjoy watching these guys squirm, being treated by the same hand they dealt everyone else. I believe Malaga are increasing their teams global awareness through investment, wouldn’t you love Malaga to take over Madrid, i know I would. I have been bitter about these top teams taking players of vulnerable clubs for years, and fans just standing by powerless. We couldn’t say anything if United came in for a player, we literally knew we would give in. Madrid have bought so much success, whilst United with ferguson made some great signings, he too has lavished money around on up and coming players, players we could nver land when we were sitting in 12th position. I can understand the bitterness from other fans, it’s natural and I feel we are going to be on the recieving end for a while. Anyway, the landscape of the Epl has changed and in mind it has changed for the better, but I am biased. As for Spurs, generally want those guys to do well, The fans seem to be decent and not arrogant. I just hope that our fans can remain with such class. I know the older generations are modest and excited by our transformation. But the younger guys are just in it to brag.

  5. David Jackson

    July 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    The premiership is no longer fun like the good old days when anyone even Ipswich Town could win the League. Now it is virtually impossible for any clubs to ever win major honours apart from the big six (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd and Spurs).

    The Premier League is in danger of driving away true fans.

  6. Dan

    July 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    I do agree with the article. To add to it, when Hughes was the manager they tried to break the teams competing with them, basically, Everton, Aston Villa, Spurs… when they bought Lescott, Barry and a few other in that season. They made these transfer to become a SAGA then buying them for Big money. FA should first ban managers speaking about their interest in public untill the other team excepts their bid. Without this rule, City played their best to pull a lot of players showing them higher wages. This is what happened. Since they cant buy players from the top 4, they went into the world market buying Balotelli, silva and dzeko… i think their policy is ‘divide and rule’ and seems like now their team itself is divided, adebayor juming out, tevez, and who’s next.

  7. chopzy

    July 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    jackson, it hasn’t been that way for a while. Clubs need millions to merely keep up with the top dogs. They need millions more to overtake them. FIFA also protects the top clubs and is doing so with these new fair play rules. It means no one can really close the gap, because the top four clubs would only be happy to reduce their wage bills, they already have a successful business, its the wages which are the problem for them. City have inflated these wages and offcause upset the balance sheets of many of the top clubs. I believe that FIFA protects many of the top clubs, the cynical in me says through bribes, I imgaine Madrid have been protected for years through bribe money and I suspect City will do the same thing thing. As a City fan i’m being honest here, but I genuinely believe this is how FIFA run, both world cup bids were bought weren’t they. FIFA are well known for this. Unless your club can spend millions on overseas promotion and wages, you have no chance. And at the same time, you have to spend millinos on promotion, you now need to make that money back to be a liable business. This is simply not possible for clubs to do, they need to shell out a loss and hope the brand takes off. It’s FIFA being capitalist and elitest, and they’re doing it ina very clever way.

  8. George

    July 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm


    • Kev

      July 21, 2011 at 10:52 pm

      We wouldn’t have it any other way. U w#nker.

  9. chopzy

    July 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Last comment, the guy talking about our team being divided. Take a look at our starting eleven, all of them are committed. Mancini now has a consistent group of players, and all the ones jumping ship, are actually being thrown overboard. They were past mistakes, the team is looking good, we have bought well this transfer window, and are merely adding a few pieces to our already established lineup. The only issue is we are struggling to get rid of unwanted players on stupid wages. We are not divided at all, mancini has brought a team together, just look at the starting eleven, all of them are happy to be there. We are losing the driftwood and keeping the talent. You can’t argue with that. Players now want to be here, its a successful club, is the third best team in the epl and improving every season. Well paid and playing good football, thats all you want as a player. Hasten to add, the starting eleven from last season are still there this season, so think on that. Take tevez out of the equation, and you’ll get my point.

  10. Craig

    July 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    holistic – I find it amusing that you say us city fans have a presecution complex when the title of the article is “Why Man City Are Becoming The Most Hated Team In The Premier League” …. For a start when have we released a statement saying the deal is 400m? the issue isn’t the family connection with UEFA it’s was the deal fair in comparison to market value…. The only reason we are becoming hated is nothing to do with our players, transfers, style of play or our owners integrity… It’s because they bought us and not yours or any other fans club…Let me put this to you …Two clubs in the same city. One has a rich owner promising to pump hundreds of millions of pounds into it and its community. The other has a rich owner, who has taken
    millions out of it to pay off the debt incurred in buying it.
    So which one are the wise old owls at Uefa set to investigate?

    • holistic view

      July 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm

      craig – your point would be valid but at the begining of my initial response I stated and will state clearly again, I have no issue with the money you have spent or are spending to become competitive, I am not jealous because for decades the richest clubs have spent to achieve success as in any industry, but regardless of the value which is obsured in mystery (when the reality is if it’s way of the mark it disappears with transparency by declaration of the specifics which I’ll leave you to think about). The issue here is about deliberate attempts to subjucate the rules whether it be City, chelsea, real or anyone else – what suprised me most was I expected a spanish club to try and cheat the system not an English one. it’s easy to pull any argument apart by taking a straw man approach but in principle would you say the new city deal does at least appear on the surface to be an attempt to cheat. Should more information come out later to prove differently great, but the whole football community has been expecting something like this from someone and it was always going to come from one of the big money players.

      by the way Chopzy is totally correct – FIFA are corrupt and the cynic in me says a bribe would make any investigation go away so we may never know now will we. Hell if you can buy a world cup and hold it in qatar you can leverage a bribe for anything.

      • Marvel

        July 21, 2011 at 11:24 pm

        this case is just like wen Wenger snaps up a player from another club’s academy 1 week b4 he is old enough to sign a professional contract. Anyone in his right senses would know that dis is very wrong. Yet Mr Wenger would come out and say ”technically, we have not done anything wrong. We have not broken any rule”
        Am not a City fan but its obvious why most people are jealous/hating on them. They have no strong football history (ie trophies)which makes them less of an attraction to players. Therefore, the only thing that gives them the edge when tryin to sign a big player (especially when other big clubs are interested) is their bidding POWER and how much wages they can pay. They spend money and they do it quite flamboyantly. Another reason is the fans especially the young/new/fake ones who have been mute all these years but now brag on a daily basis. this is why most people say they are trying to buy success.
        I get the logic of the sponsorship deal. The bigger the deal, the bigger the revenue when profit is compared to loss, and therefore, the bigger their spending power. I know this is a smart way of gettin around the deal, but the people who should take the blames are UEFA who made the rules without exploring and tackling the possible waysof avoiding it.
        For the record, I want to say that Wenger(who was the main person complaining about the deal to the Press) is a very big pretender. He slates other teams for spending big, but he’s willing to sell his own player(to another team obviously) for about 40m.
        the man is a joke

  11. Chambers

    July 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Good Heaven’s! The Manchester teams seem to be upset with each other…..Oh dear!

  12. hamand

    July 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    At the end of the day its like this, we are the richest team in the world, the money will make us succesful no matter how many people pray for our failure, im sure the only teams that have a problem with this are the established top four who dont like newcomers in there ranks, city is the future and very soon will be recognised as a world football super power, and best of all no amount of hatrid and bitching is going to change that, the owners are way to powerful to be properly investigated fifa cant touch us, this is royalty from one of the richest countries in the world, do you think there coach load of the best lawyers in the world will even flinch at anything fifa could suggest, bring on the hate, bring on the silver, and in 20 years time City will have as much ‘history’ as utd have now

    • Alfie

      August 3, 2011 at 3:15 am

      You must be stupid have you seen your team. Your best player don’t even want to be at your club you have about 6 strikers.
      Balotelli is a spoiled brat who thinks hes better than Messi. I support Chelsea and at least we don’t go naming our stadium after russien oil company’s. You can have all the best players in world but if they cant play together you will lose.

  13. sheikhmansourmylord

    July 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    What makes me laugh about this Holstic guy is that you really do not know anything your making your own speculation that we are trying to cheat the system truth is you have nothing in concrete. If what we are doing is fine with UEFA then how can that possibly be cheating when its all within the rules they have set. I forgot we are supposed to run our football club the way you want us to why didn’t you just say that instead of us going round the houses to try and find out what the hell you are really going on about.

  14. sheikhmansourmylord

    July 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Holistic- FIFA are corrupt – and maybe they are maybe are not but there is no way we will ever find out so rest your little head and don’t you be losing any sleep over it. assuming will never get you anywhere in life either give us some fact’s instead of some stupid paranoid fiction that you have stolen from a newspaper or stop talking you really are starting to bore me.

  15. rovers

    July 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Well said Sheikh he was doing my head in aswell and I don’t even like city.

  16. Parklaner

    July 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I don’t think that city are the most hated. Certainly not by me. If the boot was on the other foot I’d be loving it. However I think it could backfire as players are going there for the money and, unless there’s a change in the rules you can still only play 11 players. Players like Milner, dzeko, adebayor bridge et al are going there having one season and then looking as if they could be surPlus to requirements. Doesn’t bode well for dressing room spirit to see someone else come in for a vastly inflated fee and take your place in the team only for the situation to be repeated the very next season. And city won’t sell to a rival as they’re not exactly in need of the cash. Could be a few disgruntled players rocking the boar.

  17. Parklaner

    July 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    hahahaha, even rocking the boat,

  18. akhtar

    July 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Ask ourselves only one qusetion: Do City have legends?

  19. chopzy

    July 21, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    knikladze was the legend of my time. Absolutely unreal, could go past 6 players and tap it in the net, probably before your time. Akhtar, why don’t you look us up and search the facts. You appear to have said something quite idiotic, we’ve had some great legends. You probably watch MOTD regularly, but fail to see that legends are in teams that are lower down the league as well. You should know because most big clubs steal them as soon as they hit form and notoriety Answer to your question, yes we have had loads of legends. I wouldn’t expect you to read up before writing your comment, you just don’t appear to be that type of person that thinks.

  20. chopzy

    July 21, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    barcalona, milan, liverpool wanted kinky, but he stuck with us, even through relegation. A true legend! Maybe if he had moved he would have gained the respect and admiration he deserved from the world, but he was a true city player through and through, and the fans loved himf or it. Unheard of these days, for any club.

  21. stuart

    July 21, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    what difference does it make whpo they buy or how much they spend the fact is that if it was any pother team they get the same treatment not to mention its not just about “buying success” you can’t buy for one and the team is developing because all of the players are high profile so getting them to work more as a team is hard work. and this comes from a man u fan. anyway im glad that we have a found new competition it means we have to work harder and therefore our players will stay committed to the cause namely winning everything and becoming the dominant force we were in 1999.

  22. Dan

    July 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Is Cesc Fabregas French?

  23. Emmanuel

    July 22, 2011 at 6:53 am

    I am true arsenal fans. All clubs know how to lure players of other clubs to be theirs. But one important things is to follow football rules.

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