Another false dawn for City?

September 2, 2008

Robinho in thumb-sucking celebrationManchester City fans aren’t used to breaking the British transfer record, but that was the headline that turned up after pub closing time once the Robinho deal had been completed. Despite what we might have feared, it wasn’t just the effect of the beer either.

The new owners, Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment, immediately impressed supporters by trying to snub United, which showed intent even if the last-minute bid Dimitar Berbatov did not succeed. Beating Roman Abramovich and Chelsea to Robinho, though, really showed financial muscle.

Great news? Well it would be for most clubs. But those who have suffered through City’s if-you-don’t-laugh-you’d-cry history will not be counting chickens yet.

The last few days have typified the often farcical nature of the club — from seemingly flat broke and relying on short-term loans from directors, with an owner accused of human rights abuses in Thailand, to the richest club in England in just a few hours. 

This is a club that spent most of last season in the top four, only to lose the last match 8-1 to mediocre Middlesbrough; that spent the last few minutes of the 1995-1996 season wasting time to play out a draw when actually they needed a win to avoid relegation; and that, on its return to European competition in 2003, managed to go out to Groclin Dyskobolia despite playing Nicolas Anelka and Robbie Fowler up front.

Supporters haven’t yet forgotten those, or last year’s Thaksin- and Sven-inspired false dawn. A rosy glow from City’s nouveau riche status, the marquee signings and third place in the nascent Premier League table hangs over Eastlands.

But will this one last?


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Citeh, or well let’s start calling them Manchester City because of what’s about to happen to them. Quite frankly this is a massive, massive development in the world of football, and one that I’m surprised didn’t happen sooner. The Abu Dhabi Group as we’ll call them for short is a group with limitless pockets and an unequalled desire to turn whatever they touch into gold.

For those without knowledge of the Abu Dhabi Investment Group, in short they have become exceedingly rich due to oil, and in recent years the expansion of the speculative oil trading industry. However, they also know that at some point their seemingly endless profits will come to an end due to either running out of oil, or the emergence of alternative fuels. Therefore, the Investment Group has turned Abu Dhabi into a tourist attraction unlike any other, and will stop at no means to alert the world of their intentions.

Man City is a live advertisment of Abu Dhabi’s wealth and intent. They will stop at no boundaries to acquire the players and prestiege in world football. You can be assured that the Robinho signing is just a wave hello to world football that Man City is here on the big time. Transfer prices will be shattered by them, and wage bills will look unlike everything we’ve ever seen. We thought we saw this with Chelsea, but in the case of Man City I’ve got a feeling we will see a walking barrage of all-stars on the pitch within due time.

A world class facility will certainly be constructed with any amenity available for their collection of world class players. I truly feel we’re going to see an interesting series of developments in football as a result of the Man City buyout, and some will in certain force FIFA to change the structure of the club side of the sport should they wish to maintain the true integrity of the sport.

I know this seems overbearing and rediculous, but Abu Dhabi and Man City will make Chelsea and their spending look ordinary.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

I really think this is a bad move for football, there is too much money being introduced at the highest level of the game, i belive there will be a lague of super clubs soon.

Just look at the lower leagues of football, we have clubs going into adminstration, the 32.5m spent on Robinho would have kept them clubs going for years.

I really think football is being built up for a massive crash, when the money is pulled out by these owners.

Rant over

Gregg Scott –

Posted by Gregg Scott | Report as abusive

Real obviously didn’t want to sell to Chelsea after everything that had gone on, especially putting Robinho’s shirt on their online store, who made that decision?!
Can’t wait to see, if this Abu Dhabi thing all goes through in the next couple of weeks, as I’m sure it will, who they are going to buy in January. If Ronaldo goes to City, reports are suggesting they will make an offer of £135m, then we will no there is no hope for football!

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