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Manchester City: a title won, not bought
Taking the plaudits: Roberto Mancini
Even Manchester City's most ardent fans, assuming that any of them have survived their hangovers and can actually read this column, would acknowledge that yesterday could never have been possible without the financial support of Sheikh Mansour.
But if rival supporters think that that taints City's victory, they're mistaken. You can't have success without money, but having money doesn't necessarily guarantee success. Massimo Moratti discovered that with Internazionale when 10 years of heavy spending won him precisely zero Serie A titles. Money brings its own pressure and to suggest that City have bought the Premier League is accurate only in so much that every team who has lifted the title has, to some extent, bought their glory.
Manchester United generate their own money, in spite of the horrendous interest repayments visited upon them by their owners, and that money is the product of success. But what was a factor in achieving that success? Money.
"Arsenal didn't tempt Sol Campbell away from Spurs with a fruit basket and the promise of a decent parking place"
In 1987, Sir Alex Ferguson signed Brian McClair and Steve Bruce for £1.75m, a mighty outlay in those days. The next year, he spent roughly the same on Mark Hughes. A year later, he made £2.5m Gary Pallister the most expensive defender ever.
In the 90s, Blackburn Rovers went on a trolley dash, swiping everything off the shelves in their hunger for the title. Arsenal didn't tempt Sol Campbell away from Spurs with a fruit basket and the promise of a decent parking place, they offered him more money than Tottenham could ever hope to match and went on to win the title undefeated. And where do we start with Chelsea?
Not all of City's spending has been outlandish. In £600,000 Joe Hart, City have one of the best goalkeepers in the league. In £19m David De Gea, a fine young stopper with great potential, United do not. In £6m Vincent Kompany, City have an indomitable defender. United spent around £25m on Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, and they missed Nemanja Vidic terribly. Sure, City broke the bank for Yaya Toure, but he's one of their most crucial players. United spent almost £20m on Anderson and even when he's fit, he hasn't been good enough. And what of £30m Wayne Rooney and £30m Dimitar Berbatov? United have no moral high ground on spending.
City won the title because they were the best team. They won because Roberto Mancini built a secure defence, added silk to the steel, ignored his detractors and somehow managed to endure huge personal pressure without cracking, sticking two pencils up his nose and shouting 'wibble.'
To attempt to take anything away from him or his team is churlish in the extreme. They deserve their success.
- How much credit do you think Roberto Mancini deserves for his title success? Leave your comments below or share your thoughts with @IainMacIntosh on Twitter
I do find it all a little galling that United fans across the globe are now printing out balance sheets, waving them in people's faces and using them to justify their staggering hypocrisy.
What business DOESN'T need investment in order to become one of the best in their industry?
How many times over the years have Manchester United been bailed out in order to prevent them from going the way of Accrington Stanley? And what percentage of these "organically-grown" customers... erm, I mean fans... would support United if they were propping up the fourth tier?
And when did you suddenly need a degree in accountancy to be a football fan?
I think I need to go for a lie down. Or maybe I'll just go and look at pictures of Peter Beardsley in his playing days and reminisce about a simpler time.
No matter how much money they've spent, they still deserved to win the league this season because they have been the best team! Well Done City!
All teams who have won the Premiership and Old first division in late 20th century won the title by spending. It has just got worse now since teams like Chelsea and City have got bigger bank accounts than any other team.. They would not probably have won without the money from abroad. United do spend more over last few years but most of that is due to their success. But if their owners left them with the debt they have lumbered them with they would be gone Unless they could find someone else with big pockets
But also this year city deserved to win because when you are 8 points ahead and then throw it away you dont to win
Its official I have just seen my first glory seeker. A kid justed walked past in his crisp new City top. First one I have seen in Doncaster ever
The difference between City and United is that United have generally made one Marquee signing per season with money generated through the turnstiles and sales of merchandise. City have basically bought a whole new team at a cost of nearly £1 Billion in the space of 3 seasons. Basically they have skewed the transfer market for EVERY team in England and they will buy players simply to prevent their rivals from having them.
I think United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal can definitely hold moral high ground over clubs like City and Chelsea.
Adebayor - 25 million
Robinho - 32.5 million
Wright-Phillips - 9 million
Wayne Bridge - 12 million
Craig Bellamy - 14 million
Shay Given - 8 million
Jo - 18 million
De Jong - 16 million
James Milner - 26 million
Adam Johnson - 7 million
Kolo Toure - 16 million
Santa Cruz - 17.5 million
Just over 200 million pounds spent on players that have done nothing for Manchester City, Milner is the only one in the that list that could be excused from the point I'm making just because he actually plays quite often but he definitely is not the sort of player that has turned City into one of the best teams in England. Maybe De Jong, but 16 million for a bit part player isn't exactly normal by any other team's standards.
Ironically, it's one of City's much cheaper purchases that has helped with that in Vincent Kompany, a true leader and a team player. Less than 7 million pounds spent. He and Yaya Toure are the two players, in my opinion anyway, that have actually brought that team together. Throw any amount of money and talent that you want at a situation but you can't have a proper team without the sort of personalities you have with players like Kompany and Toure.
It's got f*** all to do with "wise investment", it's the simplest form of the laws of probability. Just spend spend spend and bring players in, eventually one or two will end up good. If every club could spend 500 million in 4 years then we'd have different champions every year.
I have to say once again, I am taking nothing away from City's success this year. On a football front, they deserved the title, I would never try and deny that. I just get annoyed with people who make ridiculous statements like this guy who is basically saying that City didn't buy the title but invested wisely. I mean, come on, that just isn't true.
if you want the epitome of "investing wisely" then look at David Moyes at Everton. That's wise investment, relatively unknown players for a small fee, getting the very best out of those players & having to deal with very little money to spend every single year while keeping them in and around the places for Europe on a consistent basis. That is not the same as forking out 500 million quid in 4 years, just buying everyone and then filtering out the sh!t that doesn't work.
Mancini has been brilliant. He has introduced exciting flair and cohesion and moulded a team out of great individualists.My only wish in the events of yesterday were that he introduced Dzeko earlier and given Adam Johnson, Richards and Milner a run as well. All these guys deserved to share in the glory - they contributed to it. Well done QPR, you weathered a tornado and even had a couple of cheeky pops in goal. Sparky is quite a strategist.
Matt Prior is unequivocally reassured to have Alastair Cook in charge for the critical third Ashes Test at the WACA.
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