Tag: Manchester City

Scenes From Football History – 1982/83: How Fulham Blew It

From the mid-1960s on, football grew massively as a passive spectator sport. The realisation that football could evolve as a spectator sport for people that weren’t even at the match was a revolution in terms of the perception of the game. By 1983, moves for live televising of league football for the first time were already well in motion. By the end of 1983, the first Football League match to be shown on live television would have come to pass. Within a decade, the game would have been through its biggest crises and come out the other side towards a future that would both save the game and sell its soul down the river. The final season before this revolution – the last season, in many respects, of “old football” – was a strange one. Liverpool won the First Division by eleven points, and this came with a slump in their last few matches, after the title had already been won. At the time, the television set up was fairly simple. On Saturdays, each ITV region sent their Outside Broadcast Unit to a match and, in the evening, showed a regional show featuring their local match and highlights of matches from two other regions. On Sunday afternoons, the BBC’s “Match Of The Day” showed highlights from two matches. With Liverpool running away with the First Division championship, the television...

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Match Of The (Mid)Week: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-2 Manchester City (Brighton Win 5-3 Penalties)

Some people danced in the car parks at the City of Manchester Stadium when the Abu Dhabi United group bought Manchester City. Some of their supporters were devastated. Many of the rest of us rolled our eyes and looked to the heavens. The reinvention of Manchester City might take some time to complete, and last night was stark evidence of this. Brighton & Hove Albion, on the other hand, remain something of a curate’s egg. They won two of their first three matches in League One, but have stumbled since then, with recent results including a 4-1 home thrashing at the hands of Scunthorpe United and a 1-0 defeat against Walsall, who managed to grab all three points at The Withdean Stadium in spite of having two players sent off. The warning signs for Brighton were ominous. Manchester City had warmed up for this match by beating Portsmouth 6-0 at the weekend. The result was the summation of a good start to the season, marred only by a home defeat by Chelsea and an away loss at Aston Villa. They made changes for this match but still put out a strong team, including Jo, Caspar Schmeichel and Richard Dunne. This, however, is Manchester City that we’re talking about here, and the hubris of the Manchester City supporters singing, “you only came for the CIty” was set to blow up...

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A Tale Of Three Cities

It is a grim irony that the newspaper headlines have been consumed with the travails of three clubs who, at various points over the last two years or so, have been heralding brave new worlds of cash, star players and success. One of these clubs is just about to set out on a second odyssey, having forgotten with the sort of haste that would grab the attention of a goldfish the risks associated with leaving your club in the thrall of one individual or group with no great interest in the history, tradition or culture of your club. For now, they are blinded by the promise of billions and billions of pounds of someone else’s money. We’ve heard this somewhere before, though, haven’t we? Alan Curbishley’s resignation from West Ham United was no great surprise. Relations between the manager and the board had broken down over the board’s decision to offload more players than the manager wanted to lose. Rewind two years, though, and there’s a cautionary tale for all football supporters. When Eggert Magnusson’s consortium took control of the club in November 2006, there was talk of them putting the sort of money into West Ham that could have them challenging for a place in the Champions League. They had, we were told, funded the transfers of Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez to Upton Park. Bright times were...

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Inside The Mindset Of The Premier League

Manchester City may be at the beginning of embarking upon a financial crisis that has never before been seen in English football, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not full of imaginative ideas for the future of the game. City’s “Executive Chairman” (yes, I know, I don’t know what an “Executive Chairman” is either) Gary Cook has come up with a plan that will “basically share the wealth”. In an amazingly wrong-headed interview with The Times, Cook proposes a closed shop, fourteen club Premier League with no Premier League, with no promotion or relegation. It is, of course, a massive coincidence that fourteen clubs would be exactly the right number to just about guarantee Manchester City’s inclusion in it, safeguarding their future against inconveniences such as being completely bloody useless and getting relegated, which is, let’s be honest, something that Manchester City are prone to doing every once in a while. It is a fairly timely reminder of how the minds of those running the Premier League work. Cook is blithely dismissive of the interests of fans, stating that, “the sport will change and the fans will find a way to get passionate about a piece of it”. Oh we will, will we? We’ll like it because you tell us to? When questioned about whether this new look league will be of less interest to sponsors, he states that,...

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Football’s Favourite Basket Cases

Plus ca change. In June 2007, we expressed our concerns over the new ownership taking over at Manchester City. “The military government in Thailand have already tried to seize all of his assets once”, we said. “I can imagine more stable financial backgrounds that he could have come from”, we said. Did anyone listen? Do they ever? The first danger signs came with the sudden sacking of Sven Goran Eriksson at the end of last season. Eriksson had taken City to ninth place in the Premier League last season, a reasonable performance, all things considered, and into the UEFA Cup via the back door of the Fair Play Awards. Quite what Thaksin was expecting is open to question. If he was expecting a considerable amount more than than, then he’s delusional. Still, the replacement for Eriksson, Mark Hughes, was a solid enough choice, having taken Blackburn to an over-achievement-tastic seventh place in the table last season. Having done this, they forked out £19m on Jo from CSKA Moscow. With thirty goals in fifty-three matches for CSKA and three appearances in a Brazil shirt, it looked like a tidy piece of business. Then, things started to unravel. First up, they allowed themselves to be led well and truly up the garden path by Ronaldinho, who played City like a banjo in order to secure himself a better deal with Milan....

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