foxsports.comManchester City have added three more clubs to their global alliance, taking the number of formal partnerships the Blues have formed to six.After announcing partnership deals with South Africa's Thanda Royal Zulu, Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shen Hua and FC Moscow earlier this week, renowned Swiss outfit Grasshoppers are among the latest batch of clubs to agree to work with City.
Well-supported A-League side Perth Glory, plus Chonburi, a Thai representative in keeping with the nationality of City owner Thaksin Shinawatra have also joined the throng.
The clubs will share expertise by working together in areas including coaching exchanges and youth tournaments, plus coaching and player analysis techniques and improving player rehabilitation.Ties between City and its partner clubs will also be strengthened through improved commercial and marketing opportunities and initiatives.
It certainly has been a busy old week for the clubs, with the tie-ups with six global sides, a new beer partner and various media link-up's in the Far East.
Whatever your thoughts regarding Thaksin Shinawatra's political life or any current motivations as regards the impending elections in Thailand, you cannot deny that from a business perspective he has been a very clever and shrewd operator.
And so it seems that is a trend that is continuing here at City. First and foremost, Shinawatra will look to make money from the investment into the club and by these club and media links, this is an attempt to move into previously untapped markets in terms of a commercial angle.
Shinawtara also knows that success on the pitch is the primary key to making money off it, and not only do the announcements this week help from a media and commercial money making angle, but the club link-up's are also designed to help on the pitch.
One thing with these moves though is how late we are getting into the market in comparison with other Premier League clubs. Those clubs at the upper end of the table (and by virtue succesful clubs) have had link-ups of this nature of several seasons now and are beginning to reap the benefits already.
Which, for me, begs the question as to why these avenues weren't explored previously by the old regime in charge at the club. Events over the past few months have proved what can be done in a short space of time, but it seems that the previous board/owners were not interested in this type of activity - merely hoping for wealthy Arab billionaires or Norwegian shipping magnates to fall into their laps. I accept the takeover speculation at the end of last season precluded much activity, but there have been two or three seasons prior to that where inroads could have been made.
Of course, the announcements of the past week will not guarantee success on or off the pitch, but in the modern business climate that football (and most prevalently the Premier League) operates in, they are a part of the fabric and something that it was important that we became involved in.
We may be playing catch up with teams we are chasing in this regard, but better late than never.