Every success comes along with its enemies.
For Manchester City, that is proving to be exactly the case. Somehow, it appears all hell has broken loose on the club and it’s happening at the same time with its most successful period. From Germany to Spain and the whole of Europe. In fact, among football lovers everywhere, the criticisms of the club are coming from all directions.
I’ve personally heard people say their only problem in life is Manchester City. That may sound weird given the myriad of issues we all have to deal with on a daily basis. But it explains how troubled some really are about the revolution going on at the Etihad Stadium.
But somehow it’s understandable.
The Cityzens came to the party late, as far as joining the big six is concerned. Asides those who were born Blue, (and they now make a minority of the club’s global fan base), most of us started supporting the club at a certain point in its evolution. Then the team became a genuine title contender after the take over by the Abu Dhabi group. It subsequently staked a place in the top four which has now become a top six.
Before then, English football was dominated by the red side of Manchester. The Red Devils dominated in the Premier League era under Sir Alex Ferguson. Arsenal and Chelsea punctuated United’s league success just occasionally. Liverpool lived in past glory but remained in the title conversation while Tottenham more or less made up the numbers. Hence globally, the former four clubs took most of the fan base for English teams.
Fortunately or unfortunately, Manchester City just came from nowhere to disrupt the established order and the Sky Blues have transformed the landscape. Now equipped with resources, the same or even more resources than were only available some of the previous few. And then because the club is utilising such resources so well it’s translating to consistent success, many are not happy.
Initially, it seemed there was nothing to worry about. Things would go back to the status quo sooner than later. Unfortunately for them, it’s not happening. And so much of this fan base has become incensed at the ‘newcomers’ who have now taken over the space at the top. What makes it even more painful is the fact most of the old order teams now find it difficult to compete. Of course, Man City is to blame in their view.
This disruption is coming to the continent, others elsewhere must have thought, hence, there is relentless attack from all angles. High profile names like the Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness and that of La Liga Javier Tebas are some of the most outspoken ones. Their feeling is that this upcoming giant needs to be killed now before the same scenario playing out in England transitions to the continental level.
The club is currently under serious investigation by regulatory authorities for possible breach of Financial Fair Play rules. Despite all the denials of any wrongdoing from the club’s hierarchy, in the eyes of most of these people, the club is guilty as charged. There is no need to even conduct an investigation. Most of the headlines pertaining to the club say it all. Generally, City have already been tried and found guilty by the Media.
Pep Guardiola was particularly angered by a journalist who asked him if the club was making payments to him beyond what is due to him as a manager. This was at a time the team just made history. Most of the big headlines from the media houses were about Paul Pogba’s future and United’s failure to qualify for the Champions League. About Liverpool missing out on the title and chances in the Champions League. About Eden Hazard’s future as well as Chelsea’s and Arsenal’s chances in the Europa League, and then City’s financial troubles.
This is the price City will have to pay in the foreseeable future for disrupting the established order. Hopefully, we will keep winning until others home and abroad come to terms with the fact that we have come to stay.