It has been a bizarre 48 hours and certainly one that I do not wish to ever experience again.
On Sunday night, I was disgusted by the club I had supported since 1980. 41 years, 5 relegations, 5 promotions, countless near misses, and a stint in the third division was replaced by 4 Premier League titles, 5 League Cups, 2 FA Cups and watching one of the best teams ever assembled was all undone in one statement – that Manchester City were a founder member of the European Super League.
On Monday, I was angry with the actions that City took. Even though there were rumours that the blues may well do a U-turn along with Chelsea, I was still outraged that the club put themselves in that position.
And then today, elation that the blues have withdrawn, and my faith in the club has been restored. Well, not 100% restored.
Don’t get me wrong, I still hate the Champions League, but running away to form a new, exclusive league was never the answer.
How dare the club force it upon us.
With absolutely no consultation with management, staff, players or indeed the supporters, City decided this was a good idea. Granted, there have been reports that City and Chelsea were reluctant and the last to sign, but the fact is they still signed leaves me unimpressed by their apparent ‘reluctance.’
If the club were unsure, they should have simply said no and walked away. By some accounts, it sounds like they were backed into a corner, but this does not sound like the Manchester City who stood up to UEFA last summer and forced the European ban to be overturned.
And before that, City had to face the Hateful 8 – the Premier League teams that wrote the CAS to ask them to exclude City from European competition until City’s appeal was complete. These teams included United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea – the very teams they were prepared to jump tin bed with to create the ESL.
And don’t forget that Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich were also critical of the blues and were quite vocal in their desire to have City banned from Europe. Yet the City hierarchy were prepared to ignore that animosity from these clubs and class themselves as an elite team.
This, in my opinion, is nothing more than pure arrogance and is an attitude I don’t want my club to ever have. Leave that to our rivals, it suits them better.
In the last hour, City have released a short statement confirming they have started the procedures to withdraw, and I applaud them for doing so – but they should never have been in that situation in the first place.
They should have known the backlash they would have received form the fans, and they now need to be up front with us and explain why they did it. Withdrawing from the ESL is a good first step, but they need to go further. They need to apologise and admit they were wrong.
And we expect never to be put through this again.