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Manchester City Getting Attacked on Every Side

What is it about lil old Citeh.

FC Internazionale v Manchester City FC - UEFA Champions League Final 2022/23 Photo by Michael Regan - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

When the ADUG took over City Manchester City in 2008, it seemed like just another club takeover to stabilize the team and move the club forward. Even though the general expectation was that things were going to improve for the team, not many expected that the success would be this massive.

City have enjoyed tremendous success in the last decade-plus. Since winning the FA Cup in 2011 it’s been success upon success with the team dominating both Cup competitions and the Premier League. Although it took until 2023 for the club to finally conquer Europe by winning the Champions League, the team has always been there, reaching the last eight and the last four of the competition regularly.

Unfortunately that success has also brought along with it hatred that runs deep among many fans and officials of other clubs. Success sometimes attracts enemies. This has very much been the case with Manchester City.

For the past several years, it’s been accusation upon accusation, court case upon court case and constant criticisms from several quarters. City have become the reference point for the damage that money does to football and have even been accused of trying to destroy football the way we know it. Notwithstanding the fact that teams such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and even Liverpool, to mention a few have been spending big long before City joined the party.

Apparently, City’s case for some weird reason is different. Yes. When they win a trophy, they bought it with money. And whatever success they achieve is both questionable and tainted because it is not achieved on merit. Why? It’s the result of state-backed owners that pump money endlessly into the club like water from the Atlantic ocean. So they say.

But like any fighting champion, the club has fought hard to maintain its innocence, clear its name and prove that hard work, good organization and an unrelenting drive for excellence is at the core of its success.

After being accused of breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations by UEFA in 2018, City were given a two-year ban from the Champions League. But the club appealed the charge and was later cleared of wrongdoing by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Yet the club is still treated as if it was guilty as charged, by the court of public opinion. It was so bad that almost half of the clubs in the Premier League; Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle, Tottenham, Wolves, Burnley, Chelsea and Leicester. Nine of them in total, wrote to CAS in 2020 against City asking for a “stay of execution” over their ban.

They failed to affect the final decision in that instance.

But the attacks on City have not stopped. If anything, they have been on the increase. That has culminated in the club being charged by the Premier League with breaching 115 competition rules spanning more than a decade. City maintain they have an ‘irrefutable body of evidence’ to prove their innocence and have engaged lawyers to fight the charges.

But with many restless about why City have not yet been punished despite the charges, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters tried to explain why. “I can [understand fans’ frustration] but they are very different charges [for Everton, when compared to Manchester City],” he stated at a Parliamentary select committee in Westminster recently.

He went on to assure them that a date has now been set for City’s trial.

Trying to destabilize the club from within by poaching its talent, Manchester United recently appointed Omar Berrada as their new chief executive. The 46-year-old has been chief football operations officer at City for the last three-and-a-half years having spent nine years in total as an executive at the Etihad Stadium.

It’s clearly an attempt at weakening City from within.

To put things into perspective, it’s a very rare occurrence for top English clubs to hire executives from rivals. The only notable example to date was over 20 years ago when Chelsea under new owner at the time - Roman Abramovich, poached Manchester United’s chief executive Peter Kenyon who served as the Red Devils’ chief executive between 2000 and 2003. Chelsea went on to become the dominant force in the Premier League under the new owner.

The latest attack at City has come from UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin who stated in a recent interview that the European football governing body were right to punish Manchester City for previous breaches of financial rules.

“We know we were right,” the Slovenian said in an interview with the Telegraph. “We wouldn’t decide if we didn’t think we were right.

With the Premier League’s case against Man City on the front burner at the moment, making comments like that can directly or indirectly influence parties involved in the matter. Or at the very least add fuel to the fire to sway public opinion against City.

With the foregoing, it does appear City are in for a big fight. But if the club’s strong stance on its innocence is anything to go by, these accusations and trials too shall pass.