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The £1billion title

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David Bond | 08:00 UK time, Monday, 14 May 2012

Manchester City’s first Championship title since 1968 will certainly live long in the memory. Afterwards, as he sipped champagne in the press room, the club’s Italian manager Roberto Mancini summed it up perfectly: “A crazy finish for a crazy season”.

Inevitably comparisons will be drawn with other nail-biting footballing climaxes. Liverpool v Arsenal in 1989 (the last time the league was won on goal difference), Manchester United against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final 10 years later and Liverpool’s miracle of Istanbul in 2005.

England cricketer Kevin Pietersen tweeted that it was why “there is NOTHING (his capitals not mine) better than sport. Fact”. And who could disagree? When it comes to delivering incredible drama, football and sport can conjure up heart-stopping, mind-boggling scripts.

How fortunate for the Premier League that their television and media rights are about to go out to tender.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Manchester City have been transformed since the arrival of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Photo: Getty

City’s win represents a significant watershed for the game – not only in Manchester, but for the rest of the Premier League and Europe things may never be the same again.

That’s because quite simply City have much, much more money than anyone else.

The club’s owner Sheikh Mansour and his investment vehicle Abu Dhabi United Group have sunk at least £1billion into City since 2008.

Compare that to their neighbours at Old Trafford who must contend with massive interest payments on loans taken out by their American owners, the Glazer family, to buy the club. According to some estimates, the Glazers have taken out £500m since their takeover in 2005.

United’s financial future now appears to rest on a flotation on the Singapore Stock Market which has been on hold for the last four months because of instability in global markets.

Mind you, United still came pretty close to winning the title again and Sir Alex Ferguson’s team were written off following Chelsea’s emergence as real contenders following Roman Abramovich’s takeover in 2003.

There is another major reason why City’s dominance may not be as straightforward as you might think.

European governing body Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations mean all clubs must restrict their losses between 2013 and 2015 to just £38m. To put the size of that task into context City lost a staggering, record-breaking £194.9m in 2011.

They had a wage bill of £174m at that time and have since added more expensive players. The average weekly wage is now said to be £85,000.

When those results were announced last autumn, City’s chief operating officer Graham Wallace said: “Our losses which, we predicted as part of our accelerated investment programme, will not be repeated on this scale in future”

But the gulf between those losses and the deficits allowed by Uefa in future is so, so vast. Even allowing for City’s £400m, 10-year stadium and kit deal with Etihad, serious surgery needs to take place if Mancini’s team are not going to run the risk of being thrown out of the Champions League in seasons to come.

So the challenge for Mansour and City is to build a dynasty at the same time as new rules are being introduced by Uefa designed to stop clubs like them from being too successful.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Man Utd for years and years and years had by far the largest spending power of the top league. They would buy up player after player and dominated the tranfer market. Another team does the same and then all these carping and snide comments from the Man Utd lovers.

  • Comment number 2.

    Well done City. Just had to have a giggle when seeing teh faces of the United players and fans at the final whistle.

  • Comment number 3.

    I think most fans agree with tighter financial regulations, but I still am doubtful of how they can be implemented. Take Real or Barca, they would not be able to fit the required criteria. Neither would Man City, Chelsea and Malaga. PSG would also struggle to get their finances in check by 2013.

    The fact that we are being told that a number of clubs will once again throw millions of £'s at players this summer leads me to believe that none of them are taking UEFA's threat seriously. Platini would, sadly, lose a battle against these top sides. Does anyone think that the huge sponsors of Champions League football will be happy if 3-4 marquee clubs are not permitted to partake in the competition?

    Also the FFP seems to make it an even more closed shop, if you are already in the Champions League you can spend an extra £30m plus compared to teams outside-thus enabling them to buy better players and offer better wages.

    There is no easy solution to this problem but I hope that a drop in players salaries would be one outcome and then in time a drop in ticket prices. That surely should be the legacy of UEFA

  • Comment number 4.

    Are UEFA ever going to investigate their joke sponsorship levels from the associated companies. Making a mockery of the rules.

  • Comment number 5.

    I can understand the point of the FFP rules in that they protect the financial stability of clubs from risk-taking owners who would gamble a club's very existence on trying to get them into the Premier League's elite.

    But what is the point of preventing a model such as those at Manchester City and Chelsea? EVERY big club in Europe has benefitted from massive investment at some point. The success that then brings on the pitch leads to more fans and eventually the club becomes sustainable.

    By preventing rich, new owners from investing their own personal money into a football club, you are effectively ensuring that no club can ever again "do a City" and compete with the large, well-supported clubs across Europe.

    Or is that, in fact, the whole point of it?

  • Comment number 6.

    “Our losses which, we predicted as part of our accelerated investment programme, will not be repeated on this scale in future”

    This says it all.

    Bit of a non article.

  • Comment number 7.

    I remember (vividly) winning my first "sales award" in 1989, and having been presented with it was told by a manager from another sales team "anybody can do anything once, to be considered successful you have to repeat it, again and again".

    As a united fan, hats off to City, well done, you deserved your title, but you ain't successful yet.

  • Comment number 8.

    #4

    "Are UEFA ever going to investigate their joke sponsorship levels from the associated companies. Making a mockery of the rules."

    You should have a read of this analysis from the excellent Swiss Ramble:

    http://swissramble.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/manchester-citys-incredible-deal-know.html

    The City sponsorship deal is well within already established acceptable values for sponsorship (e.g. they're training kit is being sponsored for less than Manchester United's, their ground is being sponsored for less than Arsenal's).

    The reason the number is so large is because it's a one off sponsorship deal of everything that lasts a full decade.

  • Comment number 9.

    @Tony, I think City's spending has outdone Uniteds here by far.

  • Comment number 10.

    #1 United can back their spending up with their astronomical revenues. City were a small club that received a massive artificial boost. A sensible option would have been to slowly grow the brand like Spurs have done. They went for the big splash and every football fan not of a sky blue persuasion will hope they are called to account for it.

  • Comment number 11.

    I am NOT a City Fan and I don't hope they will be called to account!

  • Comment number 12.

    I'm no Manchester United fan but I can respect that they have money because of football. They are rich because they have a massive fan base mainly because they have been so successful for so long. It's good that they now have some competition but it still rankles that it now counts for more to have a rich foreign sugar daddy than years of hard work on the football pitch.

  • Comment number 13.

    Was pretty shocked at Sir Alex's lack of grace following the events of yesterday. I mean sometimes you just have to bite the bullet, man-up and say "they spent more money"
    http://therestijustsquandered.com/2012/05/13/noisy-neighbours-part/

    UEFA Financial fair play will become just like taxation. Paid by the strugglers but navigated around by the richest.

  • Comment number 14.

    @tony, Man Utd have indeed bought big players now and again, but no way have they spent nearly £500 million in the last 4 years, you would expect City to win trophies with that sort of financial security!

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 17.

    Mmmm. This Premier league obsession is getting quite frightening. You'd think football had been dull for over 100 years until yesterday. If fans took a long hard look they should see that in order to satisfy their own ego's on a Monday morning at work; players, agents, big headed directors, Rupert Murdoch and associated dross are taking the **** with the billions of pounds they are taking from them every season.
    Ford Focus'sssss and a tin of Heineken would be considerably cheaper if they weren't chucking billions at the Champions League as well.
    Success - because of the money - is simply getting in the top four, not winning the ****** trophy. How bizarre.
    Praying at the altar of the Premier League is not healthy. And the next time I hear legend and hero mentioned in the context of football I'll put my foot through the telly.
    I've already ordered a new one.

  • Comment number 18.

    Firstly, well done City, as much as it pains me to say that as a United fan. The best team wins the league, and thats is always unquestionable. What does annoy me though is people saying things such as 'Well United always spent record amounts and bought the league too'. The difference is that when United spent 50 million in the summer, they earned that much or more in the same season. In short, we were always runs like a proper business, and the books balanced. City's money comes from being bankrolled by an all but unlimited pot of money, and if the Sheik walked away, their wage bill would be unpayable. 6 years and a billion pounds is what it took to take United's crown. Hopefully those FIFA rules will make clubs live to their means, and only spend what they earn on the pitch, not at the petrol pumps.

  • Comment number 19.

    Citys 2010 wage bill 133 million. Uniteds 2010 wage bill 131 million. this article smells like sour grapes.

  • Comment number 20.

    #15
    I guess the irony of this post has passed over your head....

    Speak up though, it's hard to hear you from mid-table.

  • Comment number 21.

    Unfortunately this blog, as already evidential in #10, is going to result in a slanging match regarding the viability and the morality of Manchester City's title.

    For me, I think there is a huge amount of bitterness shown towards Manchester City and the accelerated investment that has been seen in order to win their first league title in 44 years. It's not an issue in my opinion; yes, they have spent a huge sum of money on players in terms of transfer fees and wages, however, I would argue that a 'slow build' project would not have resulted in a title in the near future.

    Such is the gulf between those sides at the top and the rest in terms of resources, and the availability of resources, in this I refer to the fact how difficult it is for any side who has not benefitted year-in-year-out of the Champions League fortunes to gatecrash the party. If they do, all of a sudden their players become coveted by the usual suspects and these players then have aspirations of playing at this level on a regular basis (see Modric and Bale for instance).

    My point is, unless Manchester City made such huge initial investment, I doubt they would have been able to dine at the top table, they are certainly not getting an invite as their peers are all trying to shut the door in their face. I also doubt we will see investment at this level and rate again; they now have the foundations for a very good side, they now can add to that in a similar vein to Manchester Utd et al and will no longer need to make huge sweeping changes.

    And on a final note, it really shouldn't go unnoticed how much investment Manchester City have made (are making) into the local community and youth development, as well as aiding a really struggling local and national economy.

    Well done Manchester City on winning the title; it doesn't matter how it has come about, they were the best side over 38 games, and for me, anyone who disputes the validity of the title is incredibly bitter.

    http://thethoughtsofphil.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 22.

    @13

    I thought SAF showed a lot of grace. Unlike the majority of anti-United fans out there he made the point that the best team ALWAYS wins the league. It is never down to decisions or luck but simply being the best over 38 games.

    I congratualate City, simple as that. They were the better team this year, i look forward to next year and pray for some acquisitons over the summer. We do already have our first signing which i think will be the most significant of the whole summer - Vidic.

  • Comment number 23.

    @13

    I am a City fan, however Fergie was gracious in defeat at least at the end. He did congratulate City and I though it was a good gesture.

    This blog on the other hand is not good. This is not a new topic of discussion and every one knows City need to get a move on to meet the fair play rules.

    Plus... for City to start being a sustainable business the outlay on players should not be as significant from now on in. The squad is full of internationals and needs a few signings only. The majority of the spending should be done, there's a squad in place and the acadamy/stadium/training ground developments

  • Comment number 24.

    I think the important difference between United and Citys spending is that United got to their financial position from a great youth system, a great manager and through great business acumen by turning the club into a global brand. It took many years but once United got there they managed to remain the best through good spending (see Liverpool for a contrast).

    Man City have had no such success and have used brute force spending to buy mercenaries- when players shun Real Madrid for a City pay packet (i.e Kolarov) you get a better idea of the scale of money involved.
    Mancini has done well to gel those players together but I'm not sure how hard the feat is considering the sheer talent (and number of incredibly talented players) at the club.

    Its good for football to have another rival, and a cash injection is good for a club, but I think the scale of this injection is beyond obscene- 1 billion in a few years is just insane. People dont realise that the transfer sums mean very little when comparing the clubs- look at the wages, they are extraordinarily different, and its the reason why city have such great players.

    I feel sorry for real city fans as this new club have no semblance of the old man city, instead the old club died and a newer club has taken its place. Man Citys history is now obsolete. I appreciate boosting Citys resources to make them able to compete but this ignorant brute force spending shouldn't ever be confused with "team spirit" "great management" and "heart and desire". Money, fame, endless resources won. I don't mind them having the title for now, I just hope the ludicrous spending stops here

  • Comment number 25.

    “…new rules are being introduced by UEFA designed to stop clubs like them from being too successful.”

    That’s incorrect. UEFA are not trying to stop anyone from being too successful, they are trying to level the playing field, to keep it competitive, and fair.

    “I'm David Bond, the BBC's Sports Editor. This blog will give you an insight into the big stories and issues in sport.”

    Where’s the insight?

    Well done city, the best team this season (from a Man U fan).

  • Comment number 26.

    United have had the spending power because they have created a brand thanks to SAF. Arsenal and Chelsea are still bigger brands than Man City. If you look at the valuations of the clubs, Man City have only recently overtaken Spurs in revenues.
    I think this has been one of United's best seasons, all born out of the fact that City should have run away with the league with the amount of money they have spent.
    I was against the taking over of the Glazer's and the Abu Dhabi group for the sake of the football clubs. Glazer's bought United with borrowed money and suck the revenue out of it, and Sheik Mansour injected unsustainable rates of money into the club. When City pipped Spurs to 4th spot, City's average wage was higher than the highest paid Spurs player.
    I really do hope FFP rules come in soon, I don't agree with the nature of particularly how the Emirates and Qatari run clubs go about their business. PSG have Qatari owners and are still being pipped to Ligue 1 title by Montpellier, who are owned by someone who's run the club since the 70s.

  • Comment number 27.

    Whoever wins the league after 38 games deserves it. I am gutted obviously, and the ride of emotions over two minutes yesterday was almost overwhelming.


    However, what the heck do red scousers have to gloat about ? 100 million plus spent and you won the mickey mouse ( © you lot some time in the 70's) and thats it, and you finished below your blue rivals.

    How you can even show your faces on these blogs gloating is beyond me.

  • Comment number 28.

    20. At 09:27 14th May 2012, Weallfollowunited wrote:

    You won.......nothing....shhhhhh. Bad season...ok. What an implode you had....love it....only because of the prior arrogance. I actually wanted you to win it a month ago but because there is no humility with you plastic mancs....the fact you thought you had won it is hilarious.....Agueroooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 29.

    I'll also be interested to see if any of City's players make a move this summer. They have yet to feel what's it like for Barca and Madrid to come calling for your best players.

    Especially amongst Spanish speaking players the lure of these 2 clubs is more than the money City can offer. Toure has expressed a desire to go back at soem point and it will be interesting if Barca make a swoop for Aguero.

    Just my thoughts anyway.

  • Comment number 30.

    If people are really interested in keeping football buying under control then how about a transfer cap?
    Each club is only allowed to spend a certain amount per year on new players. If the sum is set at (for example) £50 million and a club spends £100 million on Ronaldo & £100 million on Messi then they must sell players to the value of £150 million within the season. End of transfer windows probably but is that a bad thing?
    This way there is no limit to the amount spent but there is a limit to the "we can buy anyone we want" idea. Yes you can buy them but you've got to sell as well. It would lead to some interesting "End of season" sales as the clubs desparately try to balance the books.
    One point fine per £2 million over spent perhaps?

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    #12 hits the nail on the head I think (the players and manager have been brilliant as well however) Teams in the past have spent a lot of money but all started from a higher base, both on the pitch and in the finance department. As a City fan friend of mine said "Its like we played Football Manager 2008 and clicked the 'unlimited funds' option and now its 2012 and we've won the league"
    From a Norwich fan

  • Comment number 33.

    A little bit of perspective please. United lost the title by 8 goals, with a key defender and key midfielder out all season. So it basically took City a Billion to just match them or if you like score 8 goals more than them. Yes Giggs and Scholes need to be replaced. But City won't win the title next year.

  • Comment number 34.

    @Tony
    Please enlighten me as to how and when UTD used to buy up player after player and dominate the transfer market?
    Please list all the players they supposedly used to buy and buy and dominate the transfer market with.
    I guarantee that UTD have spent less money in the time the premier league has been around than City, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool all have.

    Ive got nothing against CITY winning, and feel they were the better team this season. But Id like to see city win anything with players who came through their youth team and didnt cost them $1B.

    Micah Richards is the only city player who has come through their youth team. Joe Hart was bought from Shrewsbury, so he didnt come through their youth ranks.

    UTD have history of bringing some of the greatest players to ever play the game through their youth system, and have won countless trophies with them too.

  • Comment number 35.

    As an Arsenal fan, I had to see some of the best players in my team going to Man city for the last 3 years...

    It hurts and I don't think that's fair we have to sell them to balance the books and some team can buy 4 /5 mercenary strikers (Tevez, Adebayor, Aguero, Balotelli, Dzeko) and send them on loan to spuds or on golf break for half the season...

    If UEFA ban those 5/6 crazy spending clubs out of champion's league like they barred English clubs for Hooliganism, then some will try to create their competition, but this won t be the champion's league and they won't be able to play the Anthem.
    even if it is for a year or two, I am sure they ll find a way to balance their books!

    Well, we shall see but i am in favour of FFP rules...

  • Comment number 36.

    27. At 09:33 14th May 2012, Jesus the Teddy Bear wrote:

    Not gloating....just rubbing your face in it. City deserved it rightly or wrongly based on their spending....take your piece of humble pie, tuck in and realise we won something and you won nothing....I am sure Europe is trembling that the team you have has been awarded a coveted CL spot...enjoy facing Bilbao and getting outplayed. United of current - worst for 20 years...

  • Comment number 37.

    The People of Manchester should be greatful to Shiekhs. They have come here to build a team that will stay for generations.

    This year expect no less than $100 million in buying new players like Hazard et al. Also, City will generate good cash from selling Adebayor, Dezko, Johnson, Toure and a few more.

    Next year we will also see Aresnal and other teams to close the gap on two giants. All good for football lovers!

  • Comment number 38.

    I presume none of the anti-City brigade buy lottery tickets. For those who do, City won the lottery. GET OVER IT!!

  • Comment number 39.

    @36

    "United of current - worst for 20 years..."

    I'm all for congratulating City today but this comment really annoys me. Why oh why do people think this is the worst united team of all time. We got 89 points this year, 89!!!!!!!!

    Going forward we are as exciting as i have seen in a long time. We have leaked goals at the back which has been directly affected by having one of the worlds best centre backs missing for nearly the entire season. We miss creativity in central midfield but to claim this is a terrible united team is a myth.

  • Comment number 40.

    A good article and for all the plaudits (deserved) that are thrown at the players, the simple truth is that city have won the league with the equivalent of financial doping.
    The club do not come within an asses roar of surviving on the money it generates as a club and so called football instituton. It obtained success because of the largesse of a new found benefactor and supporter [sic]. It is once again trying to add to the financial doping by an over inflated sponsorship deal, a deal described by a Council of Europe committee as an 'improper transacation'.

    City supporters will undoubtedly turn a Nelsonian eye to the doping of their club. Starved of success and unable to obtain that success with proper stewardship and quality they have taken any help on offer. But this is a tainted trophy and deep down they know it.

  • Comment number 41.

    @21. No slanging match intended. You are right about bitterness as I am rightly bitter my club has not had such a great financial backing like man city. The problem with man city (like Chelsea) are only where they are because of money and nothing else. Clubs like Liverpool and man utd had to earn success and gain the inevitable fruits of their labour (big players wanting to join successful teams and extra revenue to spend on the best players due to becoming a global brand on the back of sustained success)!
    Chelsea and man city, while it doesn't bother me, can only ever be called artificial clubs because of their unrivalled cash boost. Anyone that says otherwise is either in denial or a fan of one of these said clubs.
    On a footballing level I believe man city have played the best football this season but certainly not the role model champions we would like. Tevez is a disgrace and simply does not deserve to lift a title, Mancini has shown himself up time and time again whether it be waving imaginary yellow cards, bringing Tevez back after stringently saying he would never play again and for his constant "I hate him I love him" stance on that idiot mario balotelli!
    Their "legendary" status being banded about by city and the media is laughable! How many Blackburn players of 94 are known as legends? They now need to sustain this success over a number of years to be called great and to gain the respect of us mere mortals.
    As I said not wanting a slanging match it's just an opinion.....,and no I don't support Man Utd!
    Lastly I think The deciding factor which gave them the title this season which blows all opinions out the water was down to one player..........VIDIC! If man utd had him all season I believe (unfortunately) we wouldn't have had that epic final day as man utd would already have been champions.

  • Comment number 42.

    #12 - well said! Absolutely spot on! As a United fan, I honestly would rather have lost the title to Liverpool than City simply due to the fact they were a mediocre club who couldn't fill their borrowed stadium who all of a sudden got a pot of gold and bought up anyone shallow enough to accept money and future trophy's are more important than anything else.

    #19 - completely missed the point havent you....there's some other dense people on here as well, but you seem the most ridiculous - the difference is to answer your ridiculous question; United's revenue is far greater than their wage bill and any other expenditure. City's revenue is less than their wage bill alone, let alone anything else!!

    #numerous - yes, United have bought the best players for big money for years - but here's the key point; because they had the money from hard work and success on the pitch, which EARNT that money in the first place.

    Love the Gooners and Scousers taking their moment to bask in someone elses glory (or more to the point, United's lack of glory) becuase their own clubs situation is so pathetic! :) Love it.

    Just to clarify, I'm not arrogant or plastic or whatever (as is the case with 90% of the United fans, unfortunately there are always a % that ruin it for the rest, but it's the same with EVERY team) - the best team always wins the league, congratulations to them and their supporters and I hope they seriously enjoy the moment!

  • Comment number 43.

    @33

    Get real. This is the start of a long period of domination for City. I suspect they will achieve in the same way as Chelski have before the squad starts to age.

    City have strengthened so much in the last couple of years and will do so even more over the summer.

    City, Chelski and Liverpool will improve, Arsenal, Tottenham and United will decline.

    Next season:

    1 City
    2 Chelski
    3 Liverpool
    4 United

  • Comment number 44.

    39. At 09:45 14th May 2012, wirral18 wrote:

    Over achievement....i hold my hands up and say SAF did an amazing job to even keep you in the race but how many replacements do you need next year? Ever thrown away an 8 point advantage? You would have been the worst team ever to have won the PL. Look at Europe....spanked by Citeh...

  • Comment number 45.

    Even if Man City double their spending next season it still remains to be seen whether they're a one-hit-wonder or they have what it takes to retain a title.
    Onwards and upwards to next season!

  • Comment number 46.

    @43 Liverpool in 3rd hahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahaahhaahahhahhaa you were lucky to finish in the top 10 this year hahahahahahahahhaah

    No way are Chelski going to be second either... like I said, a bit of perspective please... I will give you United could finish 4th, more likely that to happen than your predo 2 and 3

  • Comment number 47.

    #36....we know what you are, we know what you aaarrreee!........ ;-)

  • Comment number 48.

    Unfortunately whatever City do in the coming years will be marked with the tag of "bought titles" - right or wrong that is how people will judge them.

    But it's not a new problem - the 1961 Spurs double team cost ten times more than any other team in the league (a whopping £250,000!) yet they are remembered for the quality of their football not how much they cost.

    Well done City - thought at one stage I saw the two Gallagher brothers celebrating together but I was mistaken....now that would have been miraculous!

  • Comment number 49.

    47. At 09:56 14th May 2012, Nevs_A_Red wrote:

    We all know what you are...an arrogant utd fan that won nothing....beautiful, truly sensational....

  • Comment number 50.

    @ 44

    How many replacements do we need?

    We need 2 central midfielders, as we have needed for 5 years now. We also need a left back as Evra has made my blood boil on too many occasions this year and shouldnt be captain.

    Possibly a right back but i like Jones and Smalling. Other than that we're looking good.

    We have possibly the best wingers in the world, our forward line up is young and exciting. De Gea has improved a lot in just one season. Vidic back, Rio still going, Smalling and Jones a year older with Evans as back up is a good defense. We are not a million miles away from a very good side.

  • Comment number 51.

    All this hand-wringing about a billionaire financing a football club, it makes no sense. Football as a sport died 25 years ago. It is a business now. And who was at the forefront of the commercialisation of the sport? Yes, that's right. Manchester United (amongst others, tbf). All that has happened since is the consequence of the commercial success of the business. Is it any surprise then that the football business now attracts billionaires who want to use the business for their own reasons, whatever they may be? Personal for Abramovich, Abu Dhabi PR for ADUG, for example.

    Personally, I preferred the days when you supported your local club and pretty much any club could come up and make a charge for the title. But we aren't in that game any more. People really have to stop crying when the business model naturally evolves out of their favour.

    I fully expect the model to change again, then City won't be top dogs financially, but I guess it will be a while before that happens.

    And don't even start me on FFP, that is just a way to cement a cartel in place. Sensibly, City's owners have done what they have to do to be a part of it. Good luck to these clubs who you all expect to break into the cartel the "ethical" way in the future. I won't be holding my breath.

  • Comment number 52.

    #44 - Look at Europe...ok:

    Barcelona beaten by Chelsea (with 10 men!!) who are the 6th, yes 6th best team in England!!
    Barca are supposed to be the greatest team of all time? Sometimes you need to look at things in a slightly different way.

    You forget City went out of Europe at the same stage as well?

    I dont get what point you are trying to make? United had a bad European campaign? What does that prove?

  • Comment number 53.

    Football clubs should rename themselves businesses as retaining the 'club' is misleading. Then run them as a business. If the losses are too high they get bought out or go into liquidation and cease to exist, just like a business. Just because they have followers doesn't give them a right to exist. And at the same time cut out the rule that says they pay debts to other clubs before the taxman and other businesses that have supported them and given them credit.

    Who cares if they spend more than they earn whether that's £1 or £1b, as long as they have the financial backing from an individual / corporation to finance that debt when due.

    If you've got the funds, use them.

  • Comment number 54.

    #49 - what evidence do you have that I am arrogant? Was it the sensible comments about the relative spending of the two Manchester clubs, or my congratulations to City and their fans on their success?
    Please enlighten us to the workings of your highly educated mind?

  • Comment number 55.

    50. At 10:00 14th May 2012, wirral18 wrote:

    Where do I start....

    Giggs
    Scholes
    Rafael (how has he even played this season?)
    De Gea....awful IMO
    JOnes...way too average for Utd
    A striker to accompany/compliment Rooney

    That is 100 million easily. Will you be buying the title next year? what a silent blog from the plastics...

  • Comment number 56.

    Well done to ManC - played the best football over the season and deserved the title. Never nice when your team so spectacularly blows a title like ManU and their fans will be very very sore this morning..and for some time to come:)

    FFP: laudable aims but the stable door has been open for some time and the horses have already bolted. It just reinforces the current status quo in European and domestic football and not one big powerful club will ever fall foul of these restrictions; and, the owners will find other ways to dope the finances.

  • Comment number 57.

    54. At 10:06 14th May 2012, Nevs_A_Red wrote:

    Never met one that isn't.....maybe a generalisation but maybe I don't know enough mancs : )

    Decline...and if you are honest you know it...

  • Comment number 58.

    The financial fair play rules will help UTD as they have much higher turnover, the debts are coming down year on year and at some point they will have THE MOST spending power. Revenues are going through the roof, stadium is huge already so no investment needed there. The model is long term, I'm not sure how City or Chelsea will conform to the rules?
    Personally I think the new rules are bad and I'm a utd fan. Its much harder to build revenues organically and have the natural spending power of UTD. I like the fact someone can come in open a cheque book and make a team great. Can you imagine where Chelsea and City would be now without that? It would have been UTD and Arsenal for the last 20 years winning the league!!

  • Comment number 59.

    If you want to stop money buying titles then lets have a salary cap similar to American model where the lower down the table you finish the more money you can spend on strengthing the squad. Share the CL money between all clubs as well to stop this divide getting bigger between the big boys and the rest.

  • Comment number 60.

    Firstly, congrats to City on a well deserved win

    Howver: the difference between Utds past spending and City's current spending is obvious
    Whilst City operate from a sugar daddy who just pumps endless funds into the team, Utd's spending is fairly sustainable, in that our spending comes from either player sales, or club profits. I can't wait for FFP, and although City will inevitably find a way around it, it should highlight just how superior the Utd business model is. Yes the debt remains an issue, but we're still a profitable club.
    But again, congrats to City, they deserve it

  • Comment number 61.

    @ 55

    That is not a reasoned debate, you've just listed players you don't like.

    You have to agree De Gea has not only improved immmeasurably since start of the season but has also pulled off some worldies at times

    Scholes has been fantastic, Giggs is a squad player now and shouldnt start too many games.

    Jones is 20 years old and has the 'potential' i'm not saying he is quality just yet.
    My point is not about 'buying leagues', my point is that this united team isnt a bad team. In fact it is 2 central midfielders away from being one of the worlds best again.

    Unlike your Liverpool i'm afraid to say who are another 100m away from competing with Newcastle for 5th never mind the league title.

  • Comment number 62.

    @55, Giggs and Scholes need to be replaced. Cleverly and Fletcher ( barring injury) should do that.. De Gea ? Well you are the only one, he was never awful, and he has come on in leaps and bounds.. A striker to accompany Rooney, there is a guy called Hernandez who will do next year... So that leaves us with Jones and Rafael... lets say Rafael.... you forgot Evra.. can't see United spending a 100million on a right and left back, but they could splash out 40 or 50 on Midfielders as the two above look to be injury prone..

  • Comment number 63.

    43.

    '3 Liverpool'

    Bookmarked.

    Sure you didn't say the same thing for this season too? Or was that '1. Liverpool'?

  • Comment number 64.

    Why the preoccupation with where the clubs, via their owners, get their money?

    Football has always ultimately been about he financial firepower of the owners of the clubs. In years gone by that might have been the local factory owner, who made his money by exploiting local people (or providing them with jobs?).

    Now with a globalised world that rich owner might come from another country.

    Why was Jack Walker so loved and Blackburn congratulated but City are ridiculed? It is an identical situation on a different scale.

    Instead of being cynical about whether or not City earned their money through football or was injected from an outside source, just enjoy the sport, that is what this is all about and the sport was great yesterday.

    It has been said that Manchester United "earned" their money and status through football, but I'd much rather see an owner like Sheikh Mansour, putting money into the game than the Glazers who are only interested in taking money out.

    So on an ownership as well as football level I'm glad that City won the title rather than United.

  • Comment number 65.

    #50 - spot on, Evra has been a liability this season. I have lost count of the numbe rof occasions he has casually jogged back when his opposition player has been running down the wing on the attack (Basel at OT in particular, twice), or jogged out to close down a cross allowing the winger to put in a superb cross. He is also, as he has always been, positionally suspect but he used to make up for it in recovery pace (refer to my first complaint here).

    In midfield, I actually think we only need one player - a proper defensive midfielder. That is why we have leaked so many goals, no-one is sitting in front of the back four and therefore the opposition playmakers/forwards who drop off, have had so much room to operate, create and keep possession for their teams. If we get that player, we can then release Carrick further forward to do what he does best, or choose Cleverley who i think could be a big big player for us in the next few years with his ability.

    As you well said, Vidic back, Rafael, Smalling, Jones, Evans, De Gea, Welbeck all with another year experience, Rooney, Hernandez, Valencia, Nani, Young, Cleverley all well the right side of 30. Good youth prospects in Petrucci, Keane, Lingard, Fryers etc etc.

    United are in a good position, just in need of a few tweaks.

    Tha being said, if Fergie goes out and raids Bilbao, Dortmund or Benfica I wont complain! ;-)

  • Comment number 66.

    @19 I would love to see you back up these figures with some sort of evidence. From what I've been told, even the figures quoted by the press regarding City's wage bill are extreme underestimates.

  • Comment number 67.

    Anyhoo, congrats to City. Best team won the title. Very impressive in the first half of the season, which Silva was key to before tiring.

  • Comment number 68.

    What City have done yesterday, makes me wonder that you spend close to one billion and then only succeed in winning

  • Comment number 69.

    In some points I don’t agree with FFP; see there are elite teams and they will always demonstrate the league, Cup and will and always be the prime of Europe… BUT some teams will erupt and will show their existence and will invest money, and with such the league and perhaps Europe football will be more interesting since we always wants change and why not other CLUBS,,, why don’t they can erupt and show their power too.. But with FFP no other club will be on top ever, they will be down grade teams and will always be. Means no chance to another MANCITY….

  • Comment number 70.

    There is nothing better than KP. Fact. cricketerdiaries.wordpress.com

  • Comment number 71.

    This debate is really everything that is wrong with modern football.

    I've heard fans take the mick out of each other for years but when you have fans of Man Utd saying their business model is greater, you really do question if they support a football team or a business? It's Roy Keanes prawn sandwich fans all over.

    Money ruined football a long time ago when the First Division sold rights to Sky rather than free to air, when clubs insisted on season tickets rather than matchday tickets and when they brought out virtually identical kits every year to get fans to buy new ones every year. The FFP rules are a joke to try and preserve the existing cartel of big European clubs and stop interlopers ruining their profits!

  • Comment number 72.

    I couldn`t have closer, but City deserved it.

    With the odd exception, success is build on investment. It depends on where you`re once the ball get`s rolling. Most of the big clubs across Europe have been big spenders, just the goal posts have been moved.

    The likes of Man Utd, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter, Juve have always bought the best and most expensive players they could get. You can spend 200m over five years or in one transfer window, what`s the difference?

    There`s a lot of talk about fair play, but has there ever been a fair playing field for all clubs concerned? Most clubs have no ambitions, just staying up or securing a midtable positions is all they want and to take the biggest possible slice of the TV revenue.

    The discussion about the big spenders is completely useless, much more worrying is the situation at "smaller" clubs living beyond their means.

    The only danger are the spiralling wages and transfer fees which have reached breaking point. That has to ben contained, how difficult or even impossible it seems.

    The climax to the season was a thriller what is good for the Premier League, but the quality is not the same as three or four years ago. Especially the "old" guard of the big four has sufferend especially since the financial crisis has hit.

    That doesn`t has to be bad in general as it allowed clubs like Spurs and Newcaste to catch up, but both are selling clubs like Arsenal and once a big offer comes in, the star players are sold.

    Congratulations to City, great for their suffering supperters and good for the Premier League to have another name on the trophy after Man U and Chelsea dominated in recent years.

  • Comment number 73.

    @43 Probably the worst prediction I have ever seen MUFC behind Liverpool? Have a day off

  • Comment number 74.

    Financial fair play has been a poorly thought out idea from the very beginning and my suspicion is that it will be largely impossible to enforce. Without the addition of a salary cap, all it will do is insulate the already wealthy clubs and stagnate the leagues across Europe. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it is actually an idea thought up by the top clubs to try and protect themselves.

    I doubt the major sponsors of European football will allow the likes of Real Madrid, Man City and PSG to be banned from European competition. Combine that with the fact that European employment laws are designed to prevent 'restraint of trade', I suspect that UEFA might find themselves in a difficult legal position if they try and ban teams making losses.

    The other bizarre element to the FFP regulations is the reality that they make no mention of club debt at all. Huge debts are a far more serious threat to a clubs future than private investment on the balance sheet, yet there is no talk of sanctions for clubs with sizeable arrears. This again arouses suspicion that this is a big club led process. As we can clearly see with Rangers, debt can lead a club to the brink of disaster. Man United and Barcelona have hundreds of millions worth of debts.

    Given that UEFA have presided over the cash-cow that is the Champions league in the last two decades, I find it pretty hypocritical that they are now trying to reign in club spending. Fairness is not something they have been previously worried about as the rest have been left behind.

    Making things 'farer' is a laudable idea in principal. But these half-baked rules will not help football, they will make things worse. A salary cap is the only genuine way to level the playing field. That would have to be worldwide though, something that will never happen.....

  • Comment number 75.

    Bloke 'A' comes from a humble background and at a young age goes into business. Through hard work and determination he builds up the business over many years and ultimately becomes a wealthy, successful person. He walks into a Porsche showroom and buys the latest model. He meets there Bloke 'B' who had won the rollover jackpot lottery that weekend and is also buying a porsche. Bloke 'B' has every right to buy himself a piece of luxury, why not? But you do admire 'Bloke 'A'.

    Man City have just bought the title, because realistically, if they hadn't been bought by a multi billionaire, would they in all honesty have won the premiership? A mid table finish at best may have been within their reach.

    Trekking around South America a few years ago, I stopped off at a small Andes town populated by indigenous people. I guess it's what one would call a shanty town. Two teenage boys approached me & asked if I was American. I pointed out I was from England. They said 'London'? to which I replied, 'no Manchester'. In unison they said 'oh, Manchester United'. That folks is what a big club with decades of history is.

  • Comment number 76.

    Regarding the article though, if there is any truth at all with regards to some of the rumours flying about (Hazard for example), then City's spending isn't over. If so, I can only guess is that they are confident of finding a loophole (possibly more dodgy investments from associated companies) or at least fighting a legal battle over the FFP rules.

  • Comment number 77.

    here's a thought, instead of having ridiculous transfer fee's, why not be like other business, whereby, the fee in is direct correlation to the cost of the contract. ie, remaining cost of contract plus say 20%, whilst also capping wages across the globe.

    if this became fifa regs, players would move for footballing incentives, not financial ones. in this case, a clubs stature and appeal would win over money, as would a players desire to play instead of sitting in the stands, just because he can earn more.

    take shanghai and / or Anzi Makhachkala. would the players they have recently purchased gone to these clubs had they only been allowed to pay the same as mid to top prem or ligue 1 side?

    Likewise, would international players be willing to warm the bench, when they could be playing week in week out for another club?

    if this was implemented, it would stop the ability of certain clubs, such as both manchester clubs, barca / real, juve / ac, being able to buy and retain the players they have (in many cases simply to prevent them going elsewhere) as other clubs would easily compete with the promise of equal wage and playing each week. thereby, creating greater competition within each league and a return to the good old days, where numerous 'smaller' clubs have the chance to win the league

  • Comment number 78.

    Well done to Man Citeh for buying the 2011/12 league title.

    Following £1 billion of investment since 2008, and losses of £194 million in the last financial year, Shake Mansour’s plaything convincingly won the league on goal difference after beating a 10-man, relegation threatened side in stoppage time. Mankini will be reflecting on money well spent as his team of overseas mercenaries edged past a below-par and ageing United side on goal difference.

    United may have made expensive signings in the past but the important distinction is that those funds came from revenue streams built up over decades. Forbes recently listed United as the world’s most valuable club, and their millions have been accumulated through decades of sensible team and business development. Citeh have merely been bankrolled by an Arabic sugar daddy looking for a new toy. The same happened to Chelsea when Abramovich arrived and United quickly overcame that new threat.

    Citeh fans should be embarrassed at the behaviour of their so-called idols – Tevez refused to play and took an extended holiday despite a £250+ a week pay packet, yet was still welcomed back with open arms by Mankini. And we don’t even need to go into the walking joke that is Mario Balotelli.

    Citeh may have unlimited funds but they are still nowhere near being a “big club”. I liken them to the Lotto Lout Michael Carroll, all cash no class. They should come back when they have won 19 league titles. The last time I checked it was 3.

    So Citeh fans can enjoy their brief moment in the Arabic sun but can be sure England’s real top teams will roar back next season. At least I hope so for the sake of our sport.

  • Comment number 79.

    I don't like all this money in football but unfortunately it's currently a fact of life. However United and Liverpool fans should stop going on about Chelsea and City. Just because a team was successful in the 50's, 70's, 90's doesn't give their fans a divine right to berate 'newer' successful clubs. United have been at the forefront of commercialisation trying to capture zillions of Asian fans. Stop banging on like you're a sacred cow that has earned the right to win everything because of your 'history'. United are no different to the rest, driven by greed. And you have an obnoxious manager.........Ferguson will always be overshadowed by Clough's achievements and of course Mourinho's in the future. Crikey Chelsea have had all these duff managers and yet they still keep winning cups.
    Bad winners, bad losers, that's United.

  • Comment number 80.

    Fantastic theatre and spectacle and justified result. Well done the Blues.
    As for Platini bending the rules to prevent Billionaires spending their money as they see fit to prevent another City happening. This is just sour grapes and smacks of Protectionism of the so called elite clubs if not lesser leagues namely the French one.
    All the top clubs have been bank rolled through the back door to pay otherwise unaffordable kings ransoms for the best players.
    These new rules do not protect the Man City's and Chelsea's of the world and it is not clear how they protect the rest. Maybe some less than popular French clubs might get a chance.

  • Comment number 81.

    @75 You forgot "Bloke C" that wanted to buy a porshe and had a fantastic business with young and promising professionals which he had helped train. He was sure his company would challenge "Bloke A"s in a couple of years and become the biggest. Only "Bloke A" kept poaching his staff and offering them more money so "Bloke C" could never buy the porsche. "Bloke A" had every right to poach the staff but do you admire "Bloke C"?

    If Man Utd weren't the richest team in the world would they realistically have won the Premiership?

    If you went into Africa 20 years ago and asked them to name a London club they would probably have said Arsenal. If you went today and asked them they would say Chelsea. That folks, like the Man Utd story, is nothing to do with decades of history and more to do with global commercialisation.

  • Comment number 82.

    "Man Utd for years and years and years had by far the largest spending power of the top league. They would buy up player after player and dominated the tranfer market. Another team does the same and then all these carping and snide comments from the Man Utd lovers."
    Except the money was generated from our success; our success was not generated from the money (unlike certain blue teams)

  • Comment number 83.

    Well done City. As SAF said, the best team always ends up at the top after 38 games. With respect to the so-called Fair Play rules regarding club finances I tend to agree that they will be toothless and easily circumvented by the richer clubs. As a case in point, City received £350 million for a ten year stadium and kit deal from the national carrier of the country of origin of their owners. Even my rudimentary maths can work out that this is £35 million a season. Arsenal on the other hand received £90 million for a 15 year deal equating to £6 million a season. Two big clubs and two large airlines and yet one deal is worth six times as much as the other. You don't need to be very clever (just as well for UEFA) to work out that the City deal is simply a ruse originating in Abu Dhabi to get around these financial regulations. Frankly I don't see a problem with a club running a high level of debt, after all national governments are currently doing so across Europe, provided that they have the capability to repay such debts when they are due; just ask Rangers fans.

  • Comment number 84.

    There is a difference! MU generates massive revenue, which it then ploughs back to achieve further success. With its wage bill probably exceeding revenue, Citeh's only recourse is to conjure up deals like 400M for the Etihad Stadium sponsorship, 600m Etisalat sponsorshipt, etc. LOL! Fair play.

  • Comment number 85.

    It's a very 'sad day' for football and sport as a whole. Football at the highest level is no longer about earning something from the use of tactics, skill and hard work over time, but about a rich man's money and how much of it he chooses to throw at a club to gain silverware. Man City have not earned silverware through skill, just thrown money around to get there way like a big child. Any true 'football' fan would not feel quite right about that.

  • Comment number 86.

    Man Utd had an amazing season in my opinion. We had injuries to some important players, had to bed in a new inexperienced Goalkeeper, and had a midfield lacking craft and vision. Dispite this we managed to come second in the league on goal difference against a side with a huge amount of money behind them, and with a huge points tally as well.

    If we can get a quality creative midfielder (Modric/Hazard...) then we have a good chance of winning next year. Our young players will be more experienced, we have great defence and wingers, and our strike force isn't bad either.

    Getting back to money, Utd will be better off than City if they can get their debt paid off. A debt which they were given because some bright spark thought it would be a good idea to use the clubs money to by itself. Without that debt they would be making huge profits, mainly due to overseas fans in Asia and elsewhere.

    Man City will find it harder to get the same number of fans. Chelsea tried when they first got financial backing, but it hasn't really worked out. Unless they can get their own revenue that isn't tied in with the owners then the UEFA financial fair play rules will cause them trouble.

    Out of the top clubs I think Arsenal might profit the most from these rules. They have been run properly with lowish wages and few transfer fees. Add a large stadium and regular Champions league football and you have a team who might be able to sneak back into contention. Remember they had a shocking start to this season and still finished third. I don't think they will mess it up again next year.

  • Comment number 87.

    If City are Google, United are British Telecom

  • Comment number 88.

    "At 09:01 14th May 2012, tony wrote:
    Man Utd for years and years and years had by far the largest spending power of the top league. They would buy up player after player and dominated the tranfer market. Another team does the same and then all these carping and snide comments from the Man Utd lovers."

    What people like Tony fail to remember is that at the time of our dominant sending power we still only had the pick of UK & some Dutch talent. If AC Milan, Barca or Real came in for our Dutch target we just had to stand aside because Milan, Barcelona or Madrid would be a lot more attractive to the spouses than Manchester. I give you the example of when Davids, Seedorf and Kliuvert left Ajax. We were obviously interested in all 3 but didn’t get a look-in. Kliuvert turned us down more than once.

    However after Abramovich started throwing silly wages around the English league then became more attractive to all the world footballing stars. So the playing field has shifted since we paid close to £30m for Ferdinand & Rooney.

  • Comment number 89.

    #69 - so, so wrong!

    How do you think these big clubs have got to the place they have got now - hard work! Invest in infrastructure, a good financial, secure base. Build up the youth system to both provide players for your team or money from selling these players on (either big fees for the best young players or 1M here and there for the ones that arent quite good enough - for example, if you added up how many millions United have made from selling on reserves who couldnt break the first team it would surprise you!), make the right investments in players to keep yourself steady while you develop. Gradually expand your stadium as your fan base grows through good marketing etc.

    This may take many years, but it can be done, and can be done well within the FFP rules.

    This answers the question as to why so many people have a problem with Man City (or to be correct, the reason they have been able to compete for the title as opposed to the club iteself), they have instantly been trasnformed from nothing to champions without having to put in any hard work building up the club. I always look at Stoke as a club I admire massively - they came into the league, secured their position playing effective if not pretty football, have gradually got better quality players without spending beyond their means and can start to look to push on now over the next 5 or 6 years. Barring catastrophe, if they continue as they are and the youth starts coming through more, they can realistically be looking to challenge for the European places in the next few years. Swansea equally have the same solid foundation, have secured their PL place, and can look to push on.

    I'm rambling a bit now, but you get my point.

  • Comment number 90.

    I was a child when I saw City win the last time at Newcastle.I really am sooo proud of City players manager and all the fans.They really do deserve this after such a long wait and have those neighbours always going on and on.It is a shame that they took advantage of the spending power they had to win so many titles and now we win and the rules will be changed but we will prove we are champions now and keep on winning.

  • Comment number 91.

    Congratulations to City on a deserved title.

    Now to read some ill-informed posts on Manchester United's spending power over the past 2 decades.

  • Comment number 92.

    glenn-quagmire wrote: ....Ferguson will always be overshadowed by Clough's achievements

    Why exactly - because you don’t like Fergie? An alcoholic violent bully who was named in a court of law as having received bungs overshadows a manager who has beaten the challenges of:

    + The lackadaisical drinking culture of an under-performing sleeping giant

    + Liverpool’s record league winning dominance

    + The so-called French Professor (called Professor I guess because he speaks 2 languages)

    + Russian new money

    + The egotistical special one, and

    + Arab money (last year at least)

    I wonder what people like you really have in their mind when they write such rubbish.

  • Comment number 93.

    @89 The problem still comes down to profit. Compare the money Chelsea made from shirt sales and sponsorships prior to winning the title and afterwards. That initial investment made them far bigger in terms of global presence. Stoke will not win the Premiership in the next 10 years. If they find any good players then teams like Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and City will buy them. That's where the problem is and the CL money is as bad as any rich owner.

  • Comment number 94.

    One little thing I noted....whenever high tension and soul crushing disappointment happens, the odd supporter will be seen a bit weepy. So it was yesterday with both Man City and Man Utd fans doing it in disappointment.
    Not a word said.
    It happens all the time, with ALL teams.
    Human nature.
    BUT only Newcastle have been attacked and mocked for it. BBC doing it just like any other. Newcastle are the only club to see the media GLORY in their misfortune (the disgusting scenes at Aston Villa and elsewhere on Newcastle's relegation - the media were worse)
    So when watching the odd weepy Man City fans when they thought they had lost out, like TWO Newcastle fans did all those years ago at Bolton, I wondered "Will the media make a big deal ? Will the gloat and sneer in the same manner, and try to insinuate that it ONLY happens with Newcastle fans ?
    Surprise surprise.....they didn't.

  • Comment number 95.

    I agree with Tony (comment number 1). Well done City. I do wonder though whether the seperation of the Premier league from the Football leagues has been good for English football. My team (Boing Boing) is one of the twelve founder members and has done well this year, has great players, plays good, exciting attacking football and has (until just now, as the FA has recognised) a world class manager. However WBA, whilst financially very sound, are not a greatly monied club. In my opinion it would be good for the game if there was more churn at the top. That means less money at the top and is why I am so glad that Man U are losers.

  • Comment number 96.

    73. At 10:28 14th May 2012, Tchase1 wrote:
    @43 Probably the worst prediction I have ever seen MUFC behind Liverpool? Have a day off

    Even I have to agree.....

  • Comment number 97.

    To be honest I have no issues with City's spending. We all have to deal with it. I congratulate them on their success. They were worthy champions. I look more to the 4 -4 Everton debacle than financial fair play. However if UEFA/FIFA bring in financial fair play rules then any attempt to circumvent them by asking your Arab cousin to pay over the odds for goods and services should be clamped down on.

  • Comment number 98.

    #1
    United bought the title; City had the title bought for them. See the difference?

    That said, as a United fan, I really can't begrudge the City FANS this title. For 40 years of pain, dreaming, loyalty, sticking with their team through thick and thin (mostly thin); they deserve it.

  • Comment number 99.

    Congratulations to Man City, for once Man Utd can walk their way to the title. Yes they have money, like Chelsea have too but Mancini has done a superb job. Just look at Mark Hughes before him.

    http://playwithflair.com/2012/05/14/a-premier-league-hangover/

  • Comment number 100.

    To all United haters,

    The reason why United have spent big money in the past is because we've earned the right to!! In the last 19 years, we haven't finished outside the top 3 in the league, winning it 13 times, we've been to 3 Champions League finals, winning it once. We are the most valuable club in the world and we've done it the right way by bringing through youth and a good scouting system.

    Don't get me wrong here, I hate Arsenal, but I do have some respect for them, at least they bring through youth and live within their means.

    City will be another Chelsea in 3/4 years, scrapping it out for the 4th spot!

 

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