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Who are FC Timisoara?

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BBC Sport blog editor | 22:27 UK time, Tuesday, 17 August 2010

If Manchester City fans had only one question on their minds after the draw for the Europa League play-offs, it was probably this: Just who are FC Timisoara?

Having pulled the Romanians out of the glass bowl at Uefa HQ in Nyon two weeks ago, City fans will have been flocking to their atlases and busily clicking on web-based encyclopedias to find out more about the team that stands in their way of the group stage of European football's second-tier competition.

But the story of FC Timisoara, as they eventually came to be known, is one with many complications, a point Jonathan Wilson brilliantly explained in his blog on the Guardian website exactly a year ago as the club from the west of Romania prepared to face Stuttgart for a place in the Champions League.

To try to tell it briefly, the city of Timisoara has endured a strange time with its football clubs recently. In 2000, the city's original club, Politehnica 1921 Stiinta Timisoara, were moved 347 miles by Italian owner Claudio Zambon to Bucharest (where they now play in the fourth division of Romanian football) in order to bolster their fanbase, a switch that spectacularly backfired. It was a relocation that makes Wimbledon's controversial move to Milton Keynes seem like a walk across the park.

With a sporting vacuum needing to be filled in Timisoara, AEK Bucharest moved west two years later before AEK's then owner, Anton Dobos, changed their name to Politehnica AEK Timisoara. They were adopted by the city as their own, playing in the same ground with the same kit as the old Politehnica, before Zambon sued the club and won, meaning Timisoara had to give up their claims to the history of Politehnica Timisoara and change both their club badge and the colour of their shirts.

In truth, the history of these football clubs lends itself more to a book than a blog. From scouring the internet and a chat with the club's press officer, the helpful Levente Balint, it quickly becomes apparent that the Timisoara situation is something of a minefield, with legal issues and court cases aplenty.

But hopefully for the people of the city and the players, FC Timisoara are here to stay. Dobos's replacement Marian Iancu, who is also president of the UK-based oil company Balkan Petroleum (BKP), certainly has the confidence to mix with the big-hitters of European football as they aim for a place in the group stages at City's expense.

timisoara595.jpgCan Mancini and Tevez survive a shock at Petrovic and Contra's Timisoara?

"We are over-motivated to go to the group stages," Iancu, who has invested more than £33m in the club, told BBC Sport. "We will eliminate Manchester City, as we did last season against Shakhtar Donetsk [in the Champions League qualifying competition, before they lost to Stuttgart in the next round].

"I have great confidence in my team - this will not just be another show, it will be our triumph. Our players have a financial bonus for these two games, some of them can earn about £80,000 each if we knock City out.

"We are a mature team, we have huge experience already and we can pull off this surprise. We will win in Timisoara and make life hard for them away. We just need some courage, to bring the people to the stadium and make them believe in our strength."

So, next question: who are the players Iancu is banking on to cause what would be a seismic shock in the capital of Timis County?

Well, according to the usually reliable transfermarkt website, the squad's value is about £21.5m, less than the individual transfer fees of eight City players - Robinho, Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez, Joleon Lescott, David Silva, Yaya Toure, Mario Balotelli and James Milner.

Winger Alexandru Curtean, left-back Laszlo Sepsi, midfielder Lukas Magera and striker Dorin Goga all cost the club more than one million euros (£826,000), while the most notable name on the teamsheet will be familiar to many football fans, as Balint explained to me.

"Cosmin Contra is the most famous player we have," he said. "Now he is 34 years old and he has come back to his native town after a glorious career which took him to Spain with Alaves, Atletico Madrid and Getafe, Italy with AC Milan and England with West Brom. He played 72 times for Romania, making him the most-capped Timisoaran player of all time."

Though president Iancu's confidence in his players is commendable, it isn't exactly backed up by a flying start to the season, with Timisoara winning only one of their first four games and sitting sixth in the table after a 1-1 draw at lowly Universitatea Craiova on Sunday.

Manager Vladimir Petrovic, at least, is aware of the task facing the Timisorenii. "I think it's normal that the owner says we will qualify, surely he wants to give an impulse to the team," said the 55-year-old, who played 34 times for Yugoslavia and is a Red Star Belgrade legend. "We respect each team and we respect Manchester City, but we are not afraid of them."

Petrovic should know a thing or two about English football too, after a 22-game spell playing for Arsenal during the 1982-83 season the Gunners' first foreign signing (at £500,000 an expensive one, too) scored three times.

A continent will be keeping a close eye on an upset on Thursday, but Timisoara is a city well used to people looking in on it from the outside. This, after all, was the place where the Romanian Revolution began in 1989, a bloody conflict in which communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown and executed by firing squad.

This time, however, Timisoara will be the setting for a football match that might just turn into a carnival, according to club captain Dan Alexa. "For the city of Timisoara, playing against one of the best teams in the world is a real reason for celebration."

Tickets for the contest at the Dan Paltinisanu stadium can be bought for as little as £5, Balint tells me. It seems a small price to pay to see one of European football's most intriguing early-season ties, as Roberto Mancini and his Manchester City superstars aim to avoid an embarrassing upset.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    stroll in the park for city
    wont mess up like spurs

  • Comment number 2.

    @1 Learn nothing from last night?

    These teams are not walk-overs and they play like its a cup final.

  • Comment number 3.

    Having spent a few weeks in Romania over the summer helping at a children's centre, I've got a bit of an affinity with Romania now, and having flown into Timisoara the familiar name makes for even more of a connection. Add to this the fact that Man City are the new Man United/Chelsea in terms of being the least favourite team of everyone else in the country, and I think it's safe to say I'll be hoping for an upset here!

  • Comment number 4.

    Very strange but interesting story about this team but nonetheless they have qualified to get there on merit.

    They have no pressure on them to win, just the £80,000 win bonus (which will be huge to most of their players) and a place in the groups of the Europa League. That will have them all really fired up for it. They will play with no fear and will probably have taken great heart from the Young Boys performance on Tuesday.

    Mancini will have it drilled in to them that they must win because he knows the pressure will really be on him if they slip up. Either way i still see City progressing. Winning 2-0 or 2-1 away and then wrapping it up at home nicely.

    #1 Pipe down until you have something sensible to say

  • Comment number 5.

    If City play anything like what they did against Spurs it could be a very interesting game. I do reckon that they're going to go through, because in the end, them being at home is going to be a huge advantage. But the away leg could be a thriller, and I wouldn't be overly shocked if it ends up as a draw/even a loss for city. When teams come out in these all or nothing situations, they're going to play better. For city the game isn't particularly important, a fired up squad could get at them.

  • Comment number 6.

    The Underdog can and often does have a bit more bite than is expected, will be interesting, the crappy pitches favor the home side as well

  • Comment number 7.

    Man City did beat EB Streymur two years ago and everybody knows how good they were.

    The only survivors from that magnificent City team are Hart, Richards, Johnson (knee injury), Etuhu and Onuoha (loaned to Sunderland).

    Probable team

    ------------------Given

    ----Logan--------Lescott---------Bridge

    -----------Barry---------Vieira

    ----Weiss---------Yaya-----------swp

    ------------Jo-------------RSC

  • Comment number 8.

    City won't have a plastic pitch to blame it on against these guys and i hope they lose because to be fair they may have all this money and a so called amazing manager etc. but one thing they don't have is consistency. Yeah Chelsea did the whole buying aload of players and being successful but they've stuck with them now whereas Mancini just buys more and more slowly edging out the so called "lower par" players and when you change a squad as much as they do players start to get annoyed, especially all these youngsters who just want to play and get benched just because the person playing cost more money than them.

  • Comment number 9.

    Stevo, the story of Timisoara sounds a little similar to Bohemians Praha.

    In the Czech Rep there is a history of teams changing names, moving about etc. When Bohemians Praha went bust a few years ago their name and image (kit colours, logo etc) was effectively adopted by FC Strizkov. However, the fans of Bohemians (Bohemka) raised funds to bring their club back in to existance. The name Bohemians 1905 was adopted, they stayed at Dolicek, their home ground and kept using the Kangaroo club badge (Klokan) as well as the same colours.

    It wasn't confusing for anyone when Bohemians 1905 played Bohemians Praha as only one team had any fans. However, it all came to a head last year in a most bizarre way. Bohemians Praha after warming up for their away game to Bohemians 1905 and a minute before kick off, refused to play. They claimed that Bohemians 1905 was not a member of the league and that they disputed Bohemians 1905's rights to the club logo. Bohemians 1905 won the case and Bohemians Praha were severely fined and docked points (ultimately they were relegated).

    To me and all other Bohemka fans there is only one Bohemka! Sure the name changes and now, due to off field problems, we're having to ground share with Slavia Prague. The fans are trying to raise funds to buy save their ground. It really is a labour of love. They're not getting any returns on their investments, just the chance to ensure Bohemka keep on playing.

    To me a club is it's fans. Yes, the corporates sell and trade and sometimes the business collapses, but where there is a real will and desire, the fans will keep their club alive.

    Back on topic... I am interested in how City will fare this season. They have spent big, silly amounts of money to be honest, and now need to back up their investment and win silverware. That's much easier to type than it will be for City to make a reality.

  • Comment number 10.

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

  • Comment number 11.

    Reading the City message boards, it seems a vast majority of us expect nothing short of a walkover tonight and a cricket score on the return leg. In typical City fan style, we've raised our expectations so high and I can guarantee there'll be calls for heads to roll if we don't achieve those expectations.

    Yet Timisoara came second in what is probably not the least competitive league in Europe and last year overturned Shakhtar Donetsk. Not to mention there's a lot less pressure on them and it's a cup final to them.

    We may be among the most loyal fans in the country, but too many have no understanding of what goes into making a TEAM that can be expected to turn over the sort of result you'd expect if Chelsea or United went there. Patience is the keyword.

  • Comment number 12.

    To Quote NATH
    “Yeah Chelsea did the whole buying aload of players and being successful but they've stuck with them now whereas Mancini just buys more and more slowly edging out the so called ‘lower par’ players”

    Lets give City and Mancini a chance shall we, he’s only been in the post for half a season and this is his first real transfer opportunity so how can he be accused of just “Buying More and More!” the vast majority of players on his books were purchased very foolishly by Hughes and Sven so Mancini cannot be at fault for any of that. I agree Chelsea did the whole buying players and sticking with them thing during Several seasons but how do you know City won’t follow Chelsea’s blueprint and follow suit we've only had money in our back burner for 2 years now. For any team to improve their chances at silverware they have to build on their squad and I don’t conform to this belief that City are to blame for this hike in transfer fees, I notice no one ever mentions the Swamp for selling a player for £80 Million as being the catalyst, but then again you either love or hate them and I am most defiantly in the latter.

  • Comment number 13.

    Come on Timisoara! I love cup upsets, it breaks the monotony of 'expected' results.

  • Comment number 14.

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

  • Comment number 15.

    @no.3 and anyone else praying for an upset.

    "The fact that Man City are the new Man United/Chelsea in terms of being the least favourite team of everyone else in the country"

    Says more about small-minded indivduals than Man City.

  • Comment number 16.

    #10
    With the squad of players they have you would expect them to take any competition very seriously! Best to show some respect for the so-called 'wee boys' first if they want to be up there with big clubs who've actually won trophies in recent years!

    The Romanian league has produced some very decent players and I'm not sure City are at a standard yet where they can afford to write anyone off. Any team who can see off Shaktar Donetsk last year will be more than handy.

  • Comment number 17.

    'I love football more than life itself'? Please immediately remove they ridiculously banal clause from your self description, it's so cheesey and tacky.

  • Comment number 18.

    They are probably wndering who this Man City team are...completely unheard of before 2009/10!

  • Comment number 19.

    They are probably wndering who this Man City team are...completely unheard of before 2009/10!

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Rubbish!! They'll know them as the side that conceded 8 to Middlesbrough on the final day of the 08/09 season.

  • Comment number 20.

    Jonathan your blog throws up really interesting questions regarding where the heart, history and soul of a club really lay. For an organisation to up sticks and move hundreds of miles away from their original and often tribal fanbase only to be later subplanted by a previously rival side dispensing cuckoo-like with their own identity throwing on the former hometown clubs' colours and coat.

    In U.S. sports like MLS Baseball and NFL teams are franchised and move about a fair bit - great piece on wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relocation_of_professional_sports_teams

    Do you know if the fans in cities where they started out or where former glories were made still support them or look on with anger and resentment? eg. Cleveland Rams - L.A. Rams - St.Louis Rams.

  • Comment number 21.

    Interesting to read that James Milner signed for Man. City because Mancini told hime that they were going to win the league. How gullible are people to belive that or is that the big wages talking?

  • Comment number 22.

    Stroll in the park at your own perils.

    Romanians are never easy meat as they will be playing like FINAL and City's millionaires will be torn in tatters because Winning Team need time to build and not assembled.

  • Comment number 23.

    All this sniping and criticism of Man City is a little unfair. Just about every team in the English (greed is good) Premier League, has quite happily sold out their traditions, fans and history in the pursuit of more money.

    City are no different to Man Utd, Chelsea etc, they are just doing it on a larger scale.

    The game has been taken away from the fan, and is now just a plaything and money making object for Oligarchs, Arabs and Americans.

    In ten years time when every club has its own TV deal and is spending half its season touring the Far East and America for Commercial opportunities, when the disparity between the haves and the have not’s is even larger, when you have every ground named after a sponsor, when the game has been split into quarters to allow more advertising......... Will we step up and claim our game back? Or will it be too late?......

  • Comment number 24.

    eh?

    The originial Timmy moved from Italy to Romania?

    And then a team from Romania moved to Timmy in Italy? And changed their name to Timmy?

    Is that what happened or have I mis-read that???????





  • Comment number 25.

    24. At 11:00am on 19 Aug 2010, The Midland 20 wrote:
    eh?

    The originial Timmy moved from Italy to Romania?

    And then a team from Romania moved to Timmy in Italy? And changed their name to Timmy?

    Is that what happened or have I mis-read that???????
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm guessing reading comprehension wasn't your best subject at school.

    Nothing to do with Italy. The original Timmy had an Italian owner. They moved to Bucharest (capital of Romania), and a small club from Bucharest then moved to Timmy and took their name.

  • Comment number 26.

    Should be easy. Just i hope that Mancini thinks its going to easy because thats what spurs thought and they lost ???

  • Comment number 27.

    Who the hells Timmy and what's he doing in Italy when it sounds to me he should be in Romania?

  • Comment number 28.

    So when are they playing one of the best teams in the world?
    next round?

  • Comment number 29.

    Couldn't care less about this competition, hope we get beat really.

  • Comment number 30.

    "@no.3 and anyone else praying for an upset.

    "The fact that Man City are the new Man United/Chelsea in terms of being the least favourite team of everyone else in the country"

    Says more about small-minded indivduals than Man City."

    As a villa fan, you taking our best player two seasons in a row with no tact (lerner stating that man city were told no to buying milner yet you carried on) I can definitely say that you are the most hated club in the premier league for a few more supporters now and you should get used to it. Add that to the way you don't have room in a 25 man squad for arguably your best player last season bellamy for big name transfers is a shame for football too

  • Comment number 31.

    In answer to JoC (no 20) I think there are still elderly New Yorkers who rage about how the Brooklyn Dodgers were lured to Los Angeles and that switch happened in 1958!

    Clubs shifting identities and taking over the identities of other sides isn't confined to far away places like Romania. It's happened in Italy within the past decade when Fiorentina went bust. I'm not 100% sure of what exactly happeend next but my understanding was that the key assets (includig use of the stadium and, crucially, the player registrations) somehow got switched to a little club in the Florence suburbs called Fiorentia, who adopted Fiorentina's violet strip and red fleur-de-lys crest and played in the Tuscany/Umbria zone of Serie D as Fiorentia Viola. This caused major problems for the small town semi-pro sides they were playing- the Fiorentina away support was sometimes bigger than the total population of some of the towns they were playing in. I came across the story when on holiday in Perugia; there were reports in the press about the regional Prefect in Umbria ordering the Tuscany/Umbria service of RAI to televise a Fiorentia Viola game against (I think) Gualdo Tadino live to avoid public order issues (imagine that happening here.....). Of course Fiorentina played their way through the lower divisions, reassumed their proper name and and now back in Serie A.

    And don't even start on the tangled tale of ES Clydebank in the then Scottish Second Division in the 1960's......

  • Comment number 32.

    #30. The fact that Barry and Milner made their intentions clear they wanted to come to City says a lot about Villa, Just because the management at Villa said No doesn't mean the players did.!
    I don't disagree that Bellamy was our best player last year and I admire him as a player but he does struggle to play consecutive games as did Petrov and when your battling for a champions league place with the likes of Liverpool and Spurs you need strong players who don't pick up injuries easy. Besides he's only gone out on Loan, Like Hart did last season and he's now Englands No1 Keeper so what does that say about the squad City are forming.
    City fans couldn't care less what other fans think of them, fact is we've been in the shadows of arguably the biggest club in the world for years and now we have money to spend the deadly sin of Envy is creeping into the woodwork of every other Premier league club who lets face it would Love to be in this position. I'm just glad the good times are here for us eventually, I'd love to see Villa Park be filled if they went down to the 2nd division, Maine Road faithful never gave up and we'll be there forever more CTID..!!

  • Comment number 33.

    Why is this article only half complete? I want to know who are Man City?

  • Comment number 34.

    #31 Forthview - thanks for the incredible story regarding Fiorentina...unbelievable how they got away with that? No wonder certain teams know that they can run up unserviceable debts that their immense fanbases probably mean they could always rise Phoenix like from the ashes. What a great idea for EPL teams on the brink of going bust to copy - all quickly set up lower league copies of themselves? ;)

    Also very interesting comment about the embittered Dodgers' fans. Would they support the L.A. team when they come to town againsts the Yankees an Mets or have they long since switched any allegiance after the way they were discarded?

  • Comment number 35.

    At 1:08pm on 19 Aug 2010, Forthview wrote:
    In answer to JoC (no 20) I think there are still elderly New Yorkers who rage about how the Brooklyn Dodgers were lured to Los Angeles and that switch happened in 1958!

    Clubs shifting identities and taking over the identities of other sides isn't confined to far away places like Romania. It's happened in Italy within the past decade when Fiorentina went bust. I'm not 100% sure of what exactly happeend next but my understanding was that the key assets (includig use of the stadium and, crucially, the player registrations) somehow got switched to a little club in the Florence suburbs called Fiorentia, who adopted Fiorentina's violet strip and red fleur-de-lys crest and played in the Tuscany/Umbria zone of Serie D as Fiorentia Viola. This caused major problems for the small town semi-pro sides they were playing- the Fiorentina away support was sometimes bigger than the total population of some of the towns they were playing in. I came across the story when on holiday in Perugia; there were reports in the press about the regional Prefect in Umbria ordering the Tuscany/Umbria service of RAI to televise a Fiorentia Viola game against (I think) Gualdo Tadino live to avoid public order issues (imagine that happening here.....). Of course Fiorentina played their way through the lower divisions, reassumed their proper name and and now back in Serie A.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just to expand on this excellent story. Fiorentina or (Fiorentia as they were then known) won promotion from Serie C2 but due to the Caso Catania case (well worth a read as well), they skipped Serie C1 and were admitted to Serie B for what was termed as 'Sports Merits'!

  • Comment number 36.

    Totally agree with #23

    I think that boundaries of professional sport are being are being pushed to the limit...where does it all stop. I mean, Bellamy going to Cardiff and City paying the wages. What's that all about - will the all Championship teams end up Premier League 'B' teams?

    I'm afraid that English football is on the edge of bankrupcy both in spirit and economically. Sorry about going over the same old things again, but I am worried that grassroots sport (even lower level pro football) is being sacrificed on the altar of capital advancement (with the agents taking their inflated cut in the meanwhile.)

    I think the only thing that will stop this is a big European team going bust, but until then it appears the bangwagon rolls on.

    Nothing against Man City by the way...the Arab owners could have bought any big team as a play thing.


  • Comment number 37.

    Thanks for all the comments. Bit surprised no Wimbledon/MK Dons fans have had their say so far, though there's plenty of time...

    4. Great point. Tottenham's start on Tuesday was incredible. You can talk about not taking anything for granted all you want, but their body language in the first half spoke of a team that thought it would win the tie just by turning up. You can bet the Timisoara players will race out of the block tonight and put the pressure on City.

    9. Brilliant stuff, and I totally agree. It seems players, managers, chairman, heck, even club crests and grounds come and go, but the fans are always the same. Good luck with your boys this season.

    Just for those City fans saying they don't care about the Europa League - why? Don't you think you've got a big enough squad to challenge on all fronts this season? Or would you take an embarrassing exit in the hope it enables you to concentrate on the Premier League? Surely there's nothing like getting in the habit of winning games, especially with a squad that needs time to gel?

  • Comment number 38.

    Thanks JamTay (35)- I thought Fiorentina got back to Serie A a season more quickly than I'd expected! Thanks for the steer to the Caso Catania. I remember being in Italy when the serie B sides were refusing to play becasue of league reorganisation but I must have missed the back story- I'm sure I'd have remembered due to the Siena angle (it's a city I love and I've always been intrigued by A C Siena's ground- it boggled my mind that it was ever acceptable for Serie A games).

    Siena have a bit of a recent history for ropey stuff, though; when I was there at the end of the 2005/6 season they lost 3-0 to Juventus in the second last game of the season. All three goals went in in the first ten minutes and Siena scarcely tried for the next 80. The Siena side was stuffed with Juve loan players linked to the Moggi agency and the local press had virtually been predicting a result along those lines in the days before the match. I wasn't at all surprised when the scandal surrounding Moggi broke a few weeks later. Siena were one of the sides investigated but didn't get hit with a penalty- I must say I was amazed they weren't.

    Of course Fiorentina were involved in that scandal too....

    As far as baseball goes, I don't know if the Dodgers case still affects support these days. The franchise move was a big deal back in the 50's because of the distances involved, becasue franchises didn't move around all that often those days and because it was seen as piece of symbolism underlinig the shifts in power within the US away from the old power centres in the north east to the west coast- there hadn't been a Major League side in California before (I'm not sure there was one west of the Mississippi before the Dodgers). And they were a big side- it would be a bit like Man U relocating to Cambridge because the economy of the east of England was booming.

  • Comment number 39.

    #20

    Another very good example are the Cleveland Browns when Art Modell wanted to take the franchise (and name) to Baltimore. After a campaign of widespread protest the city + fans eventually won the legal right to keep the name/colours, history and records in Cleveland + the Browns came back after a three year gap..

    ..a good example of how history and teams matter to fans, and how they can stand in the way of business-oriented owners like Modell

    The Browns..now owned by a one Mr Randy Lerner..

  • Comment number 40.

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

  • Comment number 41.

    30. At 12:49pm on 19 Aug 2010, LernersLoveChild wrote:
    "@no.3 and anyone else praying for an upset.

    "The fact that Man City are the new Man United/Chelsea in terms of being the least favourite team of everyone else in the country"

    Says more about small-minded indivduals than Man City."

    As a villa fan, you taking our best player two seasons in a row with no tact (lerner stating that man city were told no to buying milner yet you carried on) I can definitely say that you are the most hated club in the premier league for a few more supporters now and you should get used to it. Add that to the way you don't have room in a 25 man squad for arguably your best player last season bellamy for big name transfers is a shame for football too
    ----------

    What a load of whiney tripe. So it's City you hate but you're okay with Lerner and Milner? If Villa said no the first time, they could have continued to say no each time City came calling. But, they didn't, did they. No, they cashed in.

    Villa have spent buckets of cash in the last three years and have nothing to show for it. Now your owner is looking to get some of his money back.

    I have no hate for City. They are doing nothing different than what the big clubs have been doing for decades - spending more money than rivals. You can spout all the nonsense you want about sugar-daddy vs. earning the money but in the end, where that money comes from doesn't matter.

  • Comment number 42.

    Sounds a lot like another "Fulham" fairy tale to me

  • Comment number 43.

    #39 Rob04 - very interesting story re: Cleveland Browns. After a little digging it appears that the 3 year gap was when they moved Baltimore and became the Ravens (all players and staff relocated)? After the Browns fans protested and won a lawsuit against the league the NFL said Cleveland could have a 'new' franchise aa few years later nd use their original name 'so as to keep the history and colours alive', but it was essentially a brand new organisation with a new roster and stadium. It would be like Chelsea's entire club (Abramovich, John Terry et al ) becoming Moscow Chelski and a brand footie club springing up back in London with the old name and kit but a new ground I guess? Also wiki states - 'several NFL franchises used the threat of relocation to coerce their respective cities to build new stadiums with public funds. Such franchises include the Broncos, Patriots, Eagles, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Bengals, Steelers, Lions, Cardinals, and Colts'. Can you imagine a football team like Liverpool wielding so much power?

    It seems that the Buffalo Bills could be next to move - up to Toronto apparently to become the first non-U.S. based team. They already get up 14,000 Canadians to travel down to Buffalo for the home games.

    #38 Forthview - thanks for your answer regarding the Dodgers. Would be good to know though as New Yorkers are famous for their partisanship.

  • Comment number 44.

    Some comments on here that remind me of Malcolm Allison's infamous "We'll terrify Europe" quote!
    It seems that with a new found wealth,comes an arrogance that only successful clubs can justify..the headline "who are Timisoara"should be turned on it's head by asking "who are man citeh"?
    After all,football in Manchester is dominated by their mighty neighbours,whose success citeh are trying to emulate!
    The time for fans to boast is when the cup,any cup,has been won..not before a ball has been kicked!
    It will all end in tears!

  • Comment number 45.

    To quote South Park:

    "TIMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

  • Comment number 46.

    #43

    Wouldn't surprise me if the BBills did move to Toronto given the proximity of the cities (in NAmerican terms!). Canada would be a great expansion market for the NFL in general and the first one across a national border. And yes the NFL franchises have been pretty successful at levering public funds in the US using the relocation threat. Can't imagine British clubs doing it en masse. In Scotland where small clubs have relocated and local authorities have invested cash to house them (e.g. Clyde), it generally hasn't worked out for either party but it would be another issue altogther to see what would happen were teams like Liverpool who have international/national as well as local followers to go down this route.

  • Comment number 47.

    #41

    You can spout all the nonsense you want about sugar-daddy vs. earning the money but in the end, where that money comes from doesn't matter.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I would argue that in the end it does matter where the money comes from and not enough questions are asked about where and how owners get their cash. There are some clubs in EEurope for example, that no more than fronts or laundering machines for the local mob..drug and gun running, people traffikers..just as clubs in Columbia in recent years were bankrolled by the Cartels..not surprising though you take the 'greed is good' approach but really you should be more careful what you wish for..and who you hand your club over too..

  • Comment number 48.

    I was in Timisoara when the draw was made & went to see them play Cluj
    Nice city, old east european ground with 40,000 uncovered bucket seats in a big bowl
    They won 3-1 & they are ok going forward but can be a bit comical defending
    They seem to be well accepted by the city - 15,000 or so fans, but they are expected to sell out tonight (though loads will be there just to see City)
    Good city, cheap beer, clubs open to 6 (apparently)& a pretty relaxed approach to licensing laws. I think anyone who's over there will have a good time.

  • Comment number 49.

    #46 Without wishing to hijack the blog or take it too much off topic, would it be a good investment for the likes of Liverpool City Council to help fund a stadium for Liverpool and/or Everton in the long-term? Similarily Birmingham for City and/or Villa? I suppose they wouldn't be allowed to use public money that way but as you say it's been tried at smaller clubs in Scotland the returns given the EPL's worlwide appeal could be big?...plus if it worked out for Man City and soon West Ham.....?

    Bringing it right back to the blog and who really owns a club's history and identity would it ever work for a city's own public to truely own their club - before we start seeing franchise movement in soccer too to the scale of New York to L.A. Dodgers?

  • Comment number 50.

    @47 You make a fair point. However before the Arab ownership Man City were owned by Thaksin Shinawatra. So you could argue that their club is now in safer hands lol!

    Also you say be careful who your club is handed over to, but the problem is that fans do not have that choice and are barely considered.

  • Comment number 51.

    30. At 12:49pm on 19 Aug 2010, LernersLoveChild wrote:
    "@no.3 and anyone else praying for an upset.

    "The fact that Man City are the new Man United/Chelsea in terms of being the least favourite team of everyone else in the country"

    Says more about small-minded indivduals than Man City."

    As a villa fan, you taking our best player two seasons in a row with no tact (lerner stating that man city were told no to buying milner yet you carried on) I can definitely say that you are the most hated club in the premier league for a few more supporters now and you should get used to it. Add that to the way you don't have room in a 25 man squad for arguably your best player last season bellamy for big name transfers is a shame for football too
    ----------

    What a load of whiney tripe. So it's City you hate but you're okay with Lerner and Milner? If Villa said no the first time, they could have continued to say no each time City came calling. But, they didn't, did they. No, they cashed in.

    Villa have spent buckets of cash in the last three years and have nothing to show for it. Now your owner is looking to get some of his money back.

    I have no hate for City. They are doing nothing different than what the big clubs have been doing for decades - spending more money than rivals. You can spout all the nonsense you want about sugar-daddy vs. earning the money but in the end, where that money comes from doesn't matter.

    ________________________________________________________________________

    Villa May have spent a bit of cash the last few seasons but nowhere near what Man City have spent. You say Villa have nothing to show for it but did I miss something because Man City have won nothing either.

    Mancini's retort to Fergusons rant about Man City's spending was also weak, to paraphrase 'They spent lots of money too!!'
    Not really, we bought 1 or 2 big players every few years but a lot of our best signings were bargains if not free.

    For every Berbatov and Rooney we have a Giggs, Scholes, Fletcher, Neville, Gibson. Hell Ronaldo was only around 12million.

  • Comment number 52.

    I also believe Man City would have done better with Sven than Mancini when it comes to signing players, I think its almost certainty that Mancini is just a yes man to the owners unlike Hughes.

  • Comment number 53.

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

  • Comment number 54.

    If Citeh lose expect Mancini to get the same treatment in Lancashire as Ceausescu did in Timisoara!!!

  • Comment number 55.

    News just in from our friends at Infostrada Sports (http://twitter.com/infostradalive):

    The Hypercube/Infostrada Sports Euro Club Index (http://www.infostradasports.com/download/Euro_Club_Index.pdf) ranks FC Timisoara as the 125th best top flight club in Europe, making them the Romanian equivalent of Bolton Wanderers. Manchester City are 99 places higher at 26 on the list.

  • Comment number 56.

    to whoever listed all the man u players who were in excess of £10 million, they were expensive buys over a period of about 10 years and they still don't add up to the same amount Man city have spent in the last 2 seasons. Man U have bought one or two choice signnings each season to complement their team. It is a useless comparison comparing a team like man U who have earned their money through continuous high quality and Man city have just got a windfall of money that they have thrown at the transfer window and seen what sticks.

  • Comment number 57.

    #50
    I was making a general point that it does matter who owns a club for a whole host of very good reasons..if you wanted to argue that City were in safer hands now then that substantiates my point.

    Fans are barely considered in that model of ownership which places it in private hands yes. Now if the fans owned their club that would be a different approach. Barca have a share system and clubs like Hamburg I think are owned by their fans as part of a football trust..generates about 1.5m Euro each season for them which they then top up with a good load of TV money to provide player revenue. Can't see that as having much appeal in the English greed league but there are different models of ownership around, and not just the slings and arrows of fortune approach.

  • Comment number 58.

    City will break them, full stop. Soon MC will be the most favorite club and not only in England.

  • Comment number 59.

    As Man City are now "a big club" why not rename them "the big C"? because thats what they are fotballs answer to.

  • Comment number 60.

    Have we forgotten that that place in known for uprising? Be careful City!

  • Comment number 61.

    I think that it was also a case that;

    If FC Timisoara fans had only one question on their minds after the draw for the Europa League play-offs, it was probably this: Just who are Manchester City ?

  • Comment number 62.

    It is definitely interesting reading into sporting relocations, although, it seems Wimbledon/MK Dons, as you mentioned, is small fry in comparison into MCFC's opponents tonight. Wimbledon's move was so much more high profile due to the lack of anything like it on this scale happening before to the English game.

    I'm more surprised no AFC Wimbledon fans have stopped by the blog before to have a snipe at MK Dons.

    For the record, though, I don't believe the circumstances surrounding Wimbledon or any other clubs relocation be forgotten.

    With regard to tonights fixture, looking forward to seeing Timisoara give their all.

  • Comment number 63.

    I think City are gonna struggle tonight, badly. They wont conceed or conceed many. They might even clinch a goal. But thats it. The other team will be focused 100% on disrupting your chances that they'll be nightmares.

    And I'm another person who feels sorry for what City's turned into. Used to have loads of decent fans who respected the game. Now idiots are popping out everywhere and ruining citys name. Along with the ludicrous spending thats pushing chelseas chequebook to shame.

    Good luck this season. You'll need it more than Liverpool!

  • Comment number 64.

    I love hearing all this talk about how City are the most hated club now, but lets consider a few home truths....
    1. No club will ever be more hated than MU.
    2. Any one who says they hate City because of the money would change their tune immediately if their own club became wealthy.
    3. Whether your team is playing against City, Chelsea, Blackpool or WBA, the feeling you get when you lose is exactly the same.
    4. ...and what I say to people who bag out City for being rich...why do you think the Sheik chose to buy the club in the first place?....because its the best club with the best fans in the world!!!

  • Comment number 65.


    Nice debut. Congratulations to young Mario Balotelli. Good away win for Manchester City.


    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

 

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