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Robinho deal caps day of drama

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Phil McNulty | 08:53 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Manchester City produced a defining moment that changes football's landscape when they stole Robinho from under Chelsea's nose.

Chelsea and Roman Abramovich were suddenly forced to think the unthinkable on a gripping day of deals and counter-deals that kept fans hooked until the last fax had been fired off and the final contract signed.

Abramovich found, like so many others in so many other sports have found before them, that someone bigger and more powerful always comes along eventually.

But did anyone in their right mind think it would be Manchester City - the eternal sideshow of English football?

City fans woke up on Monday morning content that Shaun Wright-Phillips was back home and celebrated with two goals in the win at Sunderland.

Little did they know that within hours they would be transported on a magic carpet ride that was mind-boggling even for a club well-versed in playing fast and loose with the emotions of their followers.

Thaksin Shinawatra was effectively out of the door and the Abu Dhabi United Group, fronted by Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim, was in charge.

And he did not just deliver a statement of intent - he bulldozed through the Premier League's established order with a display of financial firepower that stunned Manchester United and left Chelsea bruised and humiliated.

City first put the frighteners on United by having a bid accepted for Dimitar Berbatov - and when that trail went cold turned on Chelsea to lift the target they have coveted all summer before they even had the chance to see it coming.

It was a show of strength that is more worrying, in the short term, for Arsenal and Liverpool than Chelsea and United because they are more vulnerable to the advances of a potential gatecrasher to their top four cartel.

But what a day - and what a sensational transfer City pulled off by landing Real Madrid's Robinho.

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon was always confident he would land the Brazil superstar - and why not?

He stated his intention to go to Stamford Bridge and set about making it impossible for him to stay at Real Madrid.

What Kenyon did not count on was the sudden, dramatic reality that Abramovich's billions are no longer the guarantee they once were - in fact they are no longer a guarantee at all.

The player who said "I am only thinking of Chelsea" 48 hours before signing for Manchester City showed exactly where his loyalties lie.

The rules of the market, once shaped by Abramovich's vast wealth, have changed after ADUG bought into what they are already calling "Middle Eastlands".

Chelsea are not used to having the rug pulled out of them in such spectacular and public fashion and the response from Stamford Bridge will be intriguing.

So what are the ramifications for City as they and their supporters bask in the after-glow of the Robinho coup and the vast possibilities opening up in front of them?

Whisper it but Robinho might be a major gamble at £32m - a talent more likely to flourish under Luiz Felipe Scolari at Chelsea and surrounded by superstars.

And there will be added pressures on boss Mark Hughes because it is already clear ADUG are not in this to settle for second best. They will provide vast resources but Hughes will be expected to meet what will now be huge demands.

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Hughes must not allow his new paymasters to force players on him. If he feels the way forward is an up-and-coming youngster from the Championship rather than a superstar who will sell shirts, then he must stand his ground firmly.

But Hughes is an outstanding manager who will thrive on this new pressure - and no-one should deny City fans their delight after years of suffering in the shadow of their illustrious neighbours.

It was a quite a sight to see the expressions of stunned bemusement as it sank in that they had trumped the once all-powerful Chelsea for Robinho. You could not help but be happy for them.

City also managed to put the wind up United for a while by muscling on the Berbatov action - so it has been a perfect start to the new era.

The transfer window is, in reality, a farce that should be scrapped - but days like Monday do give it a sinister appeal all of its own as clubs race around desperately writing cheques in an undignified scramble.

Chelsea were major losers in that rush. They had settled on their prime target and sat back and waited - only to be bundled out of the way seconds before the window shut.

It will be have been an uncomfortable moment for chief executive Kenyon when it became clear Real Madrid, unhappy with the manner of Chelsea's pursuit of Robinho, packed off their prized asset elsewhere.

Manchester United finally landed Berbatov, and while Spurs fans will be happy with the £30m-plus they reportedly received, it is not a good signal that they took a Manchester United reserve on loan in the shape of Frazier Campbell to smooth the deal.

New striker Roman Pavlyuchenko has pedigree, but Spurs fans will worry that the shadow of Sergei Rebrov lurks over this deal - a striker who looked world-class until he pulled on the white of White Hart Lane.

They had hoped to bolster their midfield, but strong links with Sporting Lisbon's Miguel Veloso and Standard Liege's Marouane Fellaini came to nothing, with the latter joining Everton.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, as expected, kept out of the mad dash for signings. It is clear he is now determined to stand or fall by his cautious transfer policy, keeping faith with his young and lavishly-gifted current squad.

Liverpool have also gambled on Espanyol's Albert Riera, a player who under-performed in the Premier League on loan at Manchester City. Boss Rafael Benitez needs to get it right with this deal, but is he of the class required to turn them into serious title challengers?

And so to Everton, who tortured their fans in time-honoured fashion before paying a club record £15m to land Belgian Fellaini, outstanding against neighbours Liverpool in the Champions League.

It is a lot of money for an emerging talent, but the pressure on boss David Moyes and chairman Bill Kenwright to deliver a name signing was becoming almost unbearable after a frustating summer in the market.

And while Everton fans will be delighted at the deal, it says little for the planning, strategy and leadership of both Kenwright and Moyes that their major transfer was finally completed in the dying moments before the window shut.

Newcastle's transfer dealings have led to some head-scratching, and I doubt their fans will be entirely happy with the arrival of Deportivo La Coruna striker Xisco and loan signing from Valencia Ignacio Gonzalez.

They will have expected more - and rather more worryingly so might manager Kevin Keegan.

Sunderland fans will be happy to have a much-improved George McCartney back, but where are West Ham heading after also losing Anton Ferdinand?

It was the most dramatic and expensive deadline day ever - with figures produced by business advisory firm Deloitte revealing that £500m was spent by Premier League clubs this summer, an estimated £30m more than last year.

Manchester City were the big winners and Chelsea the losers after being left empty-handed after missing out on Robinho.

What are the thoughts of City fans the morning after the night before? And how do you feel your club performed in the transfer market this summer?


Comments

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  • 1. At 12:04pm on 02 Sep 2008, arsecaptain wrote:

    The thoughts of City fans? Shocked, stunned, very excited and of course, after twenty years of supporting the club, convinced the whole thing will blow up in our faces.

    Supposing it doesn't though? I've no problem with where the money is coming from. There's no way any club could break the "Big 4" nowadays without a major outside investment; so when it comes to accusations of money ruining football, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. We didn't make the rules, we're just playing the game.

    Champions' League in two years? Bring it on!

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  • 2. At 12:16pm on 02 Sep 2008, SuperCarlLeaburnCAFC wrote:

    I have got to say a massive conratulations to man city on the takeover and the signings. Well done. If Man city break into the top 4 and I hope they do, it will be a breath of fresh air. And its about time the people of manchester had a great team to support instead of the Glory hunting londers that support united.

    Come on City.

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  • 3. At 12:19pm on 02 Sep 2008, ILoveTheNHS wrote:

    An incredible day!

    Everyone thought the headline would be Berbatov's move to United, then Man City pull of the transfer of the summer to sign Robinho.

    Clubs will certainly be leaving the transfer window with very different feelings. Manchester City and United will be delighted, where as West Ham and Newcastle and one or to others will be disappointed and I'm sure they'll be a few worried Arsenal fans as well.

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  • 4. At 12:19pm on 02 Sep 2008, bennymcfc10 wrote:

    most exciting transfer deadline day ever!! i was gripped from 9:00am when i got to work and heard about the Man City Take over until 12:30am this morning when it all went quiet-ish!!

    I think even before signing Robinho City made some excellent young signings... Vincent Kompany (22) has already proved to be a fantastic signing, Jo, Zabaletta (both young) and of course SWP who has also already proved to be a fantastic signing!! And now with Robinho i think city can go very very far this season, maybe not quite top four just yet but we have to give the team time to settle in. Maybe win the Carling Cup and get into the Uefa cup places i.e top six finish!!

    Good luck to the Citizens this year i for once am optimistic for a great era starting today at Man City!!!

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  • 5. At 12:24pm on 02 Sep 2008, Epstein wrote:

    Phil

    Interesting article, I posted some thoughts earlier in the day (http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A40439603) in which I suggest that the City takeover has finally led to an insanity in the transfer market. Scrap the window, cap salaries, just do something to end the madness!!

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  • 6. At 12:26pm on 02 Sep 2008, Me again wrote:

    Reminds me a little of the shock signings of Tevez and Mascherano to West Ham a couple of years ago. It was clear they were out of place and just using West Ham as a springboard (look where they are now....). Robhino will soon look elsewhere if he is not quickly surrounded by players of similar talent. Of course with the transfer window now closed, this won't happen soon.

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  • 7. At 12:26pm on 02 Sep 2008, scottcogs wrote:

    I have 'supported' City for 53 years having watched them lose to Newcastle in the 1955 cup final on a very small TV screen. They were my chosen team and I was brought up in the tradition of sticking with your choice through thick and thin (mostly thin I have to say). So I thought I'd seen it all, but as any follower of the blues will tell you, there is always another surpise coming. But this a big even by their standards.
    I am genuinely sorry that football has sold its soul to 'big money' and, probably because I'm of a certain age, I miss the simplicity of turning up at a match on a whim and standing on the terraces without having spent a fortune at the turnstile.
    But as we are told, 'there's no turning back' so I may as well enjoy the fun and amusement, but with mixed feelings.
    I would much prefer a league where any team might win rather than it always being one of the 'big four' even if City may now be about to become a member of that 'select group'. Sport ceases to be sport when the outcome is certain.
    Perhaps I should break the habit of a lifetime and pick a team in the Conference or whatever the marketing men call it now?
    However, I am pleased for my son who has followed his father's team since he was a young boy, always surrounded by United fans and never having seen City win anything. Perhaps his day might be about to come.

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  • 8. At 12:27pm on 02 Sep 2008, Blue_Blogger wrote:

    Like the first responder I can't help but hold my breath - waiting for it all to go pear shaped - but what fantastic news so far. It feels like going 1 up against ManU after 2 minutes. We now have 88 minutes to bite our nails.

    Having said that I would rather languish in mid table season after season than see us become another Arsenal, full of foreign "talent" and no personality. The starting lin-up against Sunderland had 7 British players - if we could maintain something like that *and* be top 4 then that would be something special.

    Roll on Chelsea! That should be interesting.

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  • 9. At 12:27pm on 02 Sep 2008, Stevie357 wrote:

    Arsenal should really have signed an experienced central midfielder - if Fabregas gets injured or suspended, we are in big trouble.

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  • 10. At 12:29pm on 02 Sep 2008, CantonasCollar79 wrote:

    I think the influx of money at Middle-Eastlands will precipitate more spending in January, too. And why not? City have got an owner which, at least on the face of it, is solvent and under no threat from any overhanging legalities in another country. Finally they can rejoin the top table that they have so long been absent from, eyeing it jealously from their yo-yo position of nearly-club and sleeping giant.

    As a United fan, I'm not disappointed that City have Robinho, we always wanted Berbatov, and I'm glad that his head wasn't turned by the obvious fortune that he could have received had he signed for City. I'm over the moon that a player we've wanted for two years is finally ours, and I can't wait for my season ticket to allow me to see more than once or twice a season a player who I admire for his tremendous skill.

    Thanks Fergie - another good egg joins a happy basket.

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  • 11. At 12:29pm on 02 Sep 2008, realthing wrote:

    I do not agree that Man City have changed the face of football. All they did was to have enough money to be able to compete with the big boys and to meet the over inflated price for a player, something that to his credit Abromovich never succumbed too. On the other hand Robinho had no option but to leave Real Madrid as he would have been in for a very uncomfortable season if he had stayed. As Man City were the only club that were willing to meet Real's valuation he has sacrificed his career playing for a team in the Uefa Cup and not in the Champions League.

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  • 12. At 12:30pm on 02 Sep 2008, Tronaron wrote:

    I personally think we'll see the stranglehold tighten even more. Soon they'll be a top 5 that'll become impossible to break. With the premier league becoming the billionaire playground/ business. I think it will start to see the death of football as the clubs find it harder and harder to compete as there is no match for the financial wealth of some of the clubs. Man City will just do a Chelsea and spend for success. As a fan I find myself slowly becoming more and more disillusioned by the Premier League and eventually fans will wake up to it to.

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  • 13. At 12:31pm on 02 Sep 2008, a_proud_devil wrote:

    Erm... 'left Man Utd and Chelsea bruised and humiliated'?

    I know I don't wear my Man Utd tinted glasses quite often, but that managed to puzzle me.

    After all, we got our man, not so?

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  • 14. At 12:32pm on 02 Sep 2008, Me again wrote:

    I agree with comment #11. Calderon's quote sums it up nicely:

    "We have sold Robinho for reasons of a human nature and for sporting reasons. The fact that he has accepted an offer from Manchester City says that he is not going for sporting reasons."

    Spot on.

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  • 15. At 12:34pm on 02 Sep 2008, LuigiGLFC wrote:

    It's a shame that money dictates who finishes where in the Premiership, but that's simply the way it is these days.

    City have always been many people's 'second club' and I don't think anyone should begrudge their fans some happy days - even if, quite rightly, one or two of them are still a little cautious. Man City fans of the past two decades must feel they've been on a 20-year rollercoaster ride!

    Good luck to them, I say! As a Liverpool fan I'm a touch concerned about what it'll all mean to the dynamic of the league, but it should inject a little more excitement to proceedings!

    Shame they didn't scupper Utd's deal for the mecenary that is Berbatov!

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  • 16. At 12:34pm on 02 Sep 2008, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    Phil

    I think you are romanticising slightly here. Chelsea bruised and humiliated? Chelsea have been trying to tighten belts for a while and weren't being held to ransom. Someone else chose to go that one step further. This may prove to be fortuitus in the long term.

    I think when the dust settles, the situation may be more along the lines of:-

    1) Chelsea making do with what they have - served us fairly well last season, although a bit more would have been nice.

    2) Man U spending alot on a player that may prove to be very similar to what they already have.

    3) City signing a player that wanted to go elsewhere. Also, if they don't get into the Champions League, how long will Robinho hang around?

    4) What of SWP? Chelsea sold him to make room for Robinho then look what happens!

    5) What about any fit and proper test for the new City owners? They haven't actually bought the club yet. Premier League, is this right?

    6) Spurs have moaned about having a player tapped up, I think, but won't make a formal complaint. Well, they have sold themselves it would seem

    Finally, why are these things done as blogs now rather than the old style 606 thread?

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  • 17. At 12:35pm on 02 Sep 2008, daveylivo wrote:

    Simply astonished.

    Robinho to Man City is not something I even remotely considered yesterday when keeping my eyes glued on bbc sports transfer page for large unhealthy parts of the day.

    A real statement of intent from the new owners, it will be intruiging to see how this all pans out.

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  • 18. At 12:35pm on 02 Sep 2008, a_proud_devil wrote:

    Re: 13

    I didn't read the whole sentence through...and so I missed 'stunned'.

    Anyway, I still felt we had the financial muscle to land him even when City stepped in.

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  • 19. At 12:35pm on 02 Sep 2008, 0rpheus wrote:

    Personally while I find it interesting that Man City have this money and would love to see a shake up of the top sides, I don't think it will help them a great deal personally. Berbatov is a great example of this - it was obvious that even though spurs accepted the bid, as a player of ambition he was only ever going to a club with genuine champions leage winning potential. Money will only attract the wrong calibur of player in my opinion if you are aiming to buy instant success, but we shall see and with good management they could certainly build an excellent squad over time.

    Interesting article Phill, but just a small note, your link to the Frazer Campbell story is broken.

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  • 20. At 12:36pm on 02 Sep 2008, Laqlouq58 wrote:

    There won't be a top five, unless England gets five Champion$ League places, which it won't.

    One of the Big Four will over the next few years be ousted by Man Ci£y.

    So will it be Arsenal or Liverpool?

    My feeling is that it will be Arsenal because they seem unable to pay the wages necessary to keep their top players (Hleb, Flamini). There must also be a chance that the Dubai bidders will now successfully buy Liverpool (whose American owners just don't have the cash to compete with Abu Dhabi/Man Ci£y).

    Thoughts?

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  • 21. At 12:36pm on 02 Sep 2008, tottinghamtastic wrote:

    I think the Man City takeover is another nail in the premierleague coffin. Clubs should need to earn their spending power, rather than become the playthings of wealthy foreign benefactors who care nothing for the community and the traditions of English football. What we really don't want is 20 chelseas fighting over short-term gains in a soulless league but this is what is already developing. I can't understand why people applaud the Man City developments (except Man City fans of course who had to endure terrible football until last season) when the vast majority of people were disgusted with the spoilt-brat behaviour of Chelsea since Abramovich came in. There will now only be more Abramovichs and in the medium term I believe this will remove genuine passion and satisfaction from the game and generate apathy among the public who are already being outpriced from watching games live.

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  • 22. At 12:37pm on 02 Sep 2008, Zidanepirouette wrote:

    Would have loved to have seen Kenyon's face when he found out City had got Robinho, after all his proclamations that the deal was nearly done, brilliant. It would only have been matched by Fergie's face if City got Berbatov as well but i guess you can't have it all!

    I think Reira will be a good signing. For all the criticsm Liverpool have taken in the opening weeks of the season, it's worth remembering that we are joint-top and have conceded one goal in 5 competitive matches. Watch this space, Rafa's gonna prove a lot of people wrong this season.

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  • 23. At 12:37pm on 02 Sep 2008, wicorthered wrote:

    As a Liverpool fan I am very worried. While we have to listen to owners lying about funds and breaking promises a serious challenger to our champions league spot has emerged. City look like spending hundreds of millions on superstars while LFC are stuck spending pennies on dodgy Spainish wingers. We need DIC now more then ever. Liverpool could become a Tottenham or a Newcastle a big club in name only!!!!! Arsenal too beware if Wenger doesnt sign quality in the next window they too are at serious risk

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  • 24. At 12:37pm on 02 Sep 2008, Tosylate wrote:

    I just hope the new owners give Mark Hughes a proper chance at making the work and produce results.

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  • 25. At 12:37pm on 02 Sep 2008, chelskikovites wrote:

    Sorry, I am at a loss here? For years Chelsea have been accused of overspending on players and paying outrageous transfer fees, and now we have lost a player because we stuck to our guns and refused to pay a high transfer fee we are automatically 'embarrassed' and 'humiliated'. Is that it ?

    LOL. Gimme me a break :)

    We have nicked tons of players from other clubs who wanted them, think of Ballack, Mikel, Robben, Essien from MU alone. It's not an unusual thing to happen, especially when a club is playing 'catchup' as we were 4/5 years ago and Man City are now.

    Robinho is a great winger, I regret he won't be at Chelsea, but I wish Man City all the luck in the world.

    The far more interesting question than the rubbish in this blog is which one of the 'big four' might lose there CL place to Man City. My bet is on Arsenal unless they drag their managers recruiting ideas out of the 1980's.

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  • 26. At 12:38pm on 02 Sep 2008, Sahaviour wrote:

    Why is Phil McNulty only ever able to repeat the news and not offer an analysis or detailed opinion? I'm sure he's a nice guy to have a pint with, but this space could be given to a lot of 606ers for better use.

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  • 27. At 12:39pm on 02 Sep 2008, DavidBeckhamsBeard wrote:

    Phil. I think your comments about Everton waiting right til the end was a touch harsh, especially as some teams like man utd left it very late too. Though I would be a bit concerned about the players they signed, and £15 million is pretty expensive for a reletively unknown player from belgium, but David Moyes doesn't seem to mess up that often so who knows!?!?!

    I share your concerns about Spurs, especially no matter how well Campbell does he's going to go back to Man Utd at the end of the season, and they still look short on numbers upfront, i can't see bent performing for a whole season. THough there is something about Pavylchenko that makes me think he'll be a success, though in the euros he did miss a lot of chances!

    I'm so excited about berbatov, 30 mils a bit pricey, but thats the price for top top class striker whos proven in the premiership. But come may and we've still got the prem and the champs league it'll be worth it!

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  • 28. At 12:40pm on 02 Sep 2008, citymikeok wrote:

    as a true city fan for many a year i do tire of negative statements from bbc reporters

    " But did anyone in their right mind think it would be Manchester City - the eternal sideshow of English football? "

    we achieved more in the late 60's , probably before you were born !!! and will do that again

    as a true city fan , iam really really pleased

    without the signing yesterday we had done really well with what we had achieved already !!!

    why can't folk get behind us and wish us well

    city - i am proud of you


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  • 29. At 12:41pm on 02 Sep 2008, Hitchin_Spurs wrote:

    Tottenham were never 'strongly linked' to Marouane Fellaini.

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  • 30. At 12:42pm on 02 Sep 2008, West London Blues wrote:

    The premier league, football, and money has just gone up another level. The pluses are there for everyone to see and imagine for now:

    The best players now certainly heading AND staying in the EPL rather than Spain and Italy;
    The top four now under serious threat;
    Man U vs Man City rivalry has just gone up another knotch.

    But lets not forget in the long term what impact its going to make for the fans. The EPL world tour is probably going to be even more probable now,
    Cost of tickets/ season tickets inflating
    Clubs no longer just football clubs anymore
    etc.

    The down side of the current stat of EPL is just going to get even worse.

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  • 31. At 12:44pm on 02 Sep 2008, richard crisford wrote:

    realthing,
    "abramovich never succombed to..over inflated price for a player"
    i've almost stopped laughing! next you'll tell me chelski are a big club who'll break even in 4 yrs and robinho is definately gonna arrive within 48hrs!!!

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  • 32. At 12:44pm on 02 Sep 2008, BramhallRed wrote:

    I think yesterday was a great day for Manchester as a whole and proof that as Fergie said recently, we are a great football city.

    I am a season ticket holder at united and a manchester lad so was pleased when we landed our man.

    I think this city revolution will be very interesting as it seems people often forget there are only 4 champions league places. Having money is one thing but you have to spend it on the right players at the right time to improve your squad. Shevchencho at Chelsea is a prime example of this.

    I think it will make for a very interesting season.

    My Prediction

    United Champions
    Chelsea Second
    Arsenal, Liverpool and potentially City for the remaining 2 CL places.

    CL (Heart says united but nobody has retained it since it became CL from European Cup) Think we have the players to do it but you always need the luck on the night

    Happy watching everyone

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  • 33. At 12:45pm on 02 Sep 2008, U9746596 wrote:

    I still think there is a big difference to Chelsea's owner and the rest. It seems very much that Cities new owners are primarily here for the investment, and will demand (quick?) returns on their investment.

    But to Abramovich Chelsea is a toy, and he can throw money away every year and not worry about it, as long is it is bringing him pleasure and excitement.

    I don't think yesterday was a case of someone matching Chelsea's firepower, but rather of quick moving to undermine them.

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  • 34. At 12:45pm on 02 Sep 2008, Petteril wrote:

    Comment no.11 - your comment that Abramovich has never succumbed to meeting over-inflated prices for players is rather sensational and, to be quite frank, totally incorrect....have you already forgotten £21M for SWP, over £16M for Bosingwa and, best of all, £30M for Shevchenko?! Not to mention how much he'll be forking out for Fat Frank's new contract over the next 5 years!

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  • 35. At 12:45pm on 02 Sep 2008, SalemHanna wrote:

    Very happy for City fans, and as a Liverpool supporter I would actually LOVE them to challenge our top 4 status. Likewise Blackburn, Villa, even Portsmouth. Champions League status isn't exciting if you can take it for granted nearly every year.

    Still think they should have kept Erikson, but that wasn't the choice of the new owners.

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  • 36. At 12:45pm on 02 Sep 2008, Russ Wirral wrote:

    It will interesting to see if we read this blog in 3 years time, when Man City will be hated (more so than usual?) on a scale mirroring Chelskea.

    Is this a good thing? More money in the premier league - another club that and will match stupid valuations to catch the star player - that, lets face it has only had one good season and is usually only worth a 3rd of the value paid.

    This scares me, as these new money clubs only serve to test managers and players. regurgitating anything that isnt impeccible. This inevitably ruins careers of managers and footballers...SWP a classic example.

    Trophys are no longer seen as an award , but a life line for a few more months in the job.

    This is not how I want football to be.

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  • 37. At 12:47pm on 02 Sep 2008, pt0608 wrote:

    Wow! What a day to be a City Fan. I live in Australia, so missed out on all the deadline excitement. I went to bed on Monday night with the news of the takeover, just hoping that it would turn out ok for the club. The news I read when I woke up had me flabbergasted. I thought it might be some kind of joke. Of course, there's no one to talk to about it over here, wandering around work trying to get people interested had no effect: "Whats that Mate? Never heard of any Robin Ho?"

    Whilst I am extremely excited about this season now, I can't help but wonder what the catch is. I mean it's City. There must be a catch? Surely? But then again, I remember when we were in Division 2, the only thing I could think of was that our luck would change. Perhaps it has.

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  • 38. At 12:50pm on 02 Sep 2008, respectedFrenchAl wrote:

    Top 4 finish? Citeh look more balanced than L'pool: all that talk of wingers and they get a Citeh reject...whereas Citeh now boast SWP and Robinho. The strike force is not as good a Torres but without him L'pool look lost. And they have a stronge defense, newly including Kompany. As for the gunners...still too much youth and inconsistency, so a top 4 finish could be on the cards (though spot 1 and 2 should and will United and Chelski!)

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  • 39. At 12:54pm on 02 Sep 2008, Bromleydel wrote:

    As an Arsenal fan, Man City's new money is a good thing rather than a threat. We're never in for the top players anyway and it means that the best established players will now get split three ways (between Chelsea, Man Utd and Man City) rather than two, potentially weakening our opposition. That's the hope anyway!

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  • 40. At 12:55pm on 02 Sep 2008, RubberNutz wrote:

    I think its good that Man City are now going to have a chance to take a tilt at breaking up the Big 4 but the real winners here are the Boys at the Bernabau.

    32 million for a guy who makes Anelka and Diouf look like model professionals is a good result in anyones book.

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  • 41. At 12:59pm on 02 Sep 2008, Roxy wrote:

    As a Chelsea fan I have to admit I'm dissapointed that we didn't close the Robinho transfer, I felt he could have given us that creative spark we sometimes miss, but you have to say well done to Man City for a fantastic coup. Having said that this player spent the entire summer claiming he was "desperate" to join Chelsea and then joined a different club at the last minute, it can only have been motivated by money and personally, if that is what motivates the player, rather than a desire to play football, then I'm glad he went elsewhere.

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  • 42. At 1:05pm on 02 Sep 2008, BulgarianManc wrote:

    Its a nightmare now that after all this excitement we have to wait nearly 2 weeks for Fabio's humdum England displays to get out of the way before we get back to some excitement of seeing these players settle in at their new surroundings, how times have changed when international football has become as boring for fans as it has for the players that all so often get picked on 'name' than performance. 2-0 win v Andorra and 0-0 Croatia best we can hope for....Then City Chelsea and Liverpool Man United to bring the spark back :D

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  • 43. At 1:05pm on 02 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To realthing....so you do think Chelsea being gazumped has not altered the landscape of English football?

    Chelsea have had the financial firepower to brush rivals aside for years - suddenly they have their sworn top target taken away by Manchester City.

    If anyone had suggested that during the summer you would have been drowned out by laughter.

    And can I say I do not begrudge City fans for one moment. They deserve it after all they have endured.

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  • 44. At 1:07pm on 02 Sep 2008, LethalSuspect wrote:

    Man City have managed to pull in a major investor - good news. His statement of intent - very grave news.

    Lets all remember that as we compare Manchester City's Position to Chelsea's, Chelsea didn't win "Trophies" until Mourinho was brought in, so no matter what financial Investment was offered, it didn't happen overnight. The new owners of Man City don't seem to have grasped that fact, - changing a team from lurking in Mid-Table to fighting for Champions League Places takes alot more than pipping Chelsea to one signing and throwing money at a few other high profile players. Nothing will ever be able ro replace team spirit, and no matter how much you guys seem to hate Manchester United and our manager, we have an undeniable team spirit which Chelsea assumed under Jose.

    I applaud Man City fo attracting such an investment and wish them all the best, but to claim that they are going to make a break into the "Big Four" in less than a season i believe is too much - even for a team with their financial backing to acheive.

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  • 45. At 1:07pm on 02 Sep 2008, ColemansBalls wrote:

    > All they did was to have enough money to be able to compete with the big boys and to meet the over inflated price for a player, something that to his credit Abromovich never succumbed to

    Not sure about this, Realthing. Agree that it's going a bit far to claim City are changing the face of football. They're just joining in with the big money boys.

    But Chelsea are one of the main reasons that prices at the top end of football went from silly to totally insane.

    They're hardly the only guilty parties, but still..

    Drogba 24 million
    Essien 24 million
    Carvalho almost 20 million
    Wright-Phillips 21 million
    Bosingwa 16 million
    Ferreira 19 million
    Robben 23 million

    Maybe there's no arguing with Drogba and Essien, but the others?

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  • 46. At 1:09pm on 02 Sep 2008, RetiredNo6 wrote:

    I'm happy for the rest of the country to keep saying Arsenal will drop out of the top 4.

    Because we are always better when written off than when strongly tipped. Would I want City's kitchen sink style recruitment, Rafa's scattergun approach or the recruitment philosophy of a manager with a prove track record looking at a long term plan?

    No question in my mind.

    People can conveniently forget that we finished just 4 points behind Manchester United last season, and in every area with the exception of defensive midfield we now look stronger. And even there.... at this stage last year most people still thought Flamini was rubbish.

    We'll defnitely finish in the top 3 this season, no doubt. In Arsene we alwyas trust.

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  • 47. At 1:10pm on 02 Sep 2008, Robcity wrote:

    Before the Abramovich era Chelsea were a club of similiar size and history as Man City. Abramovich took Chelsea up a notch to compete for the top prizes at the highest level by spending to have the best players, coaches, facilities right down to Youth level. Guess what City have half of this already in place. City have spent a lot of time and effort in getting the youth and infrastructure of the club right after decades of mispending. The final piece is getting the coach and players in to compete at the highest level and guess what, it's happenning. The Chelsea game will be interesting, but more interesting will be Omonia in the UEFA and Brighton in the Carling. I've supported City for 38 years and these fixtures have always been our downfall. Embarrassment shield ready and waiting.............

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  • 48. At 1:11pm on 02 Sep 2008, Roger_the_Pessimist wrote:

    The biggest potential losers in all this are not Arsenal and Liverpool who I am confident will be able to compete with the nuevo riche. Rather, it is the pretenders to the fourth place throne - Villa, Everton, Spurs - whose noses will be most put out of joint by this.

    Everton in particular have been talking for years about building a solid base and challenging for the CL. Now City are billionaires - out of nowhere - it makes it even harder for them.

    However, the biggest losers could yet be City themselves. We have no idea what these new owners are like. They could be learned followers of the game; pragmatists like Randy Lerner or the Glazers who appreciate that it takes time to build a winning squad and that in football you win some and you lose some. Or they could be purely buisness-driven, expect x amount of return this year, y amount next year and build the club accordingly. Or they might expect instant success and walk away if that doesn't happen.

    I'm too young to remember whn City were good. I've always seen them as a basketcase, a poisoned chalice. A decent-sized club with a massive chip on its shoulder and fans who crave success they'll probably never get. It could all go pear-shaped with City back where they started (or worse) in a couple of years time. To be honest, given their recent history, that's more likely than them winning the title.

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  • 49. At 1:12pm on 02 Sep 2008, sensi_soccer wrote:

    im really happy for man city, really exciting times for them and spices up the premiership for the forthcomming season.

    im a reds fan and somewhat indifferent to liverpool's dip into the transfer market this season. £20m for keane is now looking like mispent funds. he may not have adapted to the formation and role hes currently been asked for but it has shades of the bellamy fiasco all over again fer me.

    liverpool consistantly buy many average players that do not inspire the fans whatsoever. torres ofc an exception.

    on the whole tho, the big money flying around the premiership is good for entertainment value of the game, but i also feel these big foreign stars are, and have been for a while, destroying the national game :(

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  • 50. At 1:16pm on 02 Sep 2008, paullake wrote:

    Phil,

    Obviously as a blue, I'm finding it hard to take this all in - but could you follow up an angle that's been missed so far.

    City have an Israeli player (Ben Haim) in their squad, and a history of Jewish players (the Summerbees and Berkovic), administrators (David Bernstein) and have always been seen as the team of Manchester's Jewish community - if you have any doubt about this, then read Colin Shindler's books. What are our new owners thoughts on this important part of our heritage?

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  • 51. At 1:17pm on 02 Sep 2008, tarquin wrote:

    10. At 12:29pm on 02 Sep 2008, CantonasCollar79 wrote:

    I think the influx of money at Middle-Eastlands will precipitate more spending in January, too. And why not? City have got an owner which, at least on the face of it, is solvent and under no threat from any overhanging legalities in another country. Finally they can rejoin the top table that they have so long been absent from, eyeing it jealously from their yo-yo position of nearly-club and sleeping giant.

    As a United fan, I'm not disappointed that City have Robinho, we always wanted Berbatov, and I'm glad that his head wasn't turned by the obvious fortune that he could have received had he signed for City. I'm over the moon that a player we've wanted for two years is finally ours, and I can't wait for my season ticket to allow me to see more than once or twice a season a player who I admire for his tremendous skill.

    Thanks Fergie - another good egg joins a happy basket.

    --

    not that berbatov's head was turned by champions league football or anything

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  • 52. At 1:24pm on 02 Sep 2008, MrQuiteNeutral wrote:

    Personally, I think this is great news for Man City - and bad news for the "Top Four". The sudden power of cash should have a great appeal to the top players who would previously only have thought of the big four perched on top of the rankings.

    On an entirely short term basis - it will remove the cloud of speculation surrounding the previous owner and allow the players manager and remainder of the board to get on with the process of running the club. Certainly, it will be a weight off of Mark Hughes' shoulders.

    The long term benefits are just as plain. The financial strength will allow - if the new owners are free with their cash - a revamping and expansion of the staduim, new players, improved coaching team (if neccessary, I don't pretend to be an expert on the level of coaching currently available), more advertising. In short, the cash will allow the club to function better, if used correctly. As Mr McNulty points out, sometimes it's best not to throw cash at superstars when young talent would be better. Certainly, I think spending a lot of money on their already good academy would be a great thing.

    SO, good luck Man City, and look out big four. Just for a punt - if they replace any team up there, Liverpool surely?

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  • 53. At 1:27pm on 02 Sep 2008, Nick wrote:

    To be honest, as a United fan, i think Chelsea have had a lucky escape as far as Robinho is concerned.

    The fact he chose City less than 48 hours after proclaiming his heart was at Chelsea says it all really.
    Chelsea were offering bigger wages than Madrid and City offered bigger wages than both so guess where he ended up?

    I dont think signing Robinho automatically makes City world beaters and genuine top 4 challengers.

    IMO they are still in the same bracket as Villa,Everton and Portsmouth. Teams challenging for the UEFA cup spot and a good cup run.

    Its okay having pots of money but realistically what top drawer players will they go in for?

    Nobody from the current top 4 for a start. I dont see anyone outstanding in Italy anymore and if players such as David Villa and David Silva arent tempted by Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool i cant see City, no matter how big the wages on offer are, attracting those kind of players.

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  • 54. At 1:30pm on 02 Sep 2008, Bergysdeftflicks wrote:

    Hi Phil

    Youre correct to make the comment about Hughes. Good boss he is, but i would take it further in saying he will be gone before the seasons end. This take over has just hastened his P45.

    Youre right too about Robinho. Hes a massive gamble and not one that i think will bear much fruit at Man City. He needs quality players around him and unless they are going for a galacticos policy he will struggle in the Premiership.

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  • 55. At 1:32pm on 02 Sep 2008, Scottishscouser wrote:

    Liverpool have also gambled on Espanyol's Albert Riera, a player who under-performed in the Premier League on loan at Manchester City. Boss Rafael Benitez needs to get it right with this deal, but is he of the class required to turn them into serious title challengers?

    ---------------------
    Why does everyone regurgitate this clap trap that Reira is a Citeh cast-off. Man City at the time were not exactly full of great players, thus any half-decent player is going to look average.

    Phil, do Journos and pundits all get together and come to a consensus to formulate the same responses and comments? You all seem to say exactly the same thing, all-be-it with paraphrasing. Did you think of the 'under-performing' bit for City yoursel or was it pinched from everone one else that hasn't been watching Reira lately in La Liga?

    Good luck to City, they deserve some good fortune.

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  • 56. At 1:33pm on 02 Sep 2008, SportsFan wrote:

    To the City fan who said Arsenal have no soul and are all foreign players...

    Your new investors will quickly realise English players are overrated and overpriced, they are investors i.e. they expect a return, not like Roman who just expects trophies and a plush seat. The British players will be quickly sold or demoted to make way for better foreign players, if they do indeed come in.

    Arsenal work very differently, they actually make a profit on transfers and bring in inexperienced players and train them up. The new Arsenal Academy which now supplies the most players to the English U16-18 set up has been up and running for about 8 years and it is beginning to pay off at England Youth. So....in 4/5 years Citeh will be a bunch of foreign mercenaries and Arsenal will have a team of English and Foreign talent playing the most attractive football in the PL. And you'll be eating your words.

    And to the Chelski fan who criticised Arsene's transfer policy - what a joke. Before Roman took over, and probably about the time you bought your shirt on Brighton High Street, Chelsea were a mid-table team. Arsene is frugal because he doesn't have the funds of a Russian oligarch who can write off £43m on SWP and Schevchenko. At some point he's going to get bored and realise he is burning through cash that could be better spent on a newer, bigger yacht - at which point he'll leave, you won't be able to pay your players, they'll leave and you'll go into freefall. Can't wait.

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  • 57. At 1:38pm on 02 Sep 2008, Sam wrote:

    Why do these owners think that spending huge amounts of money is the be all and end all. 11 new players at £30 million apiece? Who has been Chelsea's best player? Terry, or maybe Drogba. Liverpool? Gerrard, Carragher, or Torres. It's a combination of spending power and building a team, and keeping roots. And there's always room for a bargain. Blackburn "bought" the title, but it was built on Colin Hendry £500,000 from City or something similar (still gutted about that one).

    I for one, hope we only sign one or two more expensive players, tops (Man City fan). I'd rather win the UEFA cup with six or seven local lads, that the Champions league with none… Champions league with two or three perhaps.

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  • 58. At 1:38pm on 02 Sep 2008, BADBOYBOMBER wrote:

    As a life long blue and well versed with the comedy value attached to our fine club, i have one word of caution. When we last broke the british transfer record, we signed Steve Daley!!

    Whilst it is truly momentus day in the life of a city fan, i cannot help but be saddned by yet another example of football selling its soul. Long gone are the days when there was genuine chances of teams other than the top 4 winning the league, this purchase merely demonstrates that cash is king in pursuit of glory days.

    Will we become despised in the same manner Chelsea are, probably. Will we win some silverware in the next couple of years, more than likely. Will it mean as much, doubtful.

    I will still be there on match day to cheer them on as always, because they wear the blue shirt but life wont be the same again. No rollercoaster, no laughing stock, when we beat utd will it mean as much, probably not.

    What i do like is the fact that the filth had to pay £8 million over the odds for berbatov because of us.

    'We are not we not really here, just like the fans of the invisible man, were not really here', was the cry

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  • 59. At 1:40pm on 02 Sep 2008, Myleftslipper wrote:

    #47 - I couldn't disagree more. Pre-Abramovic Chelsea and Yesterday's Man City are starting from very different points. Chelsea were already one of the established top clubs with recent memories of a European trophy, FA Cup final appearances and a Champions League quarter final.

    It's time for everyone to take a step back and sit down again. Talk on here of Man City joining the top 4 this season, and asking whether Arsenal or Liverpool will drop out, is, quite frankly, ludicrous. If any team is to drop out, i would be surprised if Man Cit were the beneficiaries.

    Long-term is a different matter. Should this group hang around and continue to invest then Man City could well establish themselves as one of the elites.

    However, i don't see this happening anytime soon. In any case, it remains difficult to break down the contrubutors to Chelsea's success - financial muscle or Mourinho's management.

    Good luck City - but be patient!

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  • 60. At 1:41pm on 02 Sep 2008, skywalker1 wrote:

    bobdylan, nicely summed up. Intereseting to see whether you can actually break into the top four at the expense of one of the current group. Do you see yourselfs challenging United soon?

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  • 61. At 1:48pm on 02 Sep 2008, welshdwarf wrote:

    So how long before Kenyon moves to Man City?

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  • 62. At 1:48pm on 02 Sep 2008, absolutetruth11 wrote:

    Aren't Robinho and SWP the same type of player.
    I'm not sure they need or can get the best out of Robinho and SWP together.
    It seems it was a statement of intent but City will need to wait for next season or poss January to really get the benefit of the takeover.

    It seems Madrid got the best end of the deal. A massive amount of money for a player that stated he wanted to go and has potential. I think they saw City coming and they paid well over the odds.

    That will finance a massive deal for Ronaldo next summer!

    City sold a high class defender in Corluka and haven't replaced....that would be a concern.

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  • 63. At 1:59pm on 02 Sep 2008, lufc443 wrote:

    It’s good to see another potential contender. Only a few years ago it was a 2 horse race year on year and now there’s the potential for a 5 horse race, so it’s a good thing in my book.

    It may push Liverpool further down the pecking order if they have the investment to put in they are claiming.

    I’m just annoyed their new owner didn’t fancy a bigger challenge and buy Leeds out!!!

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  • 64. At 2:01pm on 02 Sep 2008, footballrealist wrote:

    Thank the Lord for some realism...spot on Colemanballs.

    Chelsea re-inflated the market on their own....how much did they pay for Damian Duff? Oh, then there was Veron....the list just goes on and on.

    Let's just remind ourselves of one thing....Chelsea are SIX HUNDRED MILLION pounds in debt.

    Way to go....that's how to run a business, eh?

    Their loans...LOANS....from Abramovitch are indeed interest free....yet they STILL manage to consistently lose around £100 Million per year.

    I would argue that Man City have changed the face of football...because they have the financial wherewithall to blow Chelsea away. This is not a particularly good thing for the game in general but one can hardly blame City...or indeed Chelsea...for the mad scramble for the top of the greed league.

    Peter Kenyon (what DOES he actually contribute?????) initially said Chelsea aimed to break even in 2009 - that's just break even in that year, not get rid of the accumulated losses. It is accepted that this will not now be achieved....so, thats even bigger losses for Chelsea fans to look forward too. Worried? You should be.

    All this rot about Chelsea would not enter into a bidding war....they could not AFFORD to compete. However passionate Mr Abramovitch may or may not be about Chelsea there comes a point where even he decides enough is enough.

    Chelsea's wage bill was £120 million against Man Utd's mere £80 Million last year - and Chelsea won nothing.

    Every single club in the football league have, over the span of the Abramovich years, been far more profitable than Chelsea...but how does one measure success?
    Winning a couple of titles whilst merrily hurtling toward financial oblivion does really seem to fit the bill.

    I would expect Man City to operate with a more prudent approach (not difficult really - just aim for losses of £550 Million).

    Eventually normal business rules will have to apply to football - boy, will there be some changes then.
























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  • 65. At 2:03pm on 02 Sep 2008, David_Y-N-W-A wrote:

    Typical McNulty, Liverpool have "Gambled on Riera" a man city flop!!

    Utter rubbish, Riera was on loan in his early 20's for part of a season, he was hardly a flop. I'd rather take an 8m gamble on Riera than a 32m gamble on a money grabbing Robinho.

    and banging on about Arsenals "Lavishly" gifted youngster don't make me laugh when was the last time they actually threatened to win anything!!

    The only team that needs to be worried about City's takeover is Chelsea, Liverpool, Man United and Arsenal have been around for years and can compete on a smaller budget as they can lure better players. Effectively Chelseas bullying of the premier league by over paying ends today, if anyhting it'll work to all other clubs favour, Man City and Chelsea will compete for the superstars and players past their peak while Liverpool, United and Arsenal will continue to find gems and nurture them.

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  • 66. At 2:03pm on 02 Sep 2008, etienne123 wrote:

    not sure if this has been touched upon phil but mark hughes made a huge statement of intent last night.

    not with the robinho deal - i reckon he'll be gone by next year but that's by the by - but with his bid for berbatov.

    most former man utd players who are now managers still seem intimidated by fergie.

    not hughes. not only did he try to hijack united's one and only summer target but he blew their bid out of the water.

    the likeihood is united would have got berbatov for their initial offer if city hadn't come in. suddenly city took the wind out of their sails and left ferguson in a pickle - either pay an extra 5 million or possibly lose him to man city.

    if nothing else, hughes forced united to fork out an extra load of dosh and showed that ex red or not, he means business.

    btw hopefully bill kenwright will learn from how thaskin went about selling city and get his abu dhabi directory out ...

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  • 67. At 2:05pm on 02 Sep 2008, Thecatakaasbo88 wrote:

    I cant wait to see how Robinho does at city, personally i think he will struggle and end up leaving possibly as early as Jan but for sure in the summer to join up with Big Phil. not once in all this saga have i heard him express his joy at signing for city in the same way he stated his desire to join Chelsea... i think we'll see him in royal blue for a lot longer than sky blue

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  • 68. At 2:05pm on 02 Sep 2008, Gareth wrote:

    I'm going to try and be brief here.

    Firstly well done to ADUG, you gazumped us good and proper. Though I'm not sure that is the right term as Abramovich has finally decided not to be overcharged it seems (despite what a fellow Chelsea fan said earlier about him never paying over inflated prices!! Oh I did chuckle at that).

    Secondly, time will of course tell on this saga, now MAn City have to continue to propell themselves forward or at least hold ground until January then get more big name players in.

    Thirdly, someone mentioned Chelsea get overcharged (someone other than me!!) yes and no. I think despite the price tags, Carvalho, Drogba and Essien are all worth their price (at least in footballing terms).

    Fourth point, we weren't always around mid table before Roman arrived and we did win trophies or did the mid to late 90's happen in a dream of mine?

    Finally, Yay for football i think. At least yesterday was exciting. Though I'm gutted than Kenyon put all our eggs in one basket and I'm also irate with the absent minded arrogance we showed when selling "Robinho" shirts on line. Whoever said "Yeah go on, he's defiinitley coming" should seriously consider their future. Whoever that may be.

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  • 69. At 2:11pm on 02 Sep 2008, Gareth wrote:

    Post 65...

    Liverpool uncovering gems? Ha Ha! Liverpudlians really do have a sense of humour.

    We've seen for the past few years how your "Gems" perform without Gerrard when he's been injured/poorly.

    Regardless of what you think know, I doubt that Chelsea are shaking in their boots with fear of being ousted from the top four. There's a fair few good players at Chelsea that are loyal enough to stay for next few years, and we've uncovered some great youngsters.

    But oh yeah, I'm really worried.

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  • 70. At 2:15pm on 02 Sep 2008, EnglandsCaptain wrote:

    I'm a lifelong Chelsea fan, but must say fair do's to City. They're now experiencing the elation and aticipation that we did five years ago, and although one man won't win them the league, it's a brilliant statement of intent from the new owners.

    If I was red and living in Liverpool or North London I'd have a small bead of sweat running down my brow about now, and one eye over my shoulder for the next season or two....

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  • 71. At 2:15pm on 02 Sep 2008, tim ward wrote:

    "Middle East Lands" ha is probably right as the City trophey cabinet is about as sparse as the Gobi desert. Didn't we hear all this last year "We're going to prove that the blue half of Manchester is better than the red of Salford" Yeah ok and what did City win oh nothing as per usual and United won the Premiership and the Champions League.

    Good luck to city but I think it takes more than money to become something special, Blackburn had all the cash in the early nineties and they are not a footballing superpower now.

    Chelsea have no history so will never be the global giant that Kenyon believes they will be (not for the next hundred years to gain some history anyway).

    As for the pathetic bitter blues I am not a Londoner I am from Manchester a life long united fan, season ticket holder and if city do want to be the biggest, richest club in the world they had better get used to having fans from around the world not just Longsight or Burnage. Grow up and come up with some decent banter, oh and I'll bare my ar*e at the top of the Hilton Tower if city win anything or qualify for the champions league next season .

    Blue moon I think you've started singing too soon, one overrated, petulant brazilian (oh sorry you've got three of them) will win you anything.

    Enter the inter toto or Lancashire cup there are a couple of decent teams in the Wigan amateur league but apart from them you might have a chance!

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  • 72. At 2:16pm on 02 Sep 2008, redanddread wrote:

    As an avid/rabid Arsenal supporter I wish all the Man Citeh fans well. The more talented and exciting clubs/squads in the Premier league the better the overall standard of football on display. At the end of the day there is only ONE way to win on a consistent basis and that is having a VERY GOOD manager. It is no surprise that Arsenal, ManU, Chelsea, Liverpool have done well in recent times as they have the best managers as well as the most chi-ching ($$$$). Citeh's new found financial power adds something new to the Premier league and won't there match against Chelsea be a fun spectacle to watch. 6-0 to Citeh!!! Also, if Hughes is the best young British manager around he now has the tools to prove it.

    good luck to them but FOREVER ARSENAL!!!

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  • 73. At 2:16pm on 02 Sep 2008, sirjawa wrote:

    "I do not agree that Man City have changed the face of football. All they did was to have enough money to be able to compete with the big boys and to meet the over inflated price for a player, something that to his credit Abromovich never succumbed too."

    Realthing you must be crazy or suffer short term memory loss. Since Abramovich came into Chelski all he's done is pay over inflated prices for players ie;
    Drogba £24
    Essien £24.5
    Schevchenko £30
    Veron £14
    Bosingwa £16.2
    Parker £10
    Sidwell
    Anelka £15
    Ferraira £13.5
    Mikel £16
    Duff £17
    Mutu £15.8
    Johnson £6
    Crespo £16.8
    Del Horno £8
    Wright-Phillips £21

    If you don't think those prices are over inflated you must be mad. Every club thinks its xmas when Chelski come a knocking. However as a Liverpool fan the idea of Man City having all that money to spend scares the hell out of me but then again its Man City and it'll probably all go wrong as they end up with two corrupt owners squabbling over the team and Robinho is highly overrated as he's never really justified any of the hype and that's a huge transfer fee. I genuinely hope Man City have some success but no higher than 5th please, and if you fancy rubbing Chelski's faces init again feel more than welcome. I'm glad to see the end of their smug attempt to purchase every trophy in football.

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  • 74. At 2:17pm on 02 Sep 2008, flashdistractions wrote:

    The thoughts of City fans?
    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!
    (but yes, like others here I don't want to get too over-excited - I still think it'll be a successful year if we don't get relegated!)

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  • 75. At 2:18pm on 02 Sep 2008, tarquin wrote:

    One superstar signing won't change much - I can only assume money and the promise of champions league football in a year or two lured Robinho to City over Chelsea, or maybe he didn't think he could get first team football there

    either way, yes City have a big backer - but will they do 'a chelsea'? ADUG have come in and flashed their cash, but how long will they want to spend big for - sure they come in now and offer the world, because bidding for the likes of robinho was probably part of the plan, but in a year or two when City aren't winning any trophies and mark hughes asks for 25million or something, will they be bored of it

    I don't have a problem with city, they're a good side with a good manager and great fans, but one super signing isn't going to see them competing with the big 4, they should be in the europe spots but it takes a lot of building to make a squad strong enough to overturn the big boys, even if liverpool and arsenal are paper thin at the mo

    if city have got a lerner, glazer or even abromahovic then they should be fine, but if they have another thaksin or gillette and hicks who will be petulent and demand short term results and interfere with the manager then they won't be going anywhere soon, i think everybody is getting ahead of themselves

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  • 76. At 2:20pm on 02 Sep 2008, I_Hate_Ewoks wrote:

    Good luck to Man City, their fans deserve it.

    As a Liverpool fan, I agree with the comments posted at 15. While potentially this poses a threat to the established top 4, I am excited by and welcome the challenge.

    The EPL has become a bit stale and maybe this will breathe a bit of life into it.

    There will never be a salary cap so the only way to even the playing field is to have all the clubs owned by billionaires!

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  • 77. At 2:20pm on 02 Sep 2008, etienne123 wrote:

    zolaeclipse

    don't you realise that liverpool aren't going for the title this year? it's "next season" when they're going to win it ... well that's what the've been saying for the past 10 years. their next signing's going to be the final piece of the jigsaw, don't you know.

    as for city, as an everton fan they were a source of comfort. no matter how much we under-achieved, there was always man city to make us look good. fear those days may be over, so thank god for newcastle!

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  • 78. At 2:22pm on 02 Sep 2008, MCFC-4ever wrote:

    We've spent a lot of money definately this season, but look at the players it has been spent on

    Robinho - 24y/o
    SWP - 26y/o
    Zabaleta - 23y/o
    JO - 21y/o
    Kompany - 22y/o
    even the free transfer Berti is only 26y/o

    Add this to Hart, Richards, Onuoha, Fernandes, Johnson, Elano, Ireland, Etuhu, Sturridge, Bojinov (if he's ever fit), Evans

    This is a highly talented squad all 26y/o or under, not just for now but for the future success that MCFC could be

    I just hope new owners carry on buying young talent and bringing young talent through the club's academy for the future

    Don't waste it on the 30something 'stars' that cost a packet and are at their best for a limited time

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  • 79. At 2:22pm on 02 Sep 2008, Gilly wrote:

    This article is a joke, right? Robinho obviously only chose Man City as hes a cert to start every week.

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  • 80. At 2:23pm on 02 Sep 2008, Rich_Owl wrote:

    The City deal actually raises serious issues for a number of clubs. Given that these days money buys success and that most of that money comes from the Champions League, its noticeable that we have four places in the CL, and a 'big four'. Everton have come the closest to getting into the CL in recent seasons, and its widely acknowledged that for them to be able to compete on an equal financial footing with ManU, Arsenal, Cheski and Liverpool, who have a LOT of spending power between them, they wouldn eed to do so on a regular basis.

    With the City takeover, we now have FIVE clubs with massive ambition and spending power and only 4 who can recoup some of that cash via the Champions League (plus the associated sponsorship and kudos and pulling power for the best players which that entails). ADUG will give Man City at least two seasons to get into the CL. What if they do it at the expense of, say Liverpool? What if Liverpool miss out two seasons on the trot? I use Liverpool as the example but for all the current top four financially it spells disaster for whoever misses out, especially if their backers decide to quit as they no longer own a club which has the exposure and income of the regular CL clubs. Five into four won't go, and I can see a situation in five or ten years time where one of these teams has done a 'Leeds' and dropped right away, maybe even ceased to be.

    Scaremongering? The money men are attracted by success like flies round a honey pot. Take the honeypot away...........

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  • 81. At 2:27pm on 02 Sep 2008, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    Can I ask again, why do these articles now get presented as a blog rather than a 606 thread?

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  • 82. At 2:28pm on 02 Sep 2008, gunnerob wrote:

    David_Y-N-W-A wrote:

    and banging on about Arsenals "Lavishly" gifted youngster don't make me laugh when was the last time they actually threatened to win anything!!

    premiership was pretty close last year if my memory doesn't fail me .

    league cup

    keep writing us off we don't mind , would have like someone else in midfield but the "lavishly gifted youngsters" can do it.

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  • 83. At 2:29pm on 02 Sep 2008, I_Hate_Ewoks wrote:

    etienne123

    You seem a little bitter about this turn of events?

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  • 84. At 2:30pm on 02 Sep 2008, AlricDark wrote:

    I'm a Man Utd fan so lets get that out of the way first and foremost.

    To those of you left reading, especially City fans, I'd like to say congratulations to Man City on pulling off what looks like one of the great transfer coups of all time, all on the same day as they aquire new owners who on paper at least make them potentially one of the wealthiest clubs in the world.

    Top 4 this season? Maybe. It's a shame in a way that the takeover didn't happen earlier in the summer but I'm sure there will be more signings in January. Top 4 next season? Well it has to be really for the kind of money being invested.

    Anyway, all in all a grand day to be a Mancunian as far as I'm concerned. Please though, just don't let this be another false dawn and something that the rest of the country will be lauging about in 3 years time.

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  • 85. At 2:31pm on 02 Sep 2008, unitedfan1990 wrote:

    using youngsters in a premier league team can be rewarding everyone knows about fergies fledglings, anyway well done to fergie for getting berbatov we need some one of his calibre

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  • 86. At 2:31pm on 02 Sep 2008, etienne123 wrote:

    I_Hate_Ewoks

    not at all pal. fair play to city, they've had it tougher than us.

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  • 87. At 2:32pm on 02 Sep 2008, mpowr78 wrote:

    I think the article is a bit over the top personally. Does Phil also write for the Sun?
    "Changed the football landscape"
    "Stunned Manchester United and left Chelsea bruised and humiliated"

    I hardly think so. Suprised might a less sensationalist word to use.

    I am sure ManU are terrified after only signing Berbatov and being left with dire attacking options of Ronaldo, Berbatov Rooney, Tevez....

    Same goes for Chelsea. Scolari must be fuming a raging pit of fire that his forwards Drogba, Kalou, Anelka are only supported by the inept attacking midfield of Deco, Ballack, Cole, Lampard....


    Good luck to Man City and Mark Hughes but I don't think that paying over the odds for un proven (but gifted) brazilian will quite have the dramatic ramifications that Phil suggests.

    Villa and Spurs are probably more worried about competition for 5th.

    Good luck to Man city fans for this season though and I hope they do really well.

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  • 88. At 2:37pm on 02 Sep 2008, holland4arsenal wrote:

    post 65, Dave YNWA
    "...and banging on about Arsenals "Lavishly" gifted youngster don't make me laugh when was the last time they actually threatened to win anything!!"


    Mate, he wasn't saying that they've won (although we did come close last year), he's saying that they're 'lavishly gifted', which if you think about it, they are...

    Love the inclusion of Liverpool in your sentence about uncovering 'gems'....haha, who did you uncover mate......NADA mate that's who!

    Just keep writing us off, we don't care, most of us are well and truly happy with our club as it is;
    unlike much of your lot always harping on about what's your right and whatnot.....
    and conviently forgetting you never even WON the premier league, LOL.

    Good luck to Citeh, tho, more competition is always good; can't help feeling a little pang of sorro for our neighbours down Seven Sisters Rd........surely THEY were the ones going to break into the top 4!?


    COME ONE THE GUNNERS!








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  • 89. At 2:41pm on 02 Sep 2008, ArsenalArseneArshavin wrote:

    blue blogger do you live in dreamland?
    Arsenal no personality? We don't sell our soul do we?
    We are run as a prober club should be run.
    Ok you had 7 english players against Sunderland, but if you are going to challenge for trophies like your new owners said, clearly you are going to do it with foreign players and Robinho is just the beginning. The good english players dont hide somewhere they simply dont exist you fool.
    So either you have to do it with foreign players or you are going to stay where you belong.
    Personally I dont want someone to buy Arsenal. With money all clubs can be champions, where is the challenge?

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  • 90. At 2:49pm on 02 Sep 2008, hunk4hire wrote:

    Sell your best defender to Spurs and buy a striker to replace him? Not a smart piece of business to start the new "money" era.

    It's good news and bad news for City. The good news is that now they can mix it with the big boys. The bad news is that now it will be harder for their supporters to indulge in their favorite pastime; criticizing their hated neighbors (Man Utd) for "buying" championships and not being a "real" club with a grass roots soul. I don't imagine too many City supporters will be handing in their season tickets in disgust now that City have joined the filthy lucre brigade to whom money is no object.

    Don't worry, though. The Arab adventure won't work. City will figure out a way to screw this up and turn the whole thing into a fiasco. They always do. They wouldn't be City, otherwise. First a Thai politician who's wanted for human rights violations and now an Arab cartel. They're still turning over managers and owners at a rate of knotts. It was only a couple of weeks ago that Hughes was rumored to be fed up and on the way out.

    Same old circus.

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  • 91. At 2:52pm on 02 Sep 2008, malkay wrote:

    Manchester City - the eternal sideshow of English football?


    hahahahahaha... brilliant! Great article, Phil McNulty.

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  • 92. At 2:53pm on 02 Sep 2008, kingtheseus wrote:

    There's alot of comments on here about the need for lots of money to break into the top 4 or at least win anything...

    Perhaps it's down to FIFA to impose something like a suggested salary cap. This way the FA would have little say in the matter surely?

    Most of us don't follow the NBA or NFL in the states but their insistance on evenly matched teams is reflected in the measures that they have in place to ensure it.

    1. Salary Cap - this prevents a club from employing too many highly paid superstars. So Real Madrid etc would no longer be able to offer all their players £130,000 a week.

    2. The Draft - for those that do not know, this entitles the worst placed team from the previous season to have the first pick from the highest ranked college/university players for the current season. In general the best players go to the worst teams and vice versa.

    Obviously, the sporting structure in the US has massive emphasis on college sports but i dunno maybe some bright spark could think of a way to implement something like this.

    Just for the record im Man Utd and very disappointed the club has spanked £30m+ on berbatov. I hope im proved wrong.

    And Robinho has got FLOP written all over his face!

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  • 93. At 2:53pm on 02 Sep 2008, markjmason65 wrote:

    Well done, City- as a lifelong red, having genuine quality and ambition will only give me greater pleasure when we beat you! (just kidding, its only sport, after all). City are truly a big club and should be up there competing for European places- given that we get so many each year its good that it can't be assumed who will get those places.

    A few thoughts starting with philosophical question (!)- which is better: an new owner who sees the purchase of a club as a (flawed) investment (I'd suggest e.g. Gillett + Hicks, ?Glasers), or one who regards it as essentially a plaything (?Abramovich and ADUG)?
    Times change and the 'jumpers for goalposts' era long behind us- perhaps having people prepared to throw money at a club to see what they can achieve on the pitch is not a bad thing. This must be tempered, however, by having those controlling the future of the game being true visionaries and without the agendas that the Platinis and Blatters of this world seem to carry.

    Maybe a salary cap is the answer- it, perhaps, would not deter the truly talented from seeking a move to a 'big' club to achieve things within the game: I'd argue such players do add value to any competition; it might, however, deter the journeymen who are simply looking to earn a fast few bucks to avoid having to run a pub when they retire (do they still do that?) and who are likely to give little to the club and those within it.

    Perhaps yesterday's events are of greater significance than would first appear?

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  • 94. At 2:54pm on 02 Sep 2008, redbriar wrote:

    Robinho is sure going to be confused when he's asked to pull on the Sky Blue colours of Man City and not the Red of their near by neighbours. Poor lad will also be confused not to see Ronaldo limping around on crutches in the dressing room.... I wonder if he knows it's Man City he's signed up for?
    GRIN

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  • 95. At 2:57pm on 02 Sep 2008, DaveC wrote:

    Another takeover like this only serves to further isolate the top echelons of the Premier League from the rest of English football.

    For me, every one of these takeovers by big money men from the Middle East and the USA (and perhaps Russia) only hastens the day when the PL becomes a closed shop and promotion from the Football League disappears altogether.

    Perhaps the goal is an American style system with one super-rich top league and minor leagues underneath to act as feeder clubs with minimal coverage and TV revenue.

    If not, something has to be done to allow those clubs without billionaire benefactors to at least have a chance of competing ... even the top American sports leagues have wage caps, drafts (allowing every club the opportunity to obtain the brightest young talent) and no transfer fees.

    I am a Hull City fan, so obviously I am a little biased and jaundiced about the whole thing, but when I see my club trying to spend sensibly to build a squad capable of moving up from Championship play-off winners to competitive (surviving!) Premier League side while other clubs can effectively blow the equivalent of half the Tigers entire annual turnover on a single player I do just wonder whether it is worth it.

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  • 96. At 2:57pm on 02 Sep 2008, Papa Demos wrote:

    94. At 2:54pm on 02 Sep 2008, redbriar wrote:

    Robinho is sure going to be confused when he's asked to pull on the Sky Blue colours of Man City and not the Red of their near by neighbours. Poor lad will also be confused not to see Ronaldo limping around on crutches in the dressing room.... I wonder if he knows it's Man City he's signed up for?
    GRIN

    LOL yeh it wouldn't be the first time old Thaksin Sinatra sold someone a dummy.

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  • 97. At 2:59pm on 02 Sep 2008, etienne123 wrote:

    disagree about a salary cap, would not work because of the EU, restriction of trade, other leagues not complying, clubs not wanting it, players not wanting it etc. football has gone too far down the free market road to turn back now.

    only way the playing field will be made more even is for the cl to restrict the number of teams from each league to two - three at most. then, say, if one or more of man u, liverpool, arsenal or chelsea miss out regularly, they'll soon come back to the pack.

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  • 98. At 2:59pm on 02 Sep 2008, KinkyKippaxKing wrote:

    I’ve never understood this bitter obsession with Chelsea’s spending power. Fuelled by the media, football fans the length and breadth of the country relentlessly criticise Chelsea for having the audacity to challenge England’s most established clubs Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal. Both the media and many football fans seem to ignore the vast sums of cash Ferguson has spent, and instead choose to grumble about Abramovich ruining English football and grown on about Chelsea not being a “real” football club with great traditions. Following the close of the transfer window yesterday Manchester United are responsible for 4 of the top 6 most expensive transfers in British football history:

    £32.5m Robinho (Real Madrid to Man City)
    £31m Andriy Shevchenko (Milan to Chelsea)
    £30.75m Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham to Man Utd)
    £29.3m Rio Ferdinand (Leeds to Man Utd)
    £28m Juan Sebastián Verón (Lazio to Man Utd)
    £27m Wayne Rooney (Everton to Man Utd)

    “Chelski”, as they are so imaginatively named in the media, are no more guilty than Manchester United for taking English football down this horribly corporate path. After all it is United we have to thank for a certain Peter Kenyon.

    As my blogging name indicates I’m a City fan and while I’ve lost a great deal of interest in the Premier League over recent years (despite City’s return to the top flight) as a result of the PLCs, Sky’s never ending “Battles of Britain”, “Super Smashing Grand Slam Sundays” and “Games of the Decade”, the corporate drivel and the celebrity nonsense, I’m pleased City will once again be able to challenge for major honours. Admittedly, I would prefer to see a City team containing 11 local lads from the academy challenging for the title however despite our excellent youth system this is never going to happen given the current climate of English football. I’d therefore rather City be involved in challenging for major trophies, albeit as a result of money from overseas, than not.

    Following the huge success of the side down the road in Salford over recent years you’d have to be a pretty harsh not to afford City fans a little smile today…

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  • 99. At 3:00pm on 02 Sep 2008, KJ wrote:

    When you next pay 116p per gallon for petrol remember that an admiittedly small amount is going to Man City and Chelsea. It is only the oil price that allows this profligacy to exist

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  • 100. At 3:01pm on 02 Sep 2008, ArsenalArseneArshavin wrote:

    chelsea fans.... I would be more concerned if I were you. We Arsenal don't rely on a sugar daddy and now that the arabs apparently are ten times more wealthy than Roman, just maybe Roman feels he cannot compete with the arabs and decides to leave chelsea!
    Then you can play football with Leeds United.
    Arsenal have a sound economy and will reamin a great club, but Chelsea are in potential danger

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  • 101. At 3:01pm on 02 Sep 2008, lawrencegillies wrote:

    Is this going to make it even more difficult for Hughes to succeed Ferguson when he retires?

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  • 102. At 3:01pm on 02 Sep 2008, DaveM wrote:

    If there is one thing that many people seem to be missing here regards City... it is the word "Intent". This isn't an overnight take over of one of the Premiership top slots... but it is surely a declaration of where the new owners and the club have set their sights. The Robinho deal simply confirms that intent... and it's with more than just a bow shot. Potentially for Hughes (undoubtedly a potential candidate for the Sir Alex slot in times to come) this is now the big-time opportunity come early. For some very good players who will remain with City in the coming years, a realistic move into the big-time looms on the horizon. It takes a lot to put a great team together and it takes a lot to keep them there at the top. Anyone who speaks differently needs to get a grip. Those who doubt the "intent" of City new ownership now need to get a grip. We often hear great words and those words come to nothing. New manager, new faces, new start... and again new words. We hear it all the time in so many clubs, over and over. It's something that City fans and the fans of other clubs have lived with for years. But somehow this time it's different. City fans sense it, other clubs and many of their fans evidently sense it. And maybe even Robinho will come to sense it. There's a wind of change in the air and it's maybe what the Premiership needed. Whether it came from City, Villa, Spurs or Pompey... someone had to throw the cat in amongst the pigeons. The Premiership just maybe stepped a little closer to a new era that breaks the dominance of the big four... and perhaps we should all warm to that thought.

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  • 103. At 3:04pm on 02 Sep 2008, slimjim1986 wrote:

    I hate it that football has become the laughing stock of english sport... I hate the smug look on the faces of my rugby-fan friends and the typical comments of people about footballers being fairies and prima donnas getting paid 150000 a week for falling over whenever they get breathed on... people who dont know what its like at 8.00am on a sunday morning in the rain and mud and snow getting your shins kicked and being stamped on... now we have one more team to perpetuate this image, and one more brazillian whos has already shown us just how loyal he is to the club he plays for

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  • 104. At 3:08pm on 02 Sep 2008, KJ wrote:

    Correction :

    When you next pay 116p per liter for petrol remember that an admiittedly small amount is going to Man City and Chelsea. It is only the oil price that allows this profligacy to exist

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  • 105. At 3:08pm on 02 Sep 2008, LethalSuspect wrote:

    I would also hasten to add that since the news was revealed last night, i have not heard a single person say "good on Robinho" that is purely because the football world sees this as a money grabbing move. Manchester City cannot attract players based on their Rband, Prestige or Club History because neither are terribly flatterring.

    Maybe I'm a very cynical Man Utd fan, but i dont think for one second that Berbatov would've chosen Man City last night had we not upped our Bid for him. Matter of fact i think he would've preferred to rot in the Tottenham Reserves than to go to Man City. That is one thing that Man City do not have over any of the 'Big Four'.

    Before Man city can even think about breaking into the Top Four and sharing the same worldwide status as the "Big Four" They need to build a brand, and a Heritage of sucess, this wont happen over 1, 2 or even 10 years - it will need to be a constant development, and from where i'm reading ADUG's statement of intent it seems that they're not ready to wait that long.

    Panic over Arsenal and Liverpool - you can go back to fighting for 3rd and fourth place between yourselves again.

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  • 106. At 3:09pm on 02 Sep 2008, randalthor1812 wrote:

    A lot of postings on here are missing one point Robinho didn't join City over Chelsea because of the money as such .Real Madrid said to him accept City or stay.They refused point blank to sell to Chelsea because of the way that Peter Kenyon/Chelsea went about the transfer (whether RM have a point I don't know kettle and black spring to mind think of the Ronaldo deal or no deal scenario).Obviously Robinho wanted to join the premier league and leave RM for money/fame/easier life who knows and as RM said perhaps he is badly advised but HE WILL BE WELCOME at city and with three Brazilians at our club won't feel isolated and as someone else said also UTD have Brazilians as well so that will also perversely help lol.To blame Robinho for coming to us instead of Chelsea when he had no choice is hardly fair but i don't expect Chelski footie fans to see that.

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  • 107. At 3:11pm on 02 Sep 2008, reasoneddebate wrote:

    Imagine how annoyed Shaun Wright-Phillips is going to be a year from now. He'll be surrounded by mercenaries again! Back to the bench boy.

    Talk about getting out of the frying pan and into the fire.

    Anyway, as Chelsea have already proved, having a group of mercenaries is all well and good - until Alex Ferguson readdresses the balance and steps up another level. Have your fun City, you may even get yourself one of those trophies you've heard so much about, but when all the dust settles and all the smoke clears, there'll still only be one dominant club in the Premiership, and they won't be playing in blue.

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  • 108. At 3:12pm on 02 Sep 2008, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    slimjim1986

    Ignore the ignorance of your egg-chasing friends. If they think that life at the top of the football tree is the same as life further down then they are fools.

    Deemat90

    Break up of the big four dominance? That may happen, or it may become a big 3 and there may be some casualties en route. I think there will always be dominance though.

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  • 109. At 3:13pm on 02 Sep 2008, jellert wrote:

    Man City want to buy Ronaldo from Man utd 200 million pounds!

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  • 110. At 3:15pm on 02 Sep 2008, reasoneddebate wrote:

    holland21, you're about 15 hours late mate. The time for idiots shouting about transfers that won't happen was last night.

    Still, glad you could make it.

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  • 111. At 3:18pm on 02 Sep 2008, JJ wrote:

    "Chelsea are not used to having the rug pulled out of them [...]"

    In fairness, I doubt many people are. I'm not sure exactly that the "rug" is, but the very thought of having it pulled out of me makes my eyes water.

    Perhaps you meant "not used to having the rug pulled out from underneath them?".

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  • 112. At 3:18pm on 02 Sep 2008, ArsenalArseneArshavin wrote:

    lethal suspect you are talking crap...
    you say top4 and to break into that group you need even more than 10 years of Heritage and success.

    Do you realise you are contradicting yourself??

    Since when have Chelsea more than 10 years of heritage and success?????????

    they did it all in just 5 years so city can do it as well, but one thing I agree on is that even if they become the next chelsea they still wont be a great club.

    In England there are 3 great clubs and they are Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal.

    We are not worried mate, not at all. Before Chelsea and Roman we were competing and we are still competing and we'll continue to do that.
    Im very excited about this season, and to be honest you are just as fragile as any of the top4

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  • 113. At 3:20pm on 02 Sep 2008, jcooper02 wrote:

    man utd fan in peace believe it or not.

    this is a great signing for you. i have watched robinho for three years at madrid and on his day is unstoppable. not quite ronaldo or messi but amazing. he practically won brazil the copa america on his own.

    only trouble i see is that if city dont break into top 4 will he want this year and next without cl football. im not sure.

    gonna be an interesting season in manchester this year. i actually hate the idea that city may be challenging utd soon but that is along way away at the moment.

    bring it on anyway.

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  • 114. At 3:22pm on 02 Sep 2008, Were Ngoging to Ibiza wrote:

    As a Liverpool fan i'm left underwhelmed by our stunning lack of ambition in the transfer market, if we had made any of the signings that Man City have i would be alot happier, i think the most exciting signings were Kompany, Jo and Swp to be honest, Robinho is more worrying to me as a fan that Man City now have the resources and intent to take our place in the top 4 unless we sort something soon, maybe not this season but they seem more serious about getting into the Champions League than we do. Well done city, i think you have some good times ahead :)

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  • 115. At 3:22pm on 02 Sep 2008, jellert wrote:

    They want to sign him in Januari, it's on a few websites. Even in Holland! Trusted websites!

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  • 116. At 3:24pm on 02 Sep 2008, jellert wrote:

    Manchester City's new owner boasts he'll buy United ace Cristiano Ronaldo for £120m as Arabs bid to conquer the world

    New Manchester City owner Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim intends to follow up his shock capture of Robinho by swooping for World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo.


    Al-Fahim smashed the British transfer fee record after agreeing a last-gasp £32.5million fee with Real Madrid for the Brazilian moments before midnight yesterday.


    And now the spokesman for The Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) says he'll splash a staggering £120m on Ronaldo.


    “Ronaldo has said he wants to play for the biggest club in the world, so we will see in January if he is serious.," Al-Fahim said

    "Real Madrid were estimating his value at $160m but for a player like that, to actually get him, will cost a lot more, I would think $240m.

    "But why not? We are going to be the biggest club in the world, bigger than both Real Madrid and Manchester United.”

    Al Fahim has also revealed other names on his shopping list – Liverpool’s Fernando Torres and Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas are also seen as potential targets
    --------------------------

    i'm not kidding


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1051735/Manchester-Citys-new-owner-boasts-hell-buy-United-ace-Cristiano-Ronaldo-120m-Arabs-bid-conquer-world.html

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  • 117. At 3:24pm on 02 Sep 2008, oifa19 wrote:

    Robinho had no option but to leave Real Madrid? He was craving to go. And Chelsea's waiting was a negotiation tactic as when you are the only sensible option for someone who has to sell then the price has to go down. But another option came in in the form of Manchester City and showed that Chelsea cannot even do this well. And with all those millions pouring into the EPL - and football in general - of course the demand for players goes up and there you have the record price tags, I do not agree with the "overpriced" statement as the price of a player is what the buyer is willing to pay for him. However it is curious to see that ManCity fans start talking about "going for all the titles" when money is not everything in football as so many times it has been demonstrated. It was Mourinho who was determinant in changing Chelsea's success record and without him they wouldnt be where they are now; same as it was Rafa Benitez and not the Glazers who made Liverpool reenter the international scene. Lets see if ManCity manager can do the same.

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  • 118. At 3:26pm on 02 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    I saw the suggestion that Manchester City will make a £120m bid for Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo in January.

    Al-Fahim said: "Ronaldo has said he wants to play for the biggest club in the world, so we will see in January if he is serious."

    This is hilarious, but also an early suggestion that there is a lot of naivety and unreality flying around among the new Eastlands hierarchy.

    Either that or a great sense of humour. They need to at least keep it reasonably real.

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  • 119. At 3:27pm on 02 Sep 2008, sirjawa wrote:

    jimmyhayers87 I agree with you mate. i hoped we would make a surprise £20 mill bid on someone but in truth the players just weren't out there this year. Whoever said it was the most exciting transfer window ever is clearly suffering sleep deprivation. There just weren't the same amount or quality moving about this year and those that did were big risks. I wouldn't have taken SWP, Robinho or Quaresma as they are all unreliable show boaters. So lets just wait and hope next window we'll have the money and the targets to succeed.

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  • 120. At 3:32pm on 02 Sep 2008, ZEUSFC wrote:

    it's on the BBC news24 channel, that city's new owners have stated they want ronaldo from utd for 240 million US dollars in january!

    now i think even Fergie and the Glaziers would say that was good business!

    poor old SWP... you really do feel sorry for him!

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  • 121. At 3:33pm on 02 Sep 2008, sirjawa wrote:

    Can someone share my glee that Everton have spent 15£ on a guy playing in Belgium and bought a Danish reserve and an Ecuadorian reserve. Brilliant top four here you come!

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  • 122. At 3:33pm on 02 Sep 2008, etienne123 wrote:

    SWP must be kicking himself - if he'd hung on a few days he'd have been able to treble the wages he's getting now.

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  • 123. At 3:35pm on 02 Sep 2008, ZEUSFC wrote:

    biggest club in the world though?

    ...at Eastlands?

    ...with all that "history"?

    The man might earn more money per second than everyone i know, will make in a lifetime, but he has no idea about what matters in football !

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  • 124. At 3:37pm on 02 Sep 2008, The Unused Substitute wrote:

    To say that Chelsea were left "bruised and humiliated" is wide of the mark Phil.

    Chelsea could easily have exceeded the bid made by City but, according to an official statement from the club, were not prepared to spend that amount of money on Robinho. The only thing that is evident from all of this is that City are going to be spending ridiculous amounts of money on players, without even thinking it through. Even Chelsea, with an exception to Shevchenko and a couple of others, haven't spent stupid amounts of money on just one player.

    All this shows is that City are going to be spending their money very unwisely. It's clear that as soon as City had unlimited funds available they instinctively just threw some cash at some well-known players. Let's face it - would City of made a bid for Robinho if Chelsea hadn't had the whole saga beforehand? I think we all know the answer to that.

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  • 125. At 3:41pm on 02 Sep 2008, AreYouRob'n wrote:

    Robinho would have been a great acquisition for Chelsea but losing him is not a disaster.
    The real significance of Man City's sudden elevation in wealth will be the temporary creation of a big 5 over the next 18 months.
    I argue temporary because Champions League money is still considerable and of great importance to those without a sugar daddy. And CL will still only be available to the top 4. Chelsea can still depend on Roman to fund sufficient purchases to ensure a top 4 finish, likewise now Man City. Man U remain the richest club by turnover and have shown themselves able to compete with Chelsea. In my opinion that leaves Arsenal and Liverpool fighting over the remaining Champions League place and I fear for Liverpool. Arsenal not only have a bigger stadium but are able to generate more money per spectator than Liverpool and despite the stadium construction Arsenal have less debt than Liverpool. This all boils down to Arsenal having £30-£40m a year more than Liverpool and that is an enormous bridge to cross. That Arsenal still have Arsene makes it impossible. Can Liverpool live without a Champions League run? Once maybe, twice, thrice, I doubt.

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  • 126. At 3:42pm on 02 Sep 2008, U5177928 wrote:

    wow. i mean woooow. wooooooow. i cant say it enough. never thought CITY would actualy beat might chelsea to top signing. start of new era? liverpool watch out, for years theyve been the weaker side in that top4, arsenal with that youngest side will always have a bright future, liverpool for me dont have that youth coming through like the way united and arsenal always have. chelsea will always buy their way out of trouble so i see liverpool bowing out. i think another big signing or 2 in january and we got a champions league team here and not only to 'compete' in the group stages im talking about a potential knockout stage team and thats special. after that who knows, champions of europe? never underestimate, if they manage this well in 3-4 years they can be.

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  • 127. At 3:45pm on 02 Sep 2008, bopalula wrote:

    " LethalSuspect ", did you not pay attention to last seaon?

    "Panic over Arsenal and Liverpool - you can go back to fighting for 3rd and fourth place between yourselves again."

    Arsenal were very much fighting for first place....

    2/10, get to the back of the class.

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  • 128. At 3:45pm on 02 Sep 2008, s_connolly wrote:

    For all the money worries related to football at present, there is a simple solution that will completely wipe out money dominating and destroying the beautiful game, and will give everyone an equal chance of success.

    Bring back a foreign players rule, so for example no club can field more than 4 foreigners, there is no limit to how many they can have in there overall squad, only 4 can be used on any giving match day though.

    The benefits are football wont be controlled by money, and the national squads of each country will greatly improve.

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  • 129. At 3:46pm on 02 Sep 2008, ZEUSFC wrote:

    HANG ABOUT, WE'RE ALL FORGETTING QPR!

    Aren't they the next chelsea?

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  • 130. At 3:58pm on 02 Sep 2008, PhLlatin wrote:

    He probably mistton manchester city for Manchester United. We all know how higly educated professional footballers are nowadays

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  • 131. At 4:03pm on 02 Sep 2008, tarquin wrote:

    re 124 - chelsea were prepared to spend a few million less in the first place, but yet weren't happy to add a few mill on to match city?

    of course they say that officially - but the reality is they've been usurped by the presumable offer of first team football all season at city - imagine if city had come in and swooped for berbatov for an extra 2 million, but united refused because it was suddenly 'too much' - it's denial, their nose has been put seriously out of joint

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  • 132. At 4:07pm on 02 Sep 2008, LethalSuspect wrote:

    bopalula wrote:
    " LethalSuspect ", did you not pay attention to last seaon?

    "Panic over Arsenal and Liverpool - you can go back to fighting for 3rd and fourth place between yourselves again."

    Arsenal were very much fighting for first place....

    2/10, get to the back of the class.

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

    Of course i paid attention to last season
    : Premier League - Man Utd
    : Fa Cup - Portsmouth
    : Carling Cup - Tottenham
    : Championn's League - Man Utd

    Arsenal acheivements post - Henry
    :Premiership - 3rd
    :Fa Cup - BEATEN by Man UTD in 5th Round
    :Carling Cup - BEATEN by Totenham in Semi - Final
    :Champion's League - BEATEN by Liverpool in Quarter Finals

    Arsenal's Last premiership Triumph came in 2003/2004 season and i predict they wont win it again in maybe 5 - 6 years time at best. Lets remember when MAn Utd didnt win the title in three seasons (although we had notably not left our trophy cabinet empty) it was a 'crisis'. Its a Fact that Arsenal will remain in a battle with Liverpool until either Man City, Everton, Portsmouth, Tottenham get their act together. Surely you must concede that the title wont be travelling anywhere apart from Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford for many years to come. - You can't be THAT fickle

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  • 133. At 4:08pm on 02 Sep 2008, Bertie Button wrote:

    Great article:

    So many comments from around the world. How long has it been since CITY was the center of attraction? In essence our new Arab friends have made their intent known. The move for Robinho sparked interest and in essence has changed the Premiership landscape. CITY with a huge and loyal following, a team who developed and brought in youth, who played 5 home-grown players at Sunderland and who are now coached by an exceptional talent. I don't care about the monies we now have, I care about our long-term future and it will take more than a couple of hundred UTD fans down-playing this event to change my view that we are on a journey to something special

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  • 134. At 4:12pm on 02 Sep 2008, Barry Knight wrote:

    How on earth can anyone take football seriously. Time was when half of the team you supported were brought up in the locality and were a part of the community. Yes, they earned more money but not excessively so and they responded to the local community by being loyal. It worked both ways. Today you have so called superstars ( heaven knows why they are called that!) who earn ridiculous amounts of money and bear no allegiance either to their club or the community. They have nothing in common with their fans. Now the Phil McNulty article above is all about foreign players. They come and play " for the only team I have ever wanted to play for etc" and then they leave. They are just a bunch of travelling mercenaries. The ownership of the clubs again, is with people unconnected with the town and it's values. Manchester people wake up to find the club they support owned by off shore billionaires. They will probably spend loads of money and get some success. But so what? Somebody else will come along and spend more money, and so it goes on. I understand Osama Bin Laden is very rich. Keep an eye on your local club to see if a tall man with a beard wearing white and carrying a Kalashnikov, has parked his assault vehicle in the car park.

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  • 135. At 4:12pm on 02 Sep 2008, Chad Secksington wrote:

    @131

    Yeah he chose city over Chelsea for guaranteed for guaranteed first team football, he's always been a City fan, this is his dream move.

    City are going to sign Buffon, Eto'o, Essien, Torres, Gerrard, Ferdinand and Arshavin in the transfer window. The new chairman read all about them in Shoot. They're coming for a confined fee of 2.75 Squillion, City are changing the face of football like what clever Mr McNulty says.

    Massive fees for massive players for a massive club.

    Hopefully the owner can find a few million quid now to pay the council tax payers of Manchester for the stadium.

    They should bin off Hughes and fetch in King Keggy Keegle now he's free again, he used to run a soccer circus so he'll slot straight in.

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  • 136. At 4:12pm on 02 Sep 2008, Rob Smiley wrote:

    Somebody pinch me... the wife thinks I'm having an affair, I can't get the silly grin off my face

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  • 137. At 4:13pm on 02 Sep 2008, LethalSuspect wrote:

    messi4arsenal wrote:
    lethal suspect you are talking crap...

    about 12 lines later

    I agree

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

    Yup that was aload of crap alright. Dont get me wrong i think arsenal play some of the most attractive football we've seen for a while, but lets also remember that History remembers those who suceed - and at the moment in the PremierLeague only two teams are at the apex at the moment. Man Utd and Chelsea.

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  • 138. At 4:15pm on 02 Sep 2008, ArsenalArseneArshavin wrote:

    lethal suspect but why didnt you answer my question???

    maybe you are fickle here..

    where is the heritage and success of chelsea for more than 10 years?????

    Dont be too sure mate, as you've just seen with City things change very quickly and all empires will eventually fall. Not a single empire in the world lasted, sooner or later they will fall just like man u maybe?

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  • 139. At 4:15pm on 02 Sep 2008, RetiredNo6 wrote:

    I think an interesting point was raised above regardin what happens if City do "gatecrash" the top 4 and one of the established teams misses out.

    I think any of the four could cope with missing out once. But if teams started missing out two or three consecutvie years then what happens?

    Well Chelsea wouldn't have a problem so long as they had Roman's money. But should a fall from the top 4 coupled with a return of the apathy he seemed to display during the middle period of last season and Roman might walk away. Then even with CL football Chelsea and their extortiante wage bill would suffer.

    Arsenal would be able to cope. Their financial model and the frugal approach of Arsene Wenger, added to the refinancing of their Emirates loan ( a deal done by the now departed Keith Edelman) means that so long as Arsenal are bringin at least 50,000 fans through the gates of the Emirates every home game they would break even without the added extras of massive TV revenues that being in the top 4 bring and the money of the Champions League. The issue for Arsenal would be that once they slipped out of the top 4 would they have to change their frugal business model to get back in?

    Liverpool at the moment are the least stable of the 4. Their boardroom is a war zone and there has been a clear reigning in of Rafa's spending this summer after his at times extravaggant summer outgoings. Missing the Champions League money 2 years in a row would risk setting Liverpool right back. If it comes before the stadium arrives it would leave them looking at annual losses and no transfer cash. The positive is the continual presence of DIC..... they have the money to sort Liverpool out in the longer term. But then they were considered the dangerous option first time around when the club was sold to Hicks and Gillett. Who knows what the true character of that group is?

    Finally the one team for whom missing the Champions League would spell almost instant disaster is Manchester United. With the Galzers mortgaged up to the eyeballs to buy the club - they would struggle without success to meet the loan repayments withouth the guarenteed £35million of the Champions League. The poisitive for United is that whilst Ferguson is boss the idea of them finishing outside the top 4 seems unthinkable..... but what happens when he moves on......? We will have to wait and see.

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  • 140. At 4:22pm on 02 Sep 2008, LethalSuspect wrote:

    messi 4 arsenal -

    Ruud Gullit 1996–1998 FA Cup

    Gianluca Vialli 1998–2000 FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, Charity Shield, European Super Cup

    José Mourinho 2004–2007 2 Premier Leagues, 2 League Cups, FA Cup, Community Shield

    Thats 10 years of relative constantly showing yourselves in competitions - can Man City boast this?

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  • 141. At 4:25pm on 02 Sep 2008, Andyp66 wrote:

    Don't get too excited City fans. Rumour has it that Dr Sulaiman al Fahim is just Chris Moyles in an Arab head dress...

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  • 142. At 4:26pm on 02 Sep 2008, rchrdav wrote:

    #66 I am not sure that yesterdays bids were down to Hughes more like the arabs went lets show that we mean business. United want Berbatov lets bid; Chelsea want Robhino lets bid; Real want Villa lets bid. They probably wouldnt have been too upset if they had got none because it it was a message to the city fans.
    #92 The reason that American sports can get
    away with salary caps and draft picks is that there sports are so dull they are the only league around. If you cant get what you want in the NFL then tough, in football if you cant get it in the premiership there is always la liga. If FIFA brought a rule in they would leave a fudge so Real could do what they want anyway.

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  • 143. At 4:26pm on 02 Sep 2008, theymounty wrote:

    Again Sir Alex has the last laugh - signs his only target of this summer, gets one of his promising players some Premiership experience at somebody elses expense before getting him back and having all the nonsense about tapping up dropped.

    You may not appreciate his manner at times but Scolari, Benitez, Ramos, et al, if you want to be looked upon as the elite, take a lesson from the best.

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  • 144. At 4:30pm on 02 Sep 2008, Padav wrote:

    "Shame they didn't scupper Utd's deal for the mecenary that is Berbatov!"

    Now let me get this straight.

    Berbatov has, for the last six months at least, consistently expressed his desire to move to Manchester Utd and play Champions League football.

    Robinho stated very publicly, less than three days ago, that his "heart was at Stamford Bridge"

    Along comes the latest entrant to the nouveau riche list of Premier League clubs in the form of Manchester City to upset the current power balance.

    Berbatov, despite having a clear opportunity to go to City, who would no doubt have offered him a king’s ransom, very publicly snubs said offer and signs for the club he wanted to play for.

    Robinho on the other hand, ends up at not at the ground where "his heart was" but at the club who will boost his bank balance by the greatest amount.

    So tell me again, who is the real mercenary in this sorry tale of avarice and greed?

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  • 145. At 4:30pm on 02 Sep 2008, captainferrari wrote:

    Surely buying a player for £30million doesn't gaurantee you a top four spot does it ?

    Man City have brought well though and look like a decent team.... not a great team.

    Even with Robinho they are will still be classed as above average in most fans eyes. So I think we should all just take it easy and wait to see where City are at xmas and then decide.

    Don't think they could ever play attractive football as Arsenal or have the guile of Man United. Its only now with millions do Chelsea look very slightly attractive to watch and with Liverpool always trying 100% it will be interesting to see how Man City cope with thier new found money.

    Makes me wonder though... would Kaka, Ronaldhinio or Messi ever come to Man City.

    I don't think so....
    Still should be an interesting season after all.

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  • 146. At 4:30pm on 02 Sep 2008, LeSauxsLeftFootedHandshake wrote:

    Man City outprice Chelsea in a bidding war and get one of the most highly rated players in world football. You can tell it's been an odd weekend when this is genuine news.

    Hard to tell whether this is a sign that English football is getting crazier, of whether the league just got more interesting, but either way City fans must be dizzy after the events of the last 18 months.

    Whether Robinho settles into English football is another issue. He could be the spearhead for the Blue's launching an assault on the Premiership, or could prove to be probably the most embarrasing flop in English Footballing history if he wilts in the freezing winters and gets knocked around too easily.

    Either way, it'll be interesting. Mark Hughes must feel pretty dumfounded right about now.

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  • 147. At 4:32pm on 02 Sep 2008, richthehammer wrote:

    I think that in five years time yesterdays transfer deadline day will be remembered for two things:

    1. Obviously the emergence of City has a realistic Champions League qualifier (and in Hughes I believe they have the manager in place to really take advantage of this influx of cash)

    2. Most importantly though I have a real feeling that people may remember the window as the start of the decline of Wenger's reign at Arsenal.

    With City, Villa and possibly Spurs in a strong position to challenge for the top 4 I think Wenger could live to regret his youthful policies. Having watched SSN last night I even heard, for the first time in 10 years, some Arsenal fans questioning whether Wenger is the right man to take them forward. Whilst i wholeheartedly disagree with this view, I believe the influx of cash at other clubs means Wenger HAS to rethink his policies or risk failure for a fourth consecutive season. If City can now go out and spend £32m on a world class player just like that then where does that leave Arsenal in this current climate of success now, not tomorrow.

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  • 148. At 4:35pm on 02 Sep 2008, ArsenalArseneArshavin wrote:

    Im just saying that sugar daddies come along and spent billions and that's ruining football. Just look around. The fees that are being paid for average players. It is disgusting.
    But of course it's no good whining, you just have to get on with it. But actually I dont fear for Arsenal, I think we are a club that is run properly. It's like family where you feel nothing can separate them.

    And I think they are more of a danger for Man United in the long term than Arsenal.
    We don't pay vast amount of money on players anyway but we are still competing, but City will now pay over the odds for players just like Chelsea and steal potential United targets. You see the targets of Arsenal and United are not in the same category whereas your targets will be the same as City's and Chelsea's.
    And then when Man united discover that ok we cannot compete i financial terms, they have to find an alternative route, which is what Arsenal have done.

    So im not a worried for the long term, maybe short term worries yes!

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  • 149. At 4:40pm on 02 Sep 2008, andy wrote:

    Oh dear, oh dear he we go again. We have a guy with a Squillion pounds to spend who has ( a) no clue about football and ( b) absoultely no class when it comes to transfer dealings. Ring any bells ?
    Buying the worlds best players does not create the worlds best team. All it creates is an overpaid bunch who are their for the money....expect Lampard and Drogba to sign very shortly....

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  • 150. At 4:40pm on 02 Sep 2008, LukeofBulford wrote:

    "Manchester City produced a defining moment that changes football's landscape when they stole Robinho from under Chelsea's nose."

    This sensationalist article suggests that the writer rather enjoys the lavish and misappropriated spending sprees that seem to 'define' his footballing world.




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  • 151. At 4:42pm on 02 Sep 2008, richthehammer wrote:

    My real worry for arsenal would be when Wenger leaves: as well all know the man is a genius at spotting talent and developing youth and is the sole reason why arsenal have managed to maintain their level of success.

    I read an interesting article in The Times today comparing the net transfer spend over the last 5 years for the Prem teams: Wigan, Fulham, West Ham, Blackburn, Bolton, Pompey, sunderland, Boro have all spent more than Arsenal. Even Stoke this year alone have spent more money on players (net spend, thus inc outgoing players) than Arsenal have in the past 5 years.

    How can they possibly sustain there success in relation to net spend without Wenger at the helm?

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  • 152. At 4:43pm on 02 Sep 2008, anythingelse wrote:

    Could anyone apart from City fans and perhaps their closest rivals honestly say they care about all of this? All it means is more overpriced, overseas players in the Premiership, even fewer matches for England players which will give us absolutely no hope (if there was any hope already) of qualifying for the World Cup. The Premiership has become so boring. Who cares if it's the top 4, top 5, top 6 or whatever. These teams aren't Man United, Arsenal, Chelsea - they're just different combinations of World 11s.

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  • 153. At 4:46pm on 02 Sep 2008, ArsenalArseneArshavin wrote:

    richthehammer, that's why Wenger is the best of the best. ferguson was accusing chelsea of buying success when he's doing the same.

    how many players at united have cost more than £30 mio??

    with money even Hull can be champions, no offence

    where was chelsea before roman??



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  • 154. At 4:47pm on 02 Sep 2008, andy wrote:

    I'm a Villa fan and to be honest if we had that kind of money I still dont think players would come to us for anything other than cold hard cash which is not a good situation for any team to be in as it creates disharmony.
    Players would prefer the bigger clubs because they offer Champions League football and more chance of winning trophies....personally I think its a bit of a disaster for football in this country.

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  • 155. At 4:50pm on 02 Sep 2008, ArsenalArseneArshavin wrote:

    richthehammer could you please send me a link to that article. I would love to read it.

    could not find it in the times

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  • 156. At 4:52pm on 02 Sep 2008, richthehammer wrote:

    messi4arsenal, totally agree, wenger is the best. I just worry for arsenal that without significant financial backing Wenger has taken them as far as possible.

    If, for example, Sam allardyce or Alan Curbishley had been in charge of Arsenal and had the money to spend (net transfer spend of £5m in 5 years!!!) that Wenger has where would Arsenal be now?! Prob the Championship.

    Wenger wont be around forever!!

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  • 157. At 4:53pm on 02 Sep 2008, LethalSuspect wrote:

    messi4arsenal wrote:

    You see the targets of Arsenal and United are not in the same category whereas your targets will be the same as City's and Chelsea's.

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

    I have to say that, yes Man Utd DO like to buy an established player once in a while, but look at our Purchases Last season for Example:
    Nani (untested and virtually unknown)
    Anderson (untested and virtually unknown)
    Kuszack (untested at the highest level and not on anyone else's shopping list)

    I believe that Man Utd will never struggle to bring in the players that they want, purely because of th aforementioned history of acheivement, and regardsless of the Large Mortgages taken out by the Glazer Family, Man United is a Self - returning organisation. Our owners have proven that a couple of trophyless seasons and a decrease of influx of money will not deter them, and for that fact in itself we have a solid foundation to go forward.

    Put simply, man united and man city make equla bids for the same player (or man city make a higher bid) player's choice: City or United? NOT a hard decision. now replay that with Man United And Arsenal players choice: A LOT harder - man city wont reach the dizzy heights of the big four

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  • 158. At 4:54pm on 02 Sep 2008, richthehammer wrote:

    messi4arsenal, here it is, bottom right of the page, 'Past Spending'

    http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/pdfs/window2.pdf

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  • 159. At 5:01pm on 02 Sep 2008, SkyBlueJay wrote:

    I've often said to friends with a wry smile that supporting Man City is an exercise in sufference and humility, such is the rollercoaster of inconsistency that flips from fleeting moments of brilliance to abject mediocrity - sometimes within a single match! I'm flabbergasted by the events of the last 36 hours. Of course I'm delighted that the club is receiving such huge investment and the promises of clearing all outstanding payments, stated goals of Champions League football, trophies and even becoming a global sporting empire (gosh!).

    There is trepidation that goes along with the elation. The dealings of Chelsea and our dear neighbours at Old Trafford are often looked at as throwing their financial weight about, bullying there way through the transfer market and even bending rules that other clubs have to adhere to more stringently. This makes them a target for malevolence from other groups of supporters and not without reason. If we, as Man City, start to behave in the same way then our club will be equally reviled and I do not believe that is the way of our club.

    Our new owners have upped the ante in terms of targets for this season. But the financial clout to sign the likes of Robinho from under Chelsea's noses does not offer guarentees. I cannot overstate what a breath of fresh air Mark Hughes' management has been for our club and I and probably most City supporters feel that he must be allowed to build. His straight talking and minor revolutionising of club proceedures and training methods are something practically every supporter I know has been hugely impressed by. This club craves stability almost as much as success and it probably needs the former more acutely than the latter. Hughes must be allowed to retain total control of all footballing matters including transfer targets, sale of players, coaching and backroom staff, team selection, and style of play. In the event of a not unlikely scenario, a strong season that perhaps just misses out on that elusive top four position, then I believe to dismiss Hughes would be a huge mistake. That can only happen in the event of a genuine failure of the team to perform.

    Finally, of Robinho, even the most fervent of City supporters must realise what a surprise it is that he has chosen to join our club at this time, no matter how badly he had burned his bridges at Real Madrid. Players of his callibre tend to covert the chance to play Champions League football over even the most phenominal financial rewards. With their new financial backing City might be heading in that direction but it's no certainty. I would guess that his international teammates, Elano and Jo, will have spoken with him and perhaps impressed upon him the qualities they see in Hughes and the current set up. Robinho will feel no greater level of support than he gets from City fans. In addition I think that Hughes, who knows a thing or two about playing with confidence, has already proven himself as a manager able to coax the best out of his players and I'm confident that he can do just that with Robinho. In addition we have aquired bright young talents in Kompany and Zabaleta adding to the burgeoning academy products of Micah Richards, Michael Johnson and Daniel Sturridge, while Petrov and Wright-Phillips are two of the most effective wingers in the Premier League.

    Our new owners have really stirred up the financial powerbase of the English and possibly European football and that may ultimately pave the way better for competion within our top league. But I do not discount Platini's warnings about foreign billionaire ownership completely. It's an exciting time for our club but the anxieties of being a Manchester City supporter have not evapourated, they may have intensified.

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  • 160. At 5:02pm on 02 Sep 2008, Subsea75 wrote:

    Words of Gold Phill

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  • 161. At 5:06pm on 02 Sep 2008, big_nod wrote:

    GO ON CITY, GOOD LUCK TO YOU THIS SEASON LADS!!!

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  • 162. At 5:06pm on 02 Sep 2008, Barry Knight wrote:

    Reading all this must be like it was in Roman times. My gladiator ( recently captured in Gaul) will beat yours ( big chap, bought from slavery in Egypt ). As 152 says, does anyone actually care ? Does it matter? Another bigger something or other will come along and beat the current champion. Just enjoy football as the entertainment business that it is. Just like Hollywood, or Bollywood for that matter. Now there's a thought , that's a Country expanding rapidly. Just think what they have recently done to cricket.

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  • 163. At 5:12pm on 02 Sep 2008, Acnemanprice wrote:

    If Hughesy is worth his salt as a manager he won't settle for the Champions league in two season as someone suggested, he'll try to make Eastlands the fortress it was for most of last season, buy in the transfer window if necessary and get City into the top four this year. One of the top four always under-performs and the secret will be to attack that side with a vengeance and get their place. If he pulls it off Manchester will be the equivalent of Milan with two enormously powerful clubs battling it out for all the honours.

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  • 164. At 5:17pm on 02 Sep 2008, KinkyKippaxKing wrote:

    Lethal Suspect, remind my how much the "untested and virtually unknown" Nani and Anderson cost Manchester United.

    From recollection each player's fee was not far off Arsenal's transfer record.

    Furthermore, your comment that Manchester United do like to buy an established player "once in a while" beggars believe. Just to menation a few, Ven der Saar, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evera, Carrick, Hargreaves, Rooney, Tevez, Berbatov etc.

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  • 165. At 5:18pm on 02 Sep 2008, Nogonadstice wrote:

    City won't be able to oust Benitez's reds. They're lightyears behind them and Arsenal with an untested and inexperienced manager.

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  • 166. At 5:18pm on 02 Sep 2008, PhilSandifer wrote:

    What a mess. If you have a league with responsible salary caps like MLS, you have a league with no excitement or flair. If you have a league with no such caps like the Prem, you get the Big Money clubs and the rest. Either way, it's a problem.

    Maybe the solution is to just watch Euro and the World Cups. All the quality players of the big money leagues, with none of the stupid money.

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  • 167. At 5:26pm on 02 Sep 2008, Pirlo-vision wrote:

    The Arabs bring with them glad tidings and hidden dangers in equal measure.

    Maybe, just maybe, City will break the top 4 of the Premier League and, more importantly, stay there.

    Unfortunately, inflation is the most likely side-effect of the Arabs' arrival. Just imagine a situation where Abramovich decides to flex his own monetary muscles and goes head-on with ADUG for a player(s). Imagine City declaring their interest in Messi or Kaka, bidding anything between 70-150m pounds for either. Abramovich interevnes with a counter-offer of 200m, and so on... What then?

    Also, if I was Mark Hughes I would be very worried about my position. He finds himself in exactly the same position as Ranieri did at Chelsea and (a more recent example, Allardyce at Newcastle. No disrespect to Hughes but he is not as renowned or 'glamorous' as someone lioke Hiddink, Rijkaard, van Basten etc...

    What odds on Hughes still being in charge next season...?

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  • 168. At 5:40pm on 02 Sep 2008, Aidy_the_Blue wrote:

    Re Post No 11.

    Abramovich never pays over the odds for a player?

    30 mill for Shevchenko (who did nothing to justify this fee before you loaned him back to AC Milan)
    21 mill for SWP (who you sold back to City for ca 9 mill)
    10 mill for Scott Parker (who you flogged for a song to Newcastle)
    Add the name 'Glen Johnson' into the mix and you can see that Roman has frequently paid over the odds for players...

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  • 169. At 6:16pm on 02 Sep 2008, smithy293 wrote:

    as a chelsea fan i am obviously dissapointed we didnt sign robinho after chasing him all summer.. but in all honesty i think we've made the right decision in sticking to our guns.
    we could have matched the over inflated asking price weeks ago and he would have been a chelsea player right now.
    city have paid over the odds for an unproven premier league player that didnt live up to his potential in spain and personally i dont think that leaves us 'humiliated'.
    but hey good luck to city and heres to hoping they knock liverpool out of the the top 4 !

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  • 170. At 6:20pm on 02 Sep 2008, BigPundit wrote:

    City will never enter the big time.

    It's a northern club and nobody wants to move there because it is a dump.

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  • 171. At 6:33pm on 02 Sep 2008, goonergetit wrote:

    Bring on Bill Gates to buy Bolton !

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  • 172. At 6:43pm on 02 Sep 2008, tarquin wrote:

    170: City will never enter the big time.

    It's a northern club and nobody wants to move there because it is a dump.

    --

    have they actually moved united to london now??

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  • 173. At 6:51pm on 02 Sep 2008, RedWristband wrote:

    As a Liverpool fan, I have to say I'm absolutely terrified now =/, it is either going to be us or Arsenal now who make way for Man City in the top 4.

    I mean how the hell can anyone except Utd and Chelsea compete with that sort of money. I'm sure i'm not the only one who finds the amount of money swirling around at the top obscene.

    I think this is the beginning of the end really for Premiership football, theres no way the current level of investment can be maintained and I think it can only be a matter of time before the Abromovichs leave and most clubs are left with nothing but huge and constantly rising debts

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  • 174. At 7:02pm on 02 Sep 2008, TheWillverine wrote:

    A sad day for English football. A 128 year old club passed around like a plaything between a corrupt Thai politician and Middle Eastern investors. Kevin Keegan, who has done so much for football, both as a player and manager, humiliatingly dismissed following a perfectly respectable start to the seaseon. And, once again, glamorous, possibly overrated, international players dominating the headlines, and commanding ridiculous transfer fees. I'm not advocating parochialism, just some recognition of how far football has strayed from its roots.

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  • 175. At 7:04pm on 02 Sep 2008, jasonr27 wrote:

    chelsea fan here.

    well done to city. I hope you will sign ronaldo from united in january for 150 million.

    Robinho 32.5 million, Ronaldo 150 million. Seeing man united fans faces PRICELESS.

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  • 176. At 7:10pm on 02 Sep 2008, ronrafferty wrote:

    When will this madness end?NOBODY is worth the money already being spent.Man City have got their Brazillian mercenary, who wanted to play for Chelski until some Arab outbid some Ruski, but will he play for the shirt like Colin Bell used to---I doubt it very much.
    I hope that the whole business side of the game implodes and we can get back to sanity.

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  • 177. At 7:19pm on 02 Sep 2008, the_kudos wrote:

    Isn't everyone forgetting that we already beat Chelsea to their Number One target of the Summer??

    We signed Mark Hughes as Manager for £5.7m when it appeared he was odds on favorite to sign for Chelsea.

    Blue Moon is rising!

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  • 178. At 7:20pm on 02 Sep 2008, dhimmi wrote:

    "but Spurs fans will worry that the shadow of Sergei Rebrov lurks over this deal - a striker who looked world-class until he pulled on the white of White Hart Lane."

    If you had done your research you would have known this meant he would have a 1/3 goal to game ratio in his first season and subsequently be frozen out completely by a new, very poor, manager who preferred two 30 somethings

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  • 179. At 7:20pm on 02 Sep 2008, dennyrfc5 wrote:

    Cannot wait for the season to get properly goin now. i think city can challenge all the way an be in the top 6 possibly top 4!

    players like elano, kompany, SWP, Jo, petrov, ireland and now robinho could make ver attacking good to the eye football.

    Need to bring in some quality to the defence though if they have any real hope. New owner hasnt obviosly seen this.

    come on city

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  • 180. At 7:30pm on 02 Sep 2008, Laqlouq58 wrote:

    The Abu Dhabi royal family is prepared to spend more than Abromovitz has at Chel$ki to establish their name in Europe and worldwide.

    The 'Manchester' brandname proved more attractive than Newcastle or Arsenal, whom they also thought about buying.

    In the process, football loses its meaning as a sport in which teams compete in a genuine contest whose outcome is unknown.

    It is merely a question of who spends the most. Instead of discussing football, this forum now discusses money, and that reflects the sad state of what was once the beautiful game.

    Where there was Osgood, there are now fat Chel$ki fans in £50 away strips, and where there were Charlton Best and Law there is now Fergu$on tapping up other team's players and insulting the referee every time he loses.

    Enough.

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  • 181. At 7:33pm on 02 Sep 2008, DixieDean99 wrote:

    Now more than ever I hope Wenger keeps pulling it off at Arsenal (and I'm a Toffee). Read the book "Moneyball" about the Oakland A's baseball club by Michael Lewis. Wenger zags while everybody else zigs. Beautiful.

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  • 182. At 7:43pm on 02 Sep 2008, vickersone wrote:

    Frightened? i dont think so. Just another example of Man City inspired madness as yet more big-money boys throw it around promising the earth to the faithful/delusional at Eastlands.
    Robinio? mercenary, overrated, one dimensional. A glorified Lee Bradbury.
    Are the new owners fit to run the club, as "dr" Thaksin seems not to be? have they got their money by fail means or foul?
    Its all going to go horribly wrong.

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  • 183. At 7:51pm on 02 Sep 2008, barroldinho wrote:

    I'm sorry, but weren't City owned by a billionaire last season as well? Isn't the reason Eriksson was sacked because, even though he did much better than City were used to (at least in the first half of the season), he fell far short of the owners expectations?

    Money is no guarantee. Look at the numerous "sleeping giants" around the country. Newcastle and Blackburn all got heavy investment in the nineties and managed to get nothing more than short-term success. Middlesbrough brought in expensive foreign stars and got relegated. How much have Liverpool and Tottenham spent recently. In the meantime, Arsene Wenger scouts them young and nurtures them to get success.

    Real Madrid spent three years without the title despite having a squad containing the most famous players of the time, all in their prime.

    It is primarily still about management and coaching. Money will get you the players certainly, and can put you in the running but making them play takes real ability. If not, I could manage Chelsea tomorrow.

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  • 184. At 8:03pm on 02 Sep 2008, TAOFIKODUKOYA wrote:

    I am still yet to believe what has happened. Sincerely, i feel the management at Chelsea still own us an explanation on what really happened. I am of the opinion that we need a dribller in our front line and Robinho would have been a perfect fit. But can anyone explain why Robinho who wants to be the best in the world will not play in the Champions League???

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  • 185. At 8:06pm on 02 Sep 2008, thriftygunner wrote:

    Comment No.31 - I could not agree more, I'm still laughing!

    On a more serious note - the loser in all this is football - the greed of players is killing the game. show me anyone, even a City fan, who thinks that Robinho went there for football reasons and I will show you a fool. He probably had never heard of city this time last week.

    having said that, good luck to them.

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  • 186. At 8:20pm on 02 Sep 2008, masterful_matt wrote:

    I am a liverpool fan through aand through and while i'm chuffed for City fans ( i can just imagine the Gallagher brothers!!) it makes me bitter to think what might have been for us reds. Instead of the dreams we were promised we have to make do with six signings that, while could turn out to be good players, will almost definitely not be defined as great (perhaps with the exception of keane, although he hasn't started very well). With the stadium plans now in disarray, surely now it is time for the americans to get the cash out or get the hell out!

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  • 187. At 9:01pm on 02 Sep 2008, ZolaGola wrote:

    I am still trying to work out why everyone is saying Man City "beat" Chelsea for his signature.
    There was no new offer from Chelsea yesterday so if Man City had not put the ridiculous bid in that they had he would have had to stay at Real.
    A positive note for me is that Chelsea are not being held to ransom over players anymore.
    City fans are fooling themselves if they think he really wanted to go there and not Chelsea.

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  • 188. At 9:03pm on 02 Sep 2008, Andrew Garlick wrote:

    I am a Leeds fan...so really I have nothing to be happy about...we got sold down the river many a year ago.

    Football is crazy now, When the first time the Premiership started I was so looking forward to seeing people like Klinsmann, Bergkamp strutting their stuff, now nearly every other player is foriegn apart from the Aston Villa team who could actually field 11 english players.

    Is this good for the game...MONEY...erm no...Will it ever get better...erm no...will England improve by having all these players...erm no.

    People keep bringing up the Gerrard/Lampard Mystery...why there cannot play together...why maybe it is because they are surrounded by better players in their team and hence they do well.

    I am England though and through and want us to suceed but until the teams/league come up with a Salary Cap/Player Cap (Foreign/English) then i see no way forward.

    Ok some of you will say...less exciting players mean boring football...but I guess that means we will sacarfice the England team to benefit the club team.

    Still - Hey Man City...Hope everything works out for you guys.....to be honest would of love to seen the face of Peter Kenynon when he found out his "We have basically done the deal" had fallen through.

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  • 189. At 9:17pm on 02 Sep 2008, zyder wrote:

    Real Madrid made good buisness by selling Robinho to a club that will not be competing in the Champions league. Why strengthen your opposition when you can make a tidy sum at their expense and get rid of a player who is unhappy at your club?

    However there could be a sub plot where by Chelsea selling SWP to Man City, maybe part of the deal was for Man CITY to act on behalf of Chelsea and Robinho will be at stamford bridge on loan.

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  • 190. At 9:21pm on 02 Sep 2008, spikeShan wrote:

    In my opinion the signing of Robinho by Manchester City is a fantastic coup - it's about time somebody actually beat Chelsea at their own game. I particularly love how Chelsea executives were allegedly confident enough to start selling shirts with the Brazilian's name printed on the back before they'd even signed him. I can picture (with a certain amount of glee I admit) the looks on Kenyon and Abramovich's faces when they realised that they had been beaten.

    Although I recognize the points made on both sides of the argument with regard to how footballing success can suposedly only be bought, I must say that I believe the foreign injection of cash into our league is for the better. I dare say that those who complain of it are the same people who complain that the Premier League is dominated by 4 clubs. In this fan's view, if more clubs were bought there would be more competition at the top and the league would inherently be much more interesting.

    My own rational thought leads me to conclude that the domination of the 'big 4' will likely now be challenged by a 5th team within the next year or two, assuming (and I'm not holding my breath as a City fan) that Man City's new owners are in for the long haul. This means more competition at the top (particularly for 4th place) - and I personally relish the potential of the outcome at the top of the table going down to the wire on the final day of the season in a few years time. Isn't that the kind of excitement this league should be about? The excitement generated by the final day relegation battle is arguably more exciting than anything else in the Premier League - the excitement foreign investment could bring if the top of the table was decided in the same way would be phenomenal.

    I hope this move by Abu Dhabi United acts as a catalyst for even more foreign investment in the Premier League. Imagine if (in a few years time at least) half the clubs were owned by billionairre investors? Imagine most of the worlds greatest players in our top flight - the table as unpredictable and exciting as it should be. The fact that Man City landed Robinho goes to show that top players don't necessarily only go to top clubs. I believe top players are excited by clubs with potential - they want to be part of something great and revolutionary, rather than waste away on the bench at clubs where success is guaranteed.

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  • 191. At 9:59pm on 02 Sep 2008, MaxSchlaflit wrote:

    Football in the end isnt about winning trophies in your country or winning the champions league, its a bout pride.

    The english premier league is no doubt one hell of a league to watch, but its ridiculous.

    1)All the clubs are getting bought by foreign rich people with a just a wee bit too much money

    2) The EPL has raised the cost of players on the transfermarket so insanely much, its just ridiculous.

    3)The stupid global branding of EPL showing matches in India!!! Common, thats not football. English league, english attitude. Pub, drinking a great atmosphere and the match. Whats this got to do with India

    4) Im not saying that Manutd supporters or Chelsea supporters or now ManCity dont have pride, far from it. But if in 10 years the clubs are stilling getting run succesfuly, then the image of the club is ruined.

    5) When are you city fans happier. Beating united at old trafford with your sqaud, or with a squad which an arab just built up for you?

    Im a Bayern supporter and i dont care if we were in the Uefa cup and gut pumped 4-0. I sure want Bayern to spend some money and bring in two top players to raise the quality of the squad.

    There a handful of clubs in Europe who still have prestigue and pride. Arsenal, Bayern and Barcelona. Maybe chelsea will beat Bayern...so?
    Atleast we run our club like a business and dont build up millions of pounds of debt. We dont buy players for 50 million every year.

    We still have some history, prestigue and PRIDE, regardless of the score!

    Enjoy your money City, obviously your happy, its still pathetic.

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  • 192. At 10:00pm on 02 Sep 2008, ArsenalArseneArshavin wrote:

    im amazed to why people think 30+ mio is a coup for Robinho? Are you guys mad?


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  • 193. At 10:07pm on 02 Sep 2008, drmischief wrote:

    Another team vies to buy the Premiership title. *yawn* Still saves earning it I s'pose.

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  • 194. At 10:37pm on 02 Sep 2008, jackyboi1111 wrote:

    well as a city fan ive had to put up with alot of things, and to be honest im very excited about this whole thing, with talks of top 4 this season, along with possible signing in january with the likes of ronaldo for 135m, torres, the other ronaldo, fabregas, and actually talk of 18 players. how ever i dont want this new guy to actually buy us a new team, i feel the likes of ireland and johnson need to play to develop the way they need to. if this is the case then he should make a Manchester City B team :D, that would be interesting. also mark hughes has been told to tell them off players he wants and they will try and get them, he is like a kid in a toy store lol. Robinho is a great signing and i feel he is what we lacked last season, a good striker to bang in the goals and we may have kept that 4th spot. also i think that seeing as this new guy wants to have the best football team, i think he should add to our current stadium, possibly equalling manchester uniteds (more blues in manchester then reds), and half the price of the season tickets, it would fill on the big games. on the transfer sides, i think ronaldo 135m is not worth it as we have sweep, Torres yes but lpool wont sell him, fat brazilian ronaldo noo , and fabregas wil not leave arsenal, we have a good team now and i feel to breach the top 4 we onli need a quality defender ( a world known one) and another midfielder, then we have a brilliant team in my blue eyes: hart richards dunne ben haim zabaletta petrov elano sweep then a world clas midfielder thats well known, and robinho and jo ? that team is as good as liverpools, maybe not quite enough to win the prem but that is a later goal.

    sincerely , city fan

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  • 195. At 10:48pm on 02 Sep 2008, Hands_of_Friedel wrote:

    Does anyone actually think this is good for the game?

    Why is it so difficult for people to understand that transfer/salary caps are required?

    Hypothetically, if clubs could not spend more than 50 million a year in transfer fees and 50 million a year in wages, we'd have a right league, ya? (i'd also cap ticket prices in this model.)

    Yes, my numbers might not be the right figures for it to work.

    Yes, it would need to be applied across europe.

    Yes, there would have to be approval by the EU.

    But if it could be done, and surely this is within the realm of the possible, does everyone agree it'd be a good thing for football?

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  • 196. At 11:11pm on 02 Sep 2008, ihearthuckerby wrote:

    In reply to Hands... Of course it's not good for the game. It's probably not even good for Man City - knowing them something is bound to go wrong.

    Personally I would like to see a rule that clubs cannot be owned by interests outside of the UK. It's probably too late for that but there has to be some kind of structure or rules imposed otherwise we might as well create a Euro super-league right now... in fact the top Prem clubs have so much money they would probably dominate even that.

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  • 197. At 11:14pm on 02 Sep 2008, northernbeards wrote:

    Cesc, Ronaldo, Torres in January. Utter rubbish. Without the lure of champions league football - this trio will avoid City like the plague.
    Another moneybags with more cash than sense in the prem - just what the Sport needs. Just seconds through the council owned door at
    Eastlands without a trophy in years and a spot at an away leg in Cyprus and they've already been proclaimed the biggest club in the world. Joke.
    At least Thaksin had perspective even if he had a questionable human rights record. I look foward to 3 months of inflated transfer gossip before the inevitable anticlimax.



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  • 198. At 11:29pm on 02 Sep 2008, ManCity wrote:

    I think Robinho will do really well at City.
    There will be other star players to come, not that he need that and he will get the best manager for improving him.
    He will also easily feel at home just like SWP.
    Hughes knows what he is doing.

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  • 199. At 11:50pm on 02 Sep 2008, ManCity wrote:

    English football have really in the past 100 years been ruled by the top 3 red teams.
    Some times Everton, Leeds, Tottenham and a few others have pupped up and won somethink.

    Since then blue Chelsea have emerged and established as the best team right now, next will be blue City and I hope Everton will follow also. Time is now for the 3 blue teams to dominate for the next 100 years,

    Fair eneough ?

    Spurs and Villa will pop up also so now we are looking at a top 8 rather than a top 3/4.
    Portsmout, Newcasle and Sunderland could get there also.

    The league have surely become better with another big team. City will anyway only fill a team of 11 playersand can't buy all great player, so there is this limit.

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  • 200. At 03:05am on 03 Sep 2008, alrightjb wrote:

    Firstly Congratulation to City it's about time they had something to cheer about. Having had the promise of a billionaire owner only to find out that his money has been taken away because of corruption charges and a suspected horrific human rights record. Man City fans must be relieved the uncertainty over the clubs financial position has been secured, at least in the short term.

    As for whether the top 4 should be concerned is a different matter. I'm an Arsenal fan and if our position as a member of the 'Big 4' were in question I feel we are the best placed to deal with the potential financial constraint imposed by missing out on CL football. Liverpool IMO are in most danger due mainly to the instability in the clubs boardroom and having an albeit famous but ageing stadium.

    Although I think for the coming season the Big 4 have nothing to be concerned about we will see in the following seasons if Man City manage to gel and cause a real threat.

    I agree with a lot of the points made in comment 191 about pride. One of the great things Arsene has done at Arsenal is, despite importing a lot of youngsters from Europe and elsewhere, instill the history and traditions of Arsenal FC into these players and this shows in the pride they get from wearing the Red and White of Arsenal.

    Although we still get players leave for more money; others players - Fabregas, RVP, and for many years Henry, resist the lure of big money to play for the club they love and become one of the many fans. TH still follows Arsenal despite playing in Spain how many other clubs can say this?

    Wenger has made it clear he would ideally like a British backbone to the team which is illustrated with signings of Walcott and Ramsey etc. However, ultimately does it matter where a player comes from if the love the club like the fans?

    Finally, with respect to Man City, if they do become successful I welcome the challenge to our status in the top four.

    I hope they build a long term future for the club and not buy the league like Chelsea with a business plan that would leave them in a state of disarray, like that experienced by Leeds, should Roman and his billions walk away from his expensive plaything. Good luck Man City and please everyone, including Man Utd fans, send Leeds and any other club in financial trouble some good luck so we can all watch the club we love.

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  • 201. At 06:55am on 03 Sep 2008, Biblicalprportions wrote:

    You got to ask yourself - why Manchester City? 1st Thaskin and now Abu Dabu Wabbles.

    This is business, and long term business at that. The premiership is massive all around the world (apart from the US), this is only getting bigger. Thaskin knew that Asia was the growth market where as UK and Europe are matured, there are more people on this continent then any other.

    I am in China now and there are 250 million just in the province i am in, football is everywhere, they are not buying the shirts and kit yet, but as China start to relax their import / export laws there will be a new middle class of shirt shoppers, who will choose a loyalty that will last throughout their spending lives.. so those who build their clubs now will be the ones at the front in the not to distant future.

    Everyone in China knows 2 teams - Manchester and Chelsea. They are avid gamblers and followers of sports, the premiership is the main event already on millions of TV's each week.

    So why Man City ... because of the name 'Manchester' - how ironic that city are using utds fame for their own means.

    Don't get carried away city fans, this will be a business investment like any other, there will be an expected return, and although there is money available its UTD that manage their team with a balance of youth and experience, home grown and brought in superstars. Real, Chelsea won nothing last year!




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  • 202. At 07:19am on 03 Sep 2008, mancityinpegcity wrote:

    Wow... Mixed emotions to say the least.

    As a Man City fan in Winnipeg, Canada it is only in the last few years that I've actually been able to watch the games on a regular basis, though my interest began in the early 90's when I used to travel to England every summer during school holidays. I wound up making friends with a group of Mancunians and it was they who educated me in footy and being a Man City supporter in particular.

    It just so happened that Oasis played here in Winnipeg Monday night. The boys looked especially bored playing to a hockey arena full of bland, middle-aged accountants. I was likely the only person there who understood why Noel kept saying, "wow... what a crazy day to be a Manchester City fan". I knew at that point that the club had been sold, but the last update I'd had online before leaving for the evening was that we were trying to swoop Berbatov. I didn't want Oasis to play anymore - I just wanted them to tell me what the hell was going on at the end of the transfer window!!!

    When I got home and raced the the computer and found out that we'd stolen Robinho...I don't think that I could have been more shocked.

    Well - to the point!
    When Shinawatra bought the club and hired Sven I was thrilled. When Sven recruited some brilliant talent I was thrilled. When the team struggled down the stretch I was crushed. When Sven was fired I was gutted. When Mark Hughes was hired I was thrilled again and thought: well, perhaps the firing of Sven was all for the better if it led to Hughes. Then it looked like the whole thing was going to fall apart before the season even began with Shinawatra's legal/fiscal problems and Mark Hughes being undermined on the sale of players...and of course I was gutted again sure that Hughes was going to walk away. Then he showed what I thought was some awe-inspiring poise and held things together firmly. Then to see Kompany come in and play so brilliantly in his first game and then the return of SWP...WOW!!! Top-of-the-world - if only that nagging issue of having a wanted man who has been stripped of his wealth for an owner could be fixed... And then... BOOM!
    And that first available clip of Dr. Somebody talking about not just bringing players in for fame, but truly building a TEAM that could contend for trophies around Europe. WOOOHOOOO!!!
    And then Robinho!!! Seriously!!!
    I read all the negative thing being said about him as a person for choosing to come to Man City just for the money and I thought that perhaps he should be extended the benefit of the doubt. Was he not making a ridiculous amount of money at Real? And why did he want to leave Real? It wasn't over money. I believe that it was because he wanted to play on a team where he felt like a valuable, and appreciated member of that team, not a pawn in a trade for C. Ronaldo. I thought that perhaps we should be applauding his sense of adventure in coming to a club that is building and not built.
    Then today his initial comments appeared; comments about joining his Brazilian friends on the MCFC team and the excitement of taking a team where it has never gone before...and a photo with MH with what looked to me like a very genuine smile. Top-of-the-blue-moon I felt!!!
    Then came some new comments from the new ownership group - Fabregas, Torres, C. Ronaldo for an infinite amount of money... and the hangover hit.
    Will I recognize this team in 12 months time? Will it be exciting when we beat Man U... or will it quickly become exciting only when Man U beat us after we've bought all their players? Could it really have been a great idea to announce the day after purchasing Robinho that you want to buy C. Ronaldo? I don't think that that's the message I'd want to send to my new signing under the circumstances.
    Could I possibly care as much when Kaka or Ronaldo score as I do when Ireland or SWP does?
    I don't know where all this is going but the elation is gone and now all I'm left with is a slightly queasy feeling.
    I remember standing outside the old grounds as my Mancunian friend Neil explained to me the joy of being a Man City fan: "It's like a doomed love affair that'll never end - an emotional roller-coaster of epic proportions" - he'd had a few Newcastle's that evening.

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  • 203. At 08:12am on 03 Sep 2008, footballrealist wrote:

    All these posters here talking about a 'business investment'....WRONG!

    Abramovich pouring £600 Million into Chelsea is not, repeat not, an investment. How do you turn Chelsea into a £200 Million club...well, first you spend £600 Million.

    Man City will be the same, only moreso....ADUG, the Abu Dhabi consortium say that it is a vehicle to publicise Abu Dhabi. They don't care about the cost...there is NO possibilty of the club being run on a profitable basis (the same as Chelsea) - it is an investment from Abu Dhabi's point of view. An investment IN Abu Dhabi, not Man City.
    Two or three years from now Man City may well be pushing for top honours, but they will also have a balance sheet similar to Chelsea's with massive, and I mean massive, debts.

    No, it is not good for the game - but talks of wage caps etc will not work - it is nothing to do with the 'game'. It is business, pure and simple - why should it be restricted?
    If an arab consortium wants to pour money into a club to generate exposure for their particular Emirate why should they be stopped?

    The fun will start when a close neighbour - Dubai - decides that THEY want to trump
    Abu Dhabi's move. Can the Glazer's compete with this sort of money? Not a prayer, Christian or otherwise.
    To put it into perspective we are talking of wealth approaching 100 times that of Abramovitch...and growing.

    It will also reinflate the transfer market - as if it needed it - and further distance the 'elite'. Bad for everyone really, but we have been wandering down this particular avenue ever since the 'game' sold its soul to the great God that is Sky TV.

    To those poor souls that are harping on that 'you can't buy success', Ha! Dream on....just watch. Cost effective it may not be, succesful it will.


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  • 204. At 2:20pm on 03 Sep 2008, RUPO1909 wrote:

    I agree with Epstein. Establish a salary cap European wide! Football is already not the game we used to love and watch. It is full with money and money has a bad smell in this case (Russians, Middle East, US Investors, and so on...). The English league is 'buying the game to death'. Just look were your national team is currently. Never mind, win the CL every year, play only with English clubs in the last rounds, drink your beer, watch TV (because the tickets for the ground are too expensive these days) and be happy, let the games go on ;-)! Maybe one day we will see that money can not prostitute our game!

    Cheers
    RUPO (Borussia Dortmund supporter)

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  • 205. At 3:14pm on 03 Sep 2008, CliveMaier wrote:

    Every time we think the Premiership has reached the limit of vulgarity, there is always some new low to be plumbed. It has definitively ceased to be a sporting endeavour. Now the top spot is just a bauble to be bought; an exercise in consumption; a toy that momentarily diverts people who have everything. It is not about football any more, it is just about purchasing power. The decay of what we knew as football is almost complete. The ordinary fan was ushered to the exit long ago. Now we have managers enduring responsibility without power, obliged in the pursuit of their careers to work with people they may little admire. The club has ceased to be a unit of the community. It is just a brand. And now agents and mercenary players are actively destroying the very concept of the team. The summer stampede for the cash is producing sides with little continuity from one season to the next. What’s to support any more? This shit soufflé is nearing collapse. Speed the day, I say.

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  • 206. At 3:43pm on 03 Sep 2008, bobrow wrote:

    I think that the day of the "Bitter Blue" is over.
    I am beginning to see the day of the "Resentful Red" approaching though.

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  • 207. At 5:23pm on 03 Sep 2008, northernbeards wrote:

    "Resentful Red"
    Get a grip - at the very least I've 2 more seasons of the usual City rubbish to put up with. Moaning about Fergie, Gary Neville, Keano and the rest. City's past 30 years have been defined by what United do and reacting to it.
    It'll be just my luck for the transfer system to fall apart under the strain of trillions of oil pounds - and I have to put up with more "It's all a conspiracy against city" chatter.
    It's bad enough some hype ridden loon bought them and I have to put up with the new Torres / Ronaldo non story that will fill the papers until January. My council tax pays for the City trophy room at Eastlands when to be fair another carpark in the town centre or a couple more trams would be of more use to the City as a whole.





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  • 208. At 5:43pm on 03 Sep 2008, clashloz wrote:

    I am confused, and worried. We have teams being deducted points for going into administration, for amounts a lot less than Chelsea's trading losses. This happens when no-one can be found to knowingly waste their money to back a football club (business), that is not making money.
    Is it right for the game, that any person can put obscene amounts of money into any club, and not worry about the profits.
    It is time the governing bodies of the sport showed some consistency in deducting points from non-profit making clubs, ACROSS THE BOARD.

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  • 209. At 10:01pm on 03 Sep 2008, alwaysbeablue wrote:

    There is a fundamental difference between the Abrom and Chelski situation and the ADUG and Citeh one. ADUG are vastly wealthier but see the 'city project' as marketing spend. They [Abu Dhabi] are investing money for when the oil runs out - not in Citeh but for their future as a global sporting centre, amongst many other things.

    They need to build a sporting brand for them to wave a flag at the rest of the world but more importantly in the face of their rival Dubai [DIC is their counterpart].

    They will throw money at football in a way that would have never previously been imagined ..with some luck and good purchases they will get what they want ...and they will spend what it takes to make it happen, they will be careful not to fail as this will be a failure of their nation and they have 550bn of other investments riding - at least to some extent - on this 'investment.

    So the success of Citeh has a whole nation and a vast amount of money behind it. Chelski are a oligarchs plaything ..he may get distracted by other things at some point, maybe a better team close to home, Zenit springs to mind. It is worrying that all the money spent by him is logged as loans.

    I have mixed feelings, excited at seeing great players come to my team but worried that we will end up with a load of glory hunters wearing the blues shirt on the high streets of Reading and other such unrelated places. It will be nice to [potentially] see the top four monopoly challenged and maybe broken up in some way, the EPL was beginning to go the same way as the SPL ie predictable, which does nothing for the game.

    I hope they invest in our youth /academy and make that the standard which everyone else aspires to, that would be a great way to invest in our beloved game.

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  • 210. At 10:19pm on 03 Sep 2008, alwaysbeablue wrote:

    northernbeards - please get this notion that your council tax pays for anything to do with City. The stadium built for the commonwealth games would - without the deal with MCFC - be like the dome and a drag on the resources of Manchester City council. City are by definition a contributor to the councils budget not a drain on them ...and they will be for the next 100 years or so until the lease runs out. The agreement between MCFC and the council ensures that a share of the gate receipts is paid every year, probably funding a car park or some other useful thing to benefit all mancunians ..please check your facts!

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  • 211. At 10:10am on 04 Sep 2008, dancingReevo wrote:

    Hi Everyone
    Just a short comment to say how exciting the new prospect is. Read a comment earlier mentioning how the game has changed due to all the "BIG" financial backers heading over to the UK and how the game used to cost nothing to watch, players played cos they wanted to and finished winning a trophy by taking a huge bath together!!! My old man (Kevin Reeves) who played in the early 80's loved playing the game, and playing for the Real Manchester side. My little brother has been brought up, or shall i say almost pressured into following the blues so now he may have something to celebrate in the years to come, as will i!! Good luck to the Eastlands!!!

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  • 212. At 12:16pm on 04 Sep 2008, irishlofty7 wrote:

    I am interested to see if Man City new owners would refund all the current season ticket holders for season 2008-09 as part of a thank you gift for accepting them to run the club for their behalf. Goodwill gestures free season tickets to all loyal fans for a year or two until they all get into the Champion's league events.

    As it only paper money to the royals! as they only interested in golds and bullions. wonder if that would happen watch this space yet to come..

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  • 213. At 1:19pm on 04 Sep 2008, wiseoldbeef wrote:

    Well done, City. But get ready for the harsh realities. There's no such thing a free lunch. I hope you do well and challenge the top sides but bear in mind the following.
    "Maybe not top 4 this season, we need to be given time" is not an option. Make no mistake, if you don't look like finishing top 4 this season Mark Hughes is history.
    The person who replaces him will be history if he doesn't delive the Premier League title 2009-2010 season.
    The City fan base will be replaced by the corporate prawn sandwich brigade, the big I ams that have made United lose all its sense of identity and community.
    Oh and you might as well shut the City Academy system down. There'll be no manager willing to risk all on bringing new players through.
    Hope you're ready for all this, lads. No whingeing in 12 months time when it all comes to pass. You have been warned.

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  • 214. At 3:16pm on 04 Sep 2008, Nogonadstice wrote:

    Red Arm Band you should hang your head in shame. The reds will never be bettered by a small club like Man City no matter how much money the new owners throw at their new toy. Liverpool have Steven Gerrard - one of the best players of all time - who would rather die on the pitch than let the kop down.

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  • 215. At 9:01pm on 05 Sep 2008, bobrow wrote:

    See what I mean from the above .

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