Man City may be built on a ‘web of lies’, but every Premier League team takes ‘blood money’…

Man City manager Pep Guardiola and the BEIN Sports logo Credit: Alamy
Man City manager Pep Guardiola and the BEIN Sports logo Credit: Alamy

The Man City debate rages on, and on, and on…

Some have jumped to the defence of the champions – with every other Premier League club accused of taking ‘blood money’. While others cannot wait for Pep Guardiola to bugger off.

Send your views in to


Nevermind the cheating and what not…

It’s the absurd hypocrisy that pushes me over the edge towards absolutely no respect for that little club that Robinho didn’t even know existed (insert hysterical laughing at that very illustrative reminder) and their new “main-man”

Wasn’t he the actual ringleader in Norway’s protests against human rights abuses by Qatar?

The ringleader…of protests against human rights abuses…who plays for Sheikh Mansour with a straight face? (who writes these scripts, seriously?)

What an absolute pot-of-runny-shite of a person who clearly is nothing but a deeply deceitful virtue-signaler.

The balls to actually be the leader of such a protest one minute and then pay for exactly the same of people the next are admirable, I guess, if you like scumbag types of people and call it “Character” or some other weird adjective, because you know, winning a game of sport and all that always has, and always will, trump anything that you have even remotely resembling principles or morals.

After all, Mansour has delivered trophies, to a club who signed players who didn’t even now they existed, and who has fans who very, very clearly have been THAT desperate for something, anything, that they actually revel in being a middle eastern dictators’ plaything, not much “Manchester” about your club in reality is there but the address, so enjoy it for however long this man can be arsed to be involved in it, and then within a generation we will be seeing players arrive, looking extremely confused at the name of the stadium they have been dropped off at and the blue shirt being presented to them, asking, “who the hell did I sign for” to his agent. Once again.

Just remember that any crook can live it up. For a while.

Honest legacy and tradition takes time and success that others actually respect, sans that perception and you can spin your wheels forever more wondering bitterly why your precious club gets absolutely minimal, and always caveated, respect or acknowledgment no matter what they do on the pitch.

So no, you will never have it quite like the fans of Liverpool, whom we can despise on match day, but, wait for it, deeply respect as rivals, or Arsenal, who sent us Arsene Wenger to push us, and sometimes break us, for many years, and all of this of course is already long after Arsenal had been an established club with top-level credentials and history.

Nor like the fans of Everton who have their 9 league titles and a history, like most other clubs, of having earned every one the hard way, by building a project at the club that isn’t an endless set of transfers.

Nor Villa and their seven-of-each. (Division 1 and, naturally, the second trophy being the greatest football cup competition in history, the oldest, the FA CUP), or Spurs and their 8.

I concede that 4 FA cups and 2 league cups prior to all this UAE selling-out isn’t bad at all though, right alongside Wolverhampton and the Blades of Sheffield, and I guess, Forest, but considering the resources available and the nature of the challenge to build the team to win promotion, then the Division 1 title and League cup a year later, not to mention 2 successive European Cups afterward, and I’m not having Pep over Clough at Forest, although, again I am happy to admit that is just Clough-at-Forest, and overall, Pep is indeed a very good coach, albeit one whom refuses to show us how he can perform managing teams that aren’t the Barca of Messi, Xavi, Puyol and Iniesta, or Bayern in the one-winner Bundesliga, or able to constantly purchase and move on an endless wish list of players on absurd wages.

In closing, if your clubs’ willful and repeated financial fraud doesn’t result in having the League officially strip the titles away as well, we will still always remember you as the club that bought everything you ever won, led by a gifted but very off-putting little man who constantly exposes his media supported façade of having all these principles and being respectful, poor-little-me-Pep and all that, so who was the obvious choice for Sheikh Mansour and a club who would have taken absolutely any human as their owner as long it was someone who would never need a single rebuilding year, and has endless money for spending on top targets until it clicks.

Classy indeed, just like Noel your celebrity mascot.
Manc from SA.


BEIN Sports
Just a quick one to Gofezo on how City fans should be ashamed of themselves for something that they had literally 0 control over, namely the fact that they are owned by the UAE which has a bad record of human rights abuse (which obviously is awful). Interesting how that all 20 Premier League teams are happy to line their pockets with the 500m that Qatar based channel Bein Sports pays for the rights to show premier league football. So, all of them take blood money. So should every fan of every Premier League team should be ashamed, or just City fans. Or is that it’s just because we’re better than the team you support and actually you gave 0 fucks about the human rights atrocities committed in the Middle East until it became an argument onto which you could use to devalue the accomplishments of a very good football team? I’d wager for most of you, it’s almost certainly the second.

Maybe we’ll win 13 titles, can you imagine a team doing that and in the Premier League era, that would ruin football.
Much Love, Jack (an ashamed Man City fan)


The whole Man City existential debate is getting a bit tiresome (says he before adding more to it) and sorry in advance but every time I hear it going on the ghost of Tupac floats into my mind,

“You gotta operate the easy way

(I made a G today) But you made it in a sleazy

Sellin’ crack to the kid (I gotta get paid)

Well, hey, well, that’s just the way it is”

And so back and forth it goes.

On one side opposition fans point out the billions of euro spent to elevate a mediocre mid table team to the top of the premier and in all probability European game. While City fans and certain journalists point to a club brilliantly run from director to doorman. And this is true, but something still niggles.

Some of the most convincing defences have pointed out that spending money isn’t all that easy (I can’t remember who wrote the article a few years ago on this website but it was excellent) and that’s true, look at Chelsea for example. City have spent their money brilliantly.

Also fans point out that City have avoided spending stupid money on players like PSG and Neymar for example and again this is true.

But is a well run club a sufficient defence.

City is well run because from director to doorman they have bought the best in the world.

They very wisely looked at the world of football and went out and bought the best directors of football they could find in Ferran Soriano and Txigi Begiristain. With these two at the helm you club is going to be run fantastically. They are the two I am aware of. No doubt they are surrounded by the best available personnel on all levels if reports are correct, the best training staff, the best doctors, the best physios, nutritionists, facilities etc etc.

As I say they are a brilliantly run club and a model of how to build the absolute best club from scratch. I imagine many kids today will look at them and think that’s my club and their supporters will grow in years to come.

But for me, an old fart by modern standards, it is hard to accept their glory as authentic. Fans will spin this as jealousy, tribalism and sour grapes and will “respectfully” point out all of the achievements above to me in reply. But there is a second story to the Man City phenomenon.

In order to achieve the above they have spent above and beyond what any normally run club could afford. The best in the world did not come for the love of Manchester or the history of an average premier league club. They came for money, and lots of it. Again you can say that’s the world get over it. But in order for sport to maintain our interest there has to be an element of fair competition and integrity to the sport at its core.

The authorities recognised this to some degree and created the financial fair play rules for clubs to abide by. They were deliberately introduced in response to nation states such as Abu Dhabi taking over football clubs and creating an unequal playing field.

By all accounts City have broken 100+ of these regulations. I do not know what they all are, but reports suggest they have cooked the books with creative accounting (they have purchased the best accountants in the world too no doubt) and made it look like they have legitimate revenue streams when they do not. How much expenditure has been hidden and kept away from the public eye to create what they have created.

Go back and read the Der Spiegel examination of the club and its finances to get a flavour of what they have been up to the past 15 years. And ye stop date they have gotten away with it. And yes their fans are confident their lawyers (again the best in the world) will outwit the underfunded and underpowered authorities again and get away with it and sure wouldn’t your club do the same thing if they could and wouldn’t you celebrate just like all those Newcastle fans wrapping tea towels around their heads and dancing in the street at news of their takeover, and sure look at them now!

But it does matter if you break the rules of a sport you are involved in repeatedly and systematically and deliberately in order to achieve your success. And even if that success involves brilliantly people (and make no mistake the players, Pep, the football directors whose names I can’t be bothered to write out again are brilliant football people who will tell you you would take the money if you were in their shoes – an most of us would) it still doesn’t disguise the fact that Man City as a club has been created on a web of lies, deceit and flagrant disregard for the rules of the sport of which it now rules.

And that matters. And I can’t get away from that in my head. And every time I read an article extolling their brilliant it grates, and as a Liverpool fan it makes me support Manchester United’s treble above theirs (and that hurts my head.)

And as Tupac says, “that’s just the way it is,” and they will probably escape any significant sanctions and continue to be a brilliantly successful football clubs, and there is f all any of us can do about it. And our sport just feels that bit less vital and alive because of it. And that sucks because you only live once and I the thing I enjoy the most is football and ordinary clubs who obey the rules won’t get the rewards they deserve for their efforts and brilliance because one club broke all the rules to become indomitable.

And so thats why for me City will always be City*, no matter how much they win.
Dave LFC


City counterpoint…
So… lot’s of City hate in today’s mailbox and just to confirm, it’s definitely, 100% nothing to do with sour grapes and certainly not from primarily Man United or Liverpool supporters. A few points from my side:

Cheating hey? Pumping money into a club the owners bought is a bad thing apparently. It’s anti competitive… but isn’t the Premier League a business? Isn’t that why Man United floated themselves on the stock market all those years ago? Yes, there should be safeguards against clubs overreaching – and btw how’s that going? It’s not like anyone is in debt and there are plenty of clubs in danger of going bust is it? But ultimately the Premier League (also an organisation totally not about money) needs to decide what it is about. Answer: money. It’s a product, not a sport. That ship sailed a long, long time ago while United were busy winning title after title and raking in the cash.

Are we dull? To other teams yes. And do you want to know how little I care about entertaining other fans? Have a guess.

Is it bad for City to win three on the bounce and five in six years. Yes. As happy as I’ll be if we do win, it’s not great for the Premier League. But I guess considering how little cash some Premier League teams have and how little Man United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea have spent over the years what can you expect?

Do I like my owners? No. Yet I can’t deny what they’ve done for the club. And the UK exports around £9.2 billion to the UEA and £15.3 billion to Saudi Arabia a year… but it’s only City fans who embody the worst in humanity. You want to be mad, be mad at the Premier League and the Government who are 100% okay with these regimes if it means getting paid.

And finally I come to City ruining football? By ruined, do you mean your team not winning five out of six titles? Because I think you do. ‘It’s not competitive anymore’ you wail! And if we all agree to ignore the 80’s, 90’s and most of the 00’s then yes, I can get behind that idea to some extent. Petro States investing in football is just an evolution of what United and Co started back in the day. It was the only way for a team to start ‘competing’ against them. You reap what you sow as the saying goes.
Mark – City fan since the ‘bad’ old days.


Do you really not care???
Man City sure seem to boiling an awful lot off piss for a team that…..

A) No one cares about
B) will be forgotten about anyway
C) Is a small plastic club with no fans formed in 2008……

Weird that!!
Paul, (nothing more fickle than a football fan) Manchester


Manchester City
Dear me, the bitterness, anger and vitriol directed towards Manchester City.

Manchester City were created by a church to stop young men getting drunk and fighting in the streets, very much in he tradition of English football clubs that owe their origins to the patronage of church and local industrialists, and then gradually, through the twentieth and twenty-first century, football clubs came under the control of global capital.

I didn’t choose Manchester City because I identified with Peter Swales and his world vision. The character and DNA of football clubs has got nothing to do with their ownership.   Everything we consume is produced for a commercial profit.  Look around the Premier league.  Why are we expecting football to be any different to the High Street?    Very few people identify with brands but football for me is not a brand.  Maybe City do exist to make money for the owner, but for City fans that’s an aside.  City was and always will be about the football, players and fans, and we set the nature, warmth and character of our football club. It seems everyone liked Manchester City when our fans were writing about ruined lives and crying into their shirts whilst Man Utd and Liverpool ruled football, but now that City are successful we are an affront to human dignity and their values.  How can you in one breath complain about soft power, and in the next pull on your England short and Defend the NHS?   Sheikh Mansour holds the OBE.  Abu Dhabi was made in Britain and evolved away as your state declined.  City fans do not support the strategic aims of Abu Dhabi just as West Ham fans don’t support Karen Brady, Gold and Sullivan or Man Utd fans the Glazers.  But what City fans do do is defend their club from unjustified attacks.  You don’t like us.  well fair enough, the feeling is mutual.

What are you going to do if City are cleared of the all charges?

Cheating? What have we done? Please elaborate? FFP? Laughable. Martin Samuel will tell you all about FFP and its ‘intentions’

And please, stop the nonsense about Manchester City having no fans, it’s puerile and infantile.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Man U fans? The epitome of delusion, all cut from the same cloth.
Mark. Mancunian Blue, one of many thousands.


In response to Vinnie, why only give up last season? A team having a huge financial advantage over the rest is nothing new so wondering why it took you so long. Since Sky and the 3, then 4, teams in the Champions League, there have been plenty of teams who have enjoyed a financial advantage over other teams. Man Utd got lucky with a decent crop of youngsters to then take advantage of the wealth gap available to lead them to dominate the 90’s and early 00’s (albeit with a fantastic manager), Chelsea got taken over by a complete crook and used that to their advantage and now City find themselves the richest. Even little Leicester financially doped in the Championship to get promoted. Point is it has been going on for ages.

I don’t see why Arsenal deserve to win the league any more than City. They’ve spent huge sums since Arteta has been there despite not being in the Champions League so where has all that money come from? No one seemed to argue that Spurs deserved the league when they finished behind the doped Chelsea a few years back.

As others point out spending money doesn’t guarantee anything. Look at Chelsea and Spurs this season. Both utterly dreadful.

Football has never, and never will be a level playing field.


Big morals, short memories
I want to start by saying I completely disagree with the stance the UAE takes towards a number of issues, they certainly do not align with my own personal beliefs and opinions.

However, after reading all the recent emails about Citeh’s alleged cheating (no guilty verdict has been given yet by the panel, and they were cleared of all charges by CAS – the fine was for not complying with the investigation in a timely manner) and all of the references to sportswashing, can I ask a genuine question – what is the line for when owners are classed as good or bad?

Liverpool were recently found guilty of hacking into Citeh’s scouting database to try to gain an upper hand on a competitors targets, is this allowed and ok? If not, where does this land on the scale from being an amazing owner compared to a Bond villain?

How about the money generated by the billionaires who have purchased clubs over the last 20-30 years? I’m sure FSG have made all of their money from humanitarian causes and haven’t taken a penny at all from a company which have been charged with multiple money laundering offences, let alone put the company name across the sacred shirt. Equally when the Glaziers built their malls in America, they did everything to develop local businesses, offered lower rents to tenants and there was no exploitation at all, rather than going for big brands that discourage unionisation. And absolutely no club at all (or indeed journalists or newspapers) have benefited from Russian money or influence…

I’m sure every club ensures that every aspect of their global operations (apart from Citeh and Newcastle obvs) completely meet and fulfil the criteria of what we on out little island believe is right and just. Every employee definitely pays their full taxes with no loopholes used. All those people making replica shirts are all definitely paid UK minimum wage and given free healthcare right? All the metals in the computers the chief execs use definitely haven’t been sourced from dodgy mines in areas of conflict.

Also, should we apply the same logic to historic success? Should we also start to look at the achievements of the clubs in the late nineteenth / early twentieth century? Those powerhouses of Burnley, Blackburn et al, whose success was built on being mill towns and factory owners being able to offer jobs to decent footballers definitely didn’t get where they were because of exploitation of slaves across the globe…

Also, do these ‘morals’ apply only to football or all walks of life?

I’m sure all of those complaining definitely ensure things like food is sourced direct from farmers to ensure they are paid fairly, they definitely don’t vote Tory, the computers and phones they type their emails on definitely haven’t been produced in some god awful Chinese factory, and before every transaction with someone you are checking that the person you are about to do a deal with isn’t a massive racist, homophobe or bigot.

Of course it is terrible that Citeh’s owners have helped to redevelop one of the most deprived areas of the country, invested heavily in the women’s game etc. how dare they?! What has given them the right?!

Or is this just a massive bandwagon you are all jumping on, to comfort you that the club you thought had a god given right to always be the bestest in the world but no longer is, and is actually using this as a smoke screen for fleecing you all and lining their own pockets rather than investing in a proper structure at your club and a decent playing squad.

Maybe ultimately you should all take a long hard look at your own clubs ownership, and your own individual morals, and if you are unhappy with what you see, start support Forest Green Rovers instead, and leave everyone else to make their own minds up about where they draw the line with who they support.
Mikey D. High Peak


Ho Hum
Ah, so much shouting at clouds, yawn.

If there’s one thing that’s immediately apparent from the baying mob is that jealousy and bitterness, again. Allied to all those noses put out of joint, thwarted ambitions and denial of what’s apparently obvious, is that no matter that the blind insistence is that No One Will Remember. Well, all you sweetcheeks should actually ruminate on that what no-one will remember, is your empty howls on this football website mailbox. However, the world will remember all the matches, all the film that is repeatedly shown endlessly and that the history books WILL record the historic achievements of Manchester City.

This will stand, forever.

The witch hunt led by the fans of the entitled Legacy Clubs (which as a phrase, in itself, is insulting bollocks. Are you saying the likes of City, Villa, Everton, Leeds, etc, have no history? Pfft, the ignorance and arrogance is world class)…………will not. You’ll be seen for what you are, raging and angry, because other clubs have the nerve to stand up to you. Flicking that metaphorical V sign, in fact.

As for the trumped up charges against us, they’ll go nowhere because they are brought on the same basis as the UEFA charges and we all saw those for what they were. Hollow, politically motivated, charges brought because the footballing authorities have been pressured by the Legacy Clubs to protect their own position.

There are, no doubt, practices within the UAE which run against our Western sensibilities and I agree, we should protest them and work to change them. No country on earth is perfect and it does appear curious that although it appears that nothing gets people more worked up on here than the background of City’s (and Newcastle’s, I suppose) owners, governments across the world ar happy/keen to work with the same countries of the Gulf region.

Geopolitics, what a bitch. Good luck with that.

To sum up, rage all you want, your assertions are meaningless because, well, it’s just shouting at the clouds…. Innit.

Happy to be helping
Levenshulme Blue


Firstly, I am a Manchester United Fan.

Secondly, I KNOW sportswashing is bad. I know the owners have terrible morals and i know that ill-won silverware is “tainted” in the eyes of opposition fans.. this we all KNOW .. but do we BELIEVE it will matter when this Citeh side is long gone and just a spec in our rear-view mirror?

In reply to all the cry babies in the mailbox recently who are “quitting watching football” etc etc..

I strongly agree with DD’s email – the PL has never been a level playing field – there are always rich clubs and poor clubs, this is unavoidable.

Why did none of you “quit watching football” when Blackburn were champions? Or when Abramovich took over at Chelski and they started to win things? Or when the Glazers got hold of Manutd?

We’ve experienced periods of dominance from the financially better equipped clubs throughout the existence of the PL – it has become MORE competitive* THANKS to deep-pocketed owners.

If it weren’t for the investment into Chelsea and ManCity we could still be in the throes of a two-horse title race (ManUtd Vs Arsenal) every season.. great for the fans of those respective clubs but not for the rest of the league.

*This might seem illogical.. but look at the league table right now from 4th down, it IS a HIGHLY COMPETITIVE league

The main “victims” of this recent Citeh dominance seem to be the online LiVARpool fan base.. and they’re RIGHT to feel slightly aggrieved (!)

The best side they’ve had in YEARS have missed out SO narrowly on SO MUCH silverware they crave – how could you not be sore about it? (#rhetorical)

I honestly and sincerely empathise – as a Manutd fan I remember only too painfully losing 2x Champions League finals to the most unreal club side I’ve ever seen .. the Barcelona team featuring Xavi, Iniesta, Messi et al.

These were heart-breaking experiences because we were truly inferior.

You’re all spitting your dummies out because Citeh are really quite good at winning things and through fair or foul financial means this still deserves RESPECT

™ Credit: Alamy
™ Credit: Alamy

(#José) ..

Ultimately it still boils down to 11 v 11 at the start of each match and no amount of financial doping can change this (well at least for now..)

The consistency and standard of performance that the players are achieving and producing is unprecedented and phenomenal and we shouldn’t overlook this..

The ownership and the money, whilst fully deserving of scrutiny and criticism, are distacting you all from what’s in front of you – the common factor between Barca then and Citeh now is Pep Guardiola. Give him the tools (Xavi/Iniesta/Messi or KDB/Haaland/Grealish) and he will finish the job win you stuff.

Eventually, Pep will move on.. and Citeh could find themselves slipping into a similar situation as ManUtd over the recent past and more presently Chelski .. the money IS a factor but it has to be APPLIED and USED correctly.. (See Chelski, Lampard, Mudryk and Co.)

If you want a legitimate target to cast your dummies at – how about the ridiculous, engorged substitute rules which CLEARLY FAVOUR bigger teams with infinite budgets and deeper squads..

What about player welfare?! Is the obvious counter argument. To this, I can only suggest making the water breaks that were used during “Project Restart” permanent. No seriously.

If the total number of games is only due to increase and increase then it would be sensible to incorporate short stoppages midway through each half.. at least then the number of breaks would increase in proportion to the number of games..?

Anyhow, for me (Clive) this Citeh side is a sight to behold .. people argue they are “boring”**.. but really those people are just upset with Citeh’s dominance (and are probably scousers).. de Bruyne and Haaland were unplayable on Wednesday night, on another day against Arsenal Haaland would have scored 4 BY HIMSELF … and really what does that have to do with money and reprehensible human rights records..? at the end of the day.. he is just a man (I think…) who knows better than anyone else in the history of the league where to find the ball of the net.. just enjoy the spectacle that is Erling Haaland .. the records he could set this season might never be broken..
football fans are missing the genuine footballing history unfolding infront of their eyes.. we might be about to witness only the second ever PROPER treble of all time..

there is no going back to the era of pre-oil money in the PL .. that ship has sailed

start your own league with your own teams if you don’t like watching the competition anymore.. the quality of football has never been better than in the last few years. peace out.
Fred the Red (I’d take watching this City side over the Mourinho Chelsea one any day…)


READ MORE: UEFA moving the Champions League final to the USA would be an ESL dream come true

The article Man City may be built on a ‘web of lies’, but every Premier League team takes ‘blood money’… appeared first on