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Manchester: a tale of two owners

Actions, we are often told, speak louder than words. The ugly scenes that unfolded on Monday night at Ewood Park offered a kind of twisted backing to the statement as for the first time it became apparent how much inept owners can ruin a football club.

Forget the likes of Coventry, both Sheffield teams and even Portsmouth – whose departures were undoubtedly unfortunate – here we saw a team that had lifted the league 17 years ago plunge into second division, following 18 months of farcical management by their owners.

Sunday, bar a shock of epic proportions, will see the second episode of this sad saga as Manchester City will lift their first title since 1968, while United will have to finally come face-to-face with the skeleton they’ve been hiding in one of the Old Trafford’s closets for seven years now.

Comparing United and Blackburn would be a foolish mistake, but numbers speak for themselves.

United – the richest sport club in the world in terms of profits generated every year – have punched above their weight since 2005 when, following the Glazer’s takeover, they’ve been forced to pour hundreds of millions of pounds into the American’s coffins to repay debts and interests.

Fergie’s ability and determination paired with a solid and talented group that had been assembled prior to 2005, assured United a successful run even when Roman Abramovich expensively assembled Chelsea ran away with back-to-back leagues in 2004 and 2005.

While the red half of Manchester saw trophies coming in, the blue half of the city looked on in astonishment as a different kind of flow was aimed towards their club, a flow that might not guarantee success but, in modern football, will go a very long way towards securing it.

United, of course, have spent money of their own – as early as last summer, almost £50 million were forked out for DeGea, Ashley Young and Phil Jones – but their net spending in the last five years is £51.6 million, almost a tenth of Manchester City’s £418.9 million and below the likes of Villa, Sunderland, Spurs and Stoke.

If City win the league on Sunday, no doubt the words “power” and “shift” will be mentioned for weeks, perhaps months. It will hurt United fans, but it will hurt even more to know that City have been helped by an inside job, started when an American took over at Old Trafford, a cold winter day seven years ago.



Daniele (@MUFC_dan87)



  1. Stephen

    May 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Daniele, great article and totally spot on.

  2. ronnykeano

    May 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Blackburn won the league 17 years ago. not 12. (not that it makes much difference to your point)

    • Daniele

      May 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      @ronnykeano: good point that mate, that’s what happens when i write at uni 🙂

  3. Moscow

    May 10, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Everything City win are meaningless. When the Sheik gets bored, they will be simply be a skid mark in football history and go back to their pointless existence. How very sad.

    Manchester United is the most valuable sports club in the world with the most fans, now if only we had a squad to match…

    • tonymontanna4united

      May 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      @Moscow: I used to think city were put on this earth for my amusement, but unfortunately today thats not the case.
      What the future brings for them, well we shall have to wait and see. Although all the money their arabs are throwing in is really just a drop in the ocean for them, unfortunately i just dont see them turning their back on the club.
      Theyre setting up things for the long term there, with a total regeneration of the area around eastlands with hundreds of millions being spent.
      I do genuinelly get the feeling, they will be around for the long term and thats a really scary and depressing thought.

  4. tonymontanna4united

    May 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Sad but true. The United we all knew and loved died on that day in 2005. I detest the way the club is run these days. Full of suits and blind followers who lap up every word ***** like gill say.
    Fergie likewise was blind to the situation from the day 1. Telling concerned fans to go and support chelsea if they didnt like it, wasnt the sort of response alot of fans were expecting from a man they had shown such love to for nearly 20 years.
    What he gets out of this arrangement with the glazers is known only to him. I will say, and have said before though, that his support of such people not only leaves me incredibly disappointed and saddened, but has certainly lessened my opinion of the man.
    I have to be honest, when i hear his supportive words for those leeches, it really does leave me feeling sick.
    A working class lad from Govan, supporter of the people. Not no more he aint.

  5. Opti

    May 11, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Ian, how about a series on the “Case Against the Glazers”? Maybe partner with AndersRed on some financial articles??? Would be nice to have everything against Glazers in one place: RedRants 🙂

    • Ian

      May 12, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Funny you should say that Opti, Daniele’s working on that very issue as we speak 🙂

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