Manchester City have proved a huge cash injection is only way to make dreams come true: Martin Smith
Mega-money, a whiff of foul-play and a stack of trophies. What would Wednesday and United fans give for a few years of that?Manchester City are piling up the silverware under the noses of their once imperious red rivals.
Let’s not be sanctimonious, every football fan wishes it was their club.
Brilliant football, world-leading coaches and ambitious owners with pockets deep as the Persian Gulf.
City have it all.
When a team wins Premier League titles back-to-back and the first domestic treble you know we are witnessing something special.
But aren’t we all suspicious, whatever our footballing allegiances, of a team that has won its fourth title in seven years after winning one in the previous 75?
UEFA have been investigating suspected Financial Fair Play breaches by City after a series of leaks published in German newspaper Der Spiegel last year.
The most serious allegation being that City broke FFP regulations by artificially inflating the value of a multi-million-pound sponsorship deal.
Sour grapes? Maybe.
City owner Sheikh Mansour and before him Thaksin Shinawatra, have helped create THE powerhouse in world football.
Their investment has helped to rebuild east Manchester, raised the bar for youth development and made City top dogs.
It’s one thing having money, it’s another getting it right.
Isn’t that what we all want for our team?
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Is that not what Sheffield United fans wanted to believe when Prince Abdullah came in at Bramall Lane?
Didn’t Wednesdayites yearn for some mega-millions when Dejphon Chansiri took over at Wednesday?
Of course they did.
Do we care where the money comes from if it brings success?
Only to a point.
Football fans want to win and be able to look down on their neighbours and everybody else if possible.
A ban from Europe for a year won’t halt this Manchester City machine, it would be seen as a bump in the road on the way to total domination.
Forty years ago this week, Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest won the European Cup with a collection of home-grown talent and inspired low-key signings.
Then they did it again a year later.
That kind of fairy-tale will never happen again, despite Leicester’s best attempts.
The lottery win of a new owners’ cash, tainted or otherwise, is the only way to do it now.
Would most fans settle for a slice of that and worry about potential UEFA charges later?
You bet they would.