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Football and Business: The Manchester City Story

In the summer of 2008 Sheikh Mansour of the United Arab Emirates purchased Manchester City. He is estimated to be worth £17 billion. Manchester City were an underachieving team of recent times, before the purchase, in the Premier League. There has been a turnaround in fortunes since the takeover but is this good for the club, or is it just being turned into a business model?

I believe that the answer is a resounding no, as although it is a business, the owners do heavily invest also and are receiving dividends in terms of recent trophies. City won the Premiership in one of the most amazing manners possible in 2012, clinching it in the final minutes of the season of their bitter rivals, Manchester United.

Obviously the fans will be delighted with the relative success in recent years, especially compared to the drought that they’ve had in terms of trophies. They will also be excited about big money transfers which all started off with Robinho in August 2008. This was a clear sign of intent and things to come. More big name signings followed in recent years with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and many more. Also the aspect of European football has returned to the blue side of Manchester once again, which gives the fans even more reason to be joyous. Despite basically endless money for transfers, the owner has invested greatly in training facilities and youth developments. Mansour clearly knows what he’s doing and is definitely looking towards the future of the club, not just going for short term goals.

Numerous managers have come and gone in this period, which shows the ruthlessness of the premier league and that results are crucial. Manuel Pelligrini has the job now, but the constant dismissals are not just stuck with City and are happening a lot in England, potentially discouraging younger managers from having such a lack of job stability. This doesn’t hinder City in terms of acquiring experienced and proven managers who are proving to be quite successful in the premiership.

In recent years City have become one of the richest clubs in the whole world and increased revenue by 40% in 2011/12 bringing them to 7th in the Deloitte Money League, rising to sixth the next year. They are now the second richest in the premier league, edging in on their city rivals. Although, overall there have been losses of approximately £100 million each year, the owner puts this down to heavy investment in infrastructure and things should level out soon enough.

These are obviously all good signs, although there is talk about the amount of expensive transfers being reduced in a couple of years, the owners have quite clearly been good to the club in almost every aspect. I can only see good things in the future for City which is in big part down to the owner of the business and the level of his commitment to the club.

Pundit Arena, Michael McKenna.

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