Manchester City: My Response To A Very Presumptuous Manchester United Supporter

I normally do not get agitated by articles, which display one’s passion for a club. In fact, it just strengthens the fact that there are some very zealous fans out there who are representing nothing but their love for that beloved team or nation that they support.

However, I recently came across this article written in July by a Manchester United supporter and a journalist for Red Army Fanzine – Sean McGuire. Long story short, he went on about how Manchester United is all about heart while simultaneously criticizing money-rich clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea.

Sean painted a very good picture of Manchester United’s faithful players like Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes emphasizing on the point that it was not the money that motivated them to play football or represent the club. This is wholeheartedly agreed with.

It is just that one statement from Sean at the end of the article which bothered me. To a point that it drove me to scribble this response. He goes on to say:

“Manchester City are a soulless entity with no history, who have a half-empty stadium that is named after an aeroplane company. Chelsea are a faceless organisation that has its team picked by an oil tycoon oligarch who never watch a football game until he bought his Chelsea monopoly board.”

Not sure of the Chelsea fans but as a Manchester City fan, it is attacking to a certain level to hear such blatant assertions and I for one, am going enjoyed responding to this. Speaking purely as a MCFC’s supporter, I do recognize the history our rivals have. Pure and unattainable – Period.

But you know what, MCFC has history too. Just because we did not suffer an unfortunate disaster like United did in the Munich disaster in 1958 and the following subsequent events, which drew a lot of attention, affinity and increased the likeable factor of the club, does not mean that we had not seen our share of obstacles.

Let me point out that Manchester City was named earlier (1894) than Manchester United was (1904) although the latter was created two years prior to the former. We were the first Manchester-named club in the city to come into existence. That in it should stand for something.

Focusing on the “soulless” aspect of the statement, I have to admit that Manchester City along with Chelsea has raised the bar when it comes to big-money transfers. Something we all, as pure football lovers despise. However, this activity was not recently innovated in the world of football. Clubs like Real Madrid had been spending a lump sum of money on transfers for quite some time, it was just that it did not enter the English league, yet.

On the flip side, coming to think about it, Manchester United are the only Premier League team that has an 183k strong set of Green & Gold supporters that are fighting on a daily basis against the management. This again is the passion of the true supporters who are fighting against an ROI focused administration.

And the fact that the club entered the world of IPO’s last month explains how “soulful” the club is. As it currently stands, the IPO is not doing what it was meant to which is bring in more capital for the club to reduce it’s debt.

And for a similar reason the club sold its star playmaker Cristiano Ronaldo (who repetitively asked for a transfer out of the club) to Real Madrid for a fee of £80 million in 2009.

The MUFC loyalists would say, “We do not want anyone in the club who does not want to be a part of it”. But they lie to themselves as the Portuguese played a very significant role in their presence in back-to-back Champions League finals, in addition to a hat trick of Premier League titles. And without any doubt, they would love to have him there.

David Beckham at one point said that he never wanted to leave Manchester United. Well, he did and he went on to wear two whites (Real Madrid and LA Galaxy) and represent Calvin Klein as an underwear model. This was not about money at all.

And then there was this talk about the attendance. The ground capacity of Etihad stadium is ~ 47,405 and according to stats from Barclays Premier League through soccernet (Google it if you are concerned on the legibility of these numbers), the following had been the average attendances at the Etihad for the past 3 years:

· 2011/2012: 47,044
· 2010/2011: 45,880
· 2009/2010: 45,512

The above numbers are way above the “half-empty stadium” remark, which the writer had stated.

(Photo Credit: Alan Kiggin from

“Named after an aeroplane company”? Sean, Etihad is not an “aeroplane” company. It is an Airline. There is a difference. And yes, as a City fan it was uncomfortable to hear that the name was changed from the City of Manchester Stadium (the Eastlands).

It’s sad to see history being done with in that manner. But that is the ill effect of the financial situation not just the sport is facing but also the entire world. And there are conflicting reports that the MUFC owners are considering rebranding Old Trafford. So everything is not all virtuous on how you guys would refer to as “the West end” of Manchester.

Sean concluded with the following:

“And none of these reasons are because we have had a rich owner pumping money into the club or because we have spent billions on overpriced players who only want to play for the money.”

Forbes allows me to base my rebuttal to the above statement purely on numbers. Keeping Roman Abramovich out of the picture, the Malcolm Glazer Family currently has a net worth of $2.7B (2012) while Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahayan’s net worth is $4.9B (2009 – Forbes did not have the latest numbers).

Now, I do not know about you but anyone whose net worth is in the Billions is yes, not rich, but “WEALTHY”. There is a difference between rich and wealthy. Chris Rock could not have exemplified between the two in any better way:

“Shaq is rich,” he said, referring to the all time NBA great Shaquille O’Neal, “but the man who signs his check is wealthy. Oprah is rich, but Bill Gates is wealthy. If Bill Gates suddenly woke up with Oprah’s money, he’d slit his throat.” (Edited version)

Both Manchester United and Manchester City have wealthy owners. The only difference is that Sheikh Mansour bought the club with the money he had with no liabilities on the club. United owner, Glazer had been and is still paying off the millions in debts he owes since the time the club was purchased.

I admit to the fact that Manchester United can boast of a history that no other team could replicate, for now, in the Premier League. I also admit that the players (few of them) of the past where one heck of a breed, which is why I enjoyed watching Manchester United as a boy when my allegiances were still neutral.

But all that does not give the right for a loyalist to be arrogant to this level. Displaying passion is appreciated but displaying arrogance based on wrong factual information is just plain !@#$%^ up (ten points to the person who guessed the word).

PS: This by no means was to aggravate the Manchester United fans. This article should be taken as a Manchester City fan’s response to a Manchester United fan.


Written by Shuaib Ahmed

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  1. Boris

    September 11, 2012 at 16:19

    Why do you indulge these thick fuckers? United had no history until 1958.


    September 11, 2012 at 16:35

    A very good response, however in fairness I think the “half empty stadium” remark was aimed at your Europa League attendances, when the top tier was shown as unlit and empty on Channel 5.
    Man Utd Forum

    • Adam

      September 11, 2012 at 17:02

      If it was a reference to the Europa league then I would point out that in City’s last home game in the against sporting lisbon there was 38k or 80% capacity.
      While not directly relevant united had 75% capacity for their corresponding game against Athletic Bilbao

    • Alphabetical Order

      September 11, 2012 at 17:13

      No different than thousands of empty seats at any other ground, such as 23,000 empties at Old Trafford in the Carling Cup quarters last year.

      It really is petty and those comments by “Sean” are insidiously arrogant and ill-informed. Basically just a well rehearsed set of clichés and stereotypes associated with any “new money” team. Funny, I never hear these ridiculous “no history” comments thrown as 97% of the Football League system with less success than City.

      Incidentally, United have a rich man’s investment to thank for the continued existence of their club.

  3. J2DD

    September 11, 2012 at 17:28

    I didnt read the article you’re responding to, but if it was anything like your own then it was just mindless banter between fans. You talk about Uniteds history only starting in 58. Well thats not true. Prior to 58 United had 5 leagues and 2 Fa Cups to their name. If you compare that to City, thats the more major trophies prior to 58 than City had IN TOTAL, before the oil money flooded them. THAT is the point about history. United had achieved a history long before money became so important to success.
    Ronaldo? He stated in an interview when he first joined United that the only other club he wanted to join in his career would be madrid. So as United fans, we can not hold his childhood dreams against him, especially since he said since leaving “I want to play in manchester again before i retire. There is only ONE club in manchester for me….United”
    The Glazers? Thanks for proving the spirit of United. The spirit does not reside in its owners, it resides in the fans, the ones who wear green and gold to protest the owners, and red to support the team. The difference between the glazers and the shiek? The Glazers are taking money OUT of the club, the shiek is pouring it in. What United spend comes from earnings, what city spend comes from their sugar daddy.

    • Alphabetical Order

      September 11, 2012 at 18:22

      United spent 140% of their turnover on players in the late 80s as Ferguson outspent everyone in competition with him buying up England internationals to try and end a long drought of success for United. Is revisionist history and indoctrination a prerequisite of every United fan? Every one ignores inconvenient things and spews out the same old clichés we’ve heard 1000x times as if independent thought is not allowed.

    • Langley blue

      September 11, 2012 at 21:19

      Please….. Please tell me how you “achieve a history”

      Last week is history and I for one achieved f@#$ all

      Same old rubbish

      History is not defined by success christ almighty stop with the same old rubbish you are sounding worse than scousers

  4. Bill Glas

    September 11, 2012 at 19:19

    City fans will continue to get these jibes about empty stadiums, sugar daddies, players signing for the money, and having no history, simply because, United fans find it hard to cope with the fact that Sheik Mansour chose to buy City instead of United, when logic based on United’s history of success would have dictated he should have bought United. The reds cannot for the life of them get over this. Neither can they understand why top players might want to sign for City instead of United and most of these comments eg “soulless” and “mercenary” are borne of near insane jealousy.

    Note that I used the term “history of success”. there is a huge difference between this and “history”, and this is where the mischief is made. Unless this abuse of meaning in the English language is checked, then the only clubs to have “history” will be seen to be United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. EVERY club in the land has got history, but not every club has got THE history of success that United have. Well done. Good on yer United fans and the club, but don’t go telling me that City (or any other club) have got no history, because that is the display of arrogance and ignorance for which United fans are widely despised and condemned around the English football world, and is also plain wrong! I fervently hope that City fans never evolve that degree of arrogance., and always remember that football began before 1990, a fact which seems to challenge the comprehension of many United fans.

  5. Stav Petrou

    September 12, 2012 at 05:17

    So the rest of the clubs in our 4 leagues don’t have history because they haven’t really won anything . Teams like Notts County , Chester and the Royal engineers ?

  6. Pete Page

    September 12, 2012 at 07:10

    Decent article and a good few points to ponder. Unfortunately, yernited fans are so narrow minded that they can’t see beyond their red tinted specs. History is only relevant to those who were part of it, though something that should be admired and used to instil ‘esprit de core’ amongst it’s players. Most fans are only concerned about the here and now, fact! As for spending money, they really do take the piss out of this statement especially as they have been doing it since they became puppets for Sky Sports. Oh and while wer’e talking about spending money, how much investment within the wider community have Utd spent? Well Sheik Mansour is pushing the boat out around Ancoats/Beswick area to improve the location for the good and benefit of it’s community aswell as make City a global leader in facilities etc etc. We could go on, and on and on and on and on!!! get it?

  7. Jem

    September 12, 2012 at 15:58

    I’m getting sick of all this “History” bullshit. Does Notts Forest have history (back to back European cups)? does Leeds have history (Billy Bremner/Jonny Giles & the mad bunch from the 70’s) Does Wimbledon have history? Dennis wise and Paul Gascognes Balls in Vinny Jones hands (Thats What I call history) etc etc. Seems to me its a word pushed out there by kids who where in nappys when the premier league was formed & have no history themselves.