Who Is The Biggest Team In Manchester? United Or City?

Posted: February 4, 2016 in Football, Managers, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
Tags: , , , , , , ,


I read a rather silly article in the Daily Mail, which you may read here, if you so wish,which claims that, because Pep Guardiola has gone to Manchester City, this immediately makes them the biggest club in Manchester and, therefore, the Premier League.

Obviously written by a deluded City supporter, this claim is based on potential, nothing more.

They are certainly the wealthiest club in the division and they now probably have the best training facilities and the best youth set-up. How does any of that elevate them to the status of “biggest in the league?”

I will agree that if, over the next thirty or so years, they build their global fanbase to a size larger than that of Manchester United, which they will only do by beginning to match the on-the-pitch success of United, then they have a chance.

Manchester United have won the First Division/Premier League title on twenty occasions, the European Cup/Champion’s League on three and the FA Cup eleven times. Their Old Trafford ground has a capacity of 75,653 and is regularly full on matchdays. They claim a global fanbase of 659 million people but I am not sure that this figure has ever been ratified.

Manchester City, on the other hand, have won the First Division/Premier League title on four occasions and the FA Cup on five. They haven’t yet achieved anything of note in the Champion’s League and their ground, The Etihad Stadium, has a capacity of 55,093, which they struggle to fill. City’s global fanbase claim is a low 18 million but the figure is probably a more realistic one than United’s.

Now, anybody who has been reading my inane waffle for any length of time, will know that I am not a biased United supporter. I am from Manchester, there are two big teams in Manchester and I like to see them both do well as it reflects positively on the city itself. So this is not about one-upmanship for United, it is about one-upmanship for common sense.

What I find a little offensive is claims from a reporter, given a reasonable sized platform like the Daily Mail, that the signing of a manager suddenly makes a club the biggest in Britain. What I also find slightly baffling is that a once respected paper like the Mail has to resort to publishing this kind of rubbish which is nothing short of clickbait as, when you read it, it becomes clear that the claims are based on potential over a long time.

Pep Guardiola has “chosen” Manchester City because, in many ways, THEY fit his profile rather than the other way round.

He already has his ex-Barcelona colleagues there in Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain. The club has used the Barcelona set-up as a model for future progress. If he was going to come to the Premier League, why would he go anywhere else? It wouldn’t make sense!

Yes, he wants a challenge. The Barcelona and Bayern Munich jobs both became a little mundane in that they only ever had to remain above one, or occasionally two teams, to win the league. He will find that City will have more competition than that!

The other challenges on offer for Pep, realistically, would have been Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal. Whilst succumbing to the challenge of managing in the Premier League, don’t be fooled into thinking that Guardiola has chosen the hardest job. He is certainly going to the club which, on paper, gives him the best chance of achieving success.

Of the other clubs, although I doubt he ever had any intention of coaching any of them, Manchester United is the biggest challenge, certainly while Ed Woodward has anything to do with football matters and is in charge of transfers. Chelsea would be a close second with their resident Russian megalomaniac and ageing squad. Then Arsenal would have been third, probably the closest to what Guardiola would have wanted if Manchester City were not in the equation.

If Guardiola’s remit is indeed to make City the biggest club in Manchester and, therefore, in the Premier League, he won’t do it on a three year contract.





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