China Takes Away Jose Mourinho And Pep Guardiola As Manchester United And City Chase The Money, (As Usual)

Posted: July 20, 2016 in Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
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The first Manchester derby since last season will be played in China. There will probably be some Mancunians in attendance but how many is anybody’s guess. The fact that the match is totally meaningless makes it a lot easier to bear for fans of the clubs who are from Manchester and can’t quite come to terms with their local club playing a derby in China!

As usual, it is all about money. The clubs may spout on as much as they wish about how they are rewarding their Asian fans with a visit and how pleased they are to be there but, given the choice, I am pretty sure that both managers would rather have stayed a lot closer to home.

Neither club would be anywhere near the area if they weren’t trying to attract an even bigger fanbase than they already have. Ed Woodward, as far as United are concerned, has signed a few sponsorship deals in the general area, (it’s the only thing at which he is any good!), so the trip will also keep these companies reasonably happy.

It is noticeable that, after last year’s trip to the USA, where the clubs also have a large following, they haven’t decided to go to countries where their fanbase is relatively small in order to try and increase their popularity.

They haven’t, for example, chosen to take a trip to Russia, or to Australia or New Zealand. They haven’t stayed closer to home and visited Greece, or Italy or Spain.

Again, the clubs will tell you, the gullible supporters, that they want to travel so that their fans get a chance to see their “heroes”. This is only so much more bunkum. They are going to the most populated areas where they stand to make the most money, it’s only common sense from a business point of view. The problem is that most fans, whilst understanding the need to make money, actually couldn’t care less about it. As long as their club competes in the league, the cups and the transfer market, they are quite happy to let others look after the money.

In this day and age when clubs are extending their grounds or building new ones in order to fit in more people and make even more money, it would be more palatable if they came up with a fairer way of letting people in their own city actually get to see the players.

I accept that times have changed since I was a regular at Old Trafford and, (much less so), Maine Road. I realise that the game has never been as popular as it is now. The problem is that people in China and the USA will see more of the Manchester United and City players “in the flesh”, than people who live in Moston, Disbury or Fallowfield in Manchester.

There is a waiting list for season tickets for both clubs and the days of going and paying at the gate appear to be long gone. There also doesn’t seem to be any preferential treatment of people from the city, which there should be. After all, they were the ones who stuck by the teams before they were as big as they are now and they are just cast aside in exchange for the devil’s coin.

When a match is televised, I am always amazed at the amount of people in the ground who are obviously not from the area, and I don’t mean the away fans! It is certainly about time that the big clubs spent their time in and around the area in which they are based.

Of the two in question here, Manchester City are certainly making their mark by improving the area surrounding the Etihad and also by improving their youth facilities but, yet again, this is to their own advantage in the medium to long term.

Football certainly seems to have changed forever and not much of it has been for the better.


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