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Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
I don't want to appear rude or patronising, but something has been bothering me for a while now and I need to get it off my chest. Does Manchester City's chief executive Garry Cook actually understand how football works? I only ask because the evidence is really starting to pile up now.

He accused AC Milan of 'bottling' the sale of Kaka, presumably in much the same way that Scarlett Johansson 'bottles' asking me out for dinner. He believes that the Premier League should have no relegation and contain only 10-14 clubs, a plan glibly supported by his claim that, "the fans would find a way to get passionate about it." This week, he's hit upon the idea of signing as many strikers as possible, because that's bound to work, isn't it? The more strikers you have, the more goals, right?

If the deal to sign Emmanuel Adebayor goes through as reported, Manchester City will have ten forwards on their books. Craig Bellamy, Benjani, Ched Evans, Felipe Caicedo, Robinho, Roque Santa Cruz, Valeri Bojinov and one Carlos Tevez. The tenth, last season's GBP20m striker Jo, has already been dispatched to Everton, but unless Mark Hughes is planning a revolutionary new formation, this is still going to end in tears. If four strikers make it into the matchday 18, that still leaves five sat in the stands, angrily texting their agents. Poor old Ched Evans, an international for Wales, could actually struggle to get a game for the reserves. Good God, City have got more strikers than defenders!

And then there's these wages. Cook's plan appears to be to throw money at people until they give up pointing at last season's league table and reluctantly put pen to paper. Raw cash is the basest of recruitment incentives. It's the the easiest way to get what you want, but it's fundamentally flawed. Sign Robinho for money and money alone and that is how his tenure will be defined. He is reported to earn GBP160,000 a week, less than the figures being bandied around for Tevez and Adebayor. What's the first thing that his agent will do if the signings are confirmed? Exactly, he'll be banging on Cook's door looking for a pay rise. And what of the other players? How will Nedum Onuoha and Stephen Ireland feel when their faithful service in troubled times is rewarded with a fraction of the newcomer's wages? If there's a faster way to split a dressing room than this disparate pay scale, I can't think of it. How will Adebayor's lethargic bottom-scratching go down when the rest of the squad know that he earns four or five times as much as them?

Money will eventually destroy this hubris-ridden ego-trip of a project. In the past, footballers wages could always be defended with one simple argument. If a club could afford to bear the cost, then why shouldn't they reward their players accordingly? But is this still the case? How are City ever going to recoup the kind of money they're throwing around? Win the league? Win the Champions League? How long will the Arab owners throw their money in without seeing any returns? Is there actually any plan beyond Cook emptying his wallet on the floor and seeing who scrambles for the big notes?

Tevez and Adebayor are both good players, but anyone with any knowledge of football can tell you that success in football is not derived purely from accumulated talent. You need a combination of stability, hard-work, determination and team spirit from a balanced squad of excellent professionals. With a top heavy team, a fractious dressing room and skyhigh expectations, it's hard to prophesise anything other than spectacular, ruinous failure for Manchester City.
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
6,800
Location
Oregon
It's a valid point Slipper, but I do recall the same things being said about Blackburn and Chelsea a few years back, and they still managed to win the Premiership. I'm not certain that City's backers expect a financial return from their investments - isn't the club more of a plaything for them? They want trophies, glory and a chance to sit in the Royal Box when City are at Wembley. There seems to be a lot of hostility aimed towards the newly upwardly mobile City, and I just don't get it. Personally, I would be highly amused to see them overtake their arrogant city rivals. I think their fans have earned some glory days far more than the spoiled prawn sandwich brigade down the road.
 

Not In Mohave Shrimper

formerly Drastic™
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
8,852
Location
SS1
It's a valid point Slipper, but I do recall the same things being said about Blackburn and Chelsea a few years back, and they still managed to win the Premiership. I'm not certain that City's backers expect a financial return from their investments - isn't the club more of a plaything for them? They want trophies, glory and a chance to sit in the Royal Box when City are at Wembley. There seems to be a lot of hostility aimed towards the newly upwardly mobile City, and I just don't get it. Personally, I would be highly amused to see them overtake their arrogant city rivals. I think their fans have earned some glory days far more than the spoiled prawn sandwich brigade down the road.

I know what you mean, I have a soft spot for City because a)The City fans at Goater's retirement/our promotion b) they're not Man Utd. And I'd like to see them do well, but is the way they're going about it sustainable for them?
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
6,800
Location
Oregon
I know what you mean, I have a soft spot for City because a)The City fans at Goater's retirement/our promotion b) they're not Man Utd. And I'd like to see them do well, but is the way they're going about it sustainable for them?

It's sustainable as long as their owners stay interested. And if they win lots of trophies, I would imagine they'll stay interested.
 

Sussex Shrimper

Manager
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
1,674
It's a valid point Slipper, but I do recall the same things being said about Blackburn and Chelsea a few years back, and they still managed to win the Premiership. I'm not certain that City's backers expect a financial return from their investments - isn't the club more of a plaything for them? They want trophies, glory and a chance to sit in the Royal Box when City are at Wembley. There seems to be a lot of hostility aimed towards the newly upwardly mobile City, and I just don't get it. Personally, I would be highly amused to see them overtake their arrogant city rivals. I think their fans have earned some glory days far more than the spoiled prawn sandwich brigade down the road.

Now there's something we can agree on.

Frankly I've far more time for arrangements like City's and Chelsea's, where any risk is shared solely between club and owner, than success built on debts to third parties that football clubs seem to be willing to shaft in an instant when the time comes to pay.

I find little sympathy with the notion that they haven't "earned" success like their neighbours, either. Is building the most clueless, plastic army of gloryhunters in the nation really the epitomy of nobility? Does it do less harm to the competitiveness and overall health of our national game than the City / Chelsea model? Not for me.

Say what you will about Abramovich, but he's at least passionate enough to attend the matches - another thing that puts him one up on Manure's owners. I'm sceptical about whether City's owners' interest in their new toy will last beyond a couple of seasons of failing to break the top four, but if they do eclipse their local rivals I'll be as happy as anybody about it. In terms of quality of fans, the Manchester rivalry really is an absolute no-contest.
 

Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
It's not the identity of the club that bothers me, nor the fact that money is being used to artificially prop them up. It's the haphazard, feckless and borderline negligent way that the money is being spent. Splash hundreds of millions by all means, just do it right.

Blackburn bought David May before they bought Alan Shearer. Chelsea had one awkward season of Mutu/Crespo/Veron before they saw sense and spent the big bucks on a quick defender and a competent right-back. Everything has to be done in an order or it all descends into chaos.
 

EastStandBlue

Life President
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
15,488
Look where it's gotten Chelsea these days...

An ageing defence and midfield who all want to be paid the same as eachother at the top of the pay structure. Lampard and Terry all have equality agreements in the contracts, meaning no matter who they sign, they have to recieve the same pay packet regardless of talent or age.

If anything, it's fed Terry's already ballooning ego... He's come out and said he doesn't feel respected enough at Chelsea. Considering he's the top earner, club captain and longest serving player, I can only rehash that as meaning "I'm on a lot, but I could be paid a lot more elsewhere". Chelsea are up in arms about it, but it's essentially how they poached the players they have now.

I laughed when I saw Rafa Benitez singing "Money, Money, Money" during his press conference, he's absolutely right though...
 

BrettieAngell

THE ROCK GOD
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Messages
19,642
Location
Southend
For a team to have a chance of winning the Prem nowadays they need 1. Shedloads of money and 2. To be well run. I'm not sure if City fall into the second bracket and the first point is just utterly depressing and makes me realise how much football has sold its soul.
 

SARF

Director
Joined
Aug 9, 2004
Messages
2,331
Im laughing at the fact that Abramovich is now seen as a long standing respected memebr of the football community!!
 

Irish_Shrimper

Ant from across the Pond
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
5,310
Location
Limerick, Ireland
I've been wondering for a while now if Cook has hacked into my PC and watches my Man City game on Footie Manager: Every signing from Barry to Santa Cruz, and so forth, he has subsequently signed also.

The only two remaining now for him to achieve parity with my squad, are Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Richie Foran. Sort it out Cook!
 

Sussex Shrimper

Manager
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
1,674
Im laughing at the fact that Abramovich is now seen as a long standing respected memebr of the football community!!

From a purely footballing perspective - 6 years at the helm, has ploughed untold resources into the club with only the loosest of strings attached, and still regularly attends matches. Always makes me laugh to hear him knocked by gloryhunters of a club whose owner has saddled them with the best part of a billion quid of debt, attends marginally more often than the average "fan" and looks like he really ought to be the mascot.
 
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