At best it was lazy journalism. At its worst, it was another attack on our beloved club over something ridiculous. Headlines, along the lines of Manchester City are failing to sell out their stadium for the Champions League, were pasted across certain printed press, and even some sports radio shows.
The reports, while accurate at the time of their writing, did not lay out the full facts in order to allow the reader to make up its own minds. A cheap shot at a side who have delivered scintillating football this season, and been unplayable against most.
Gone are last seasons jibes of Pep Guardiola’s inability to employ his philosophy in the ‘English game’. This season, as I have said, put those back under the rocks they crawled out from under. The error prone Claudio Bravo was replaced by a highly confident Ederson. Meanwhile, England’s number one went back to not being worthy of a seat on the plane to Russia. At least that was true in the mind of some of the journalists who had slated Guardiola for moving him out.
Going back to the original thought of Manchester City not being able to sell out their stadium. Which they have now, by the way. Tickets went on sale on Monday, and two rival sets of fans, Liverpool and United, decided to dig at ‘Little Citeh’.
Yes, it is true that Manchester City didn’t sell out the Stadium within minutes of them going on sale. That is a fact I will not argue. What I will say, and what was conveniently left out of the various reports, was that this was by design.
The blues had graded their allocation of tickets, giving first refusal to fans with most loyalty points. It ensures that fans, who have been going week in and week out, get the chance to witness the big game.
In a world of big money Old Trafford, among others, is treated more like a tourist attraction every other weekend, rather than the church it used to be. the Blues still have the fans in mind. When the match kicks off in a little over a week from now it won’t be the ‘Emptyhad’.
Liverpool will, however, leave Emptyhanded to a glorious Mancunian rendition of Blue Moon!