So here we are again. Manchester City charged by the Premier League for near enough to a decade of financial breaches of the Premier League’s financial rules dating back to 2009.
A day we always thought was coming with this investigation spanning 4 years and always looming in the background, even after the Manchester City victory at CAS over UEFA.
I’m not going to go into detail on the charges & the legal process, there’s people far more qualified then myself to cover that.
Instead I’d rather talk about it from a fans point of view, something that is lost amongst the media celebration of the charges, opposition fans saying I told you so and so on and so forth. More on all of that later.
The bombshell was delivered by the Premier League early yesterday. It hit like a tonne of bricks as it wasn’t expected, nor was there any inkling of it coming.
Whilst it was a bombshell to start with, as a Manchester City fan the threat of these charges has long lingered. I wasn’t surprised the charges were laid, the investigation has often been mentioned by the media, and from opposition fans whenever it suits them.
To be back here again not far removed from the victory over UEFA isn’t a shock also, the evidence seems to be the same that was used in that hearing.
At first anger was the overwhelming emotion. Anger that here we go again, Manchester City back to the court room, anger that the mud slinging from the media (which has never really abated over the journey) has returned, the jibes from opposition fans returning with more venom.
Also anger at the perceived cartel of historical “big” clubs always looming in the background whenever Manchester City are mentioned and when success is achieved at the Etihad.
The anger subsided now as a Manchester City fan now it’s defiance, pride and finally relief that there exists a opportunity for the club to end the jabs & endless scrutiny once and for all in a independent hearing.
The defiance comes from the fact I trust Sheikh Mansour, Khaldoon Al-Mubarak, Ferran Sorriano and past Manchester City executives to do the right thing, and follow the rules laid out for them.
The club throughout the entire take over, and subsequent battles with UEFA & now the Premier League has always maintained they’ve followed the rules laid out.
The club’s financial records are audited and there as evidence. I trust this evidence as a fan, as I’ve seen nothing to indicate otherwise.
Finances let alone on the scale in football are well above my financial knowledge so I as a fan have full faith in the club’s administration. If the club is found guilty then heads obviously must and will roll but that’s a bridge only worth crossing when required.
The pride comes from the fact I’m a Manchester City fan. I always have been and that won’t change even if the club is relegated and whatever other sanctions apply if the club is found guilty of the charges.
Something other club fans forget or always throw out at Manchester City fans is “you’re not a big club” etc. That’s the point, we are Manchester City, we were always Manchester City and our identity has remained pre the take over and since, and will remain whatever comes of the Premier League hearing.
We’ve become a big club through success on the pitch since Mansour took over, but it was never our right to claim to be a big club like other supporters claim for their so called “historical” clubs.
The pride comes from where we came from, who we are, and who we’ll continue to be. That will never change.
The success of Manchester City has obviously rankled the establishment, has done since we were taken over, something little old City fans have taken pride in and will continue to.
The reaction to the charges from City fans was filled with memes, to calls of typical City, it’s never a dull moment as a proud Manchester City fan and that won’t charge with these charges pending.
As for the football media they seem to be have found Manchester City guilty before the hearing takes place. That’s no surprise as there has been a gang of journalists longing for this day to come, same with certain radio and television personalities.
I won’t name names, it’s not needed. The fact they feel the need to proclaim Manchester City’s guilt before any hearing takes place I find absurd and doesn’t sit well, but that’s the nature of the beast especially in a case of this magnitude and especially in football.
I won’t touch on the opposition fans, there’s no need to. They can throw their jibes, and revel in the current situation, as is their right. But the memory lives long if Manchester City clear their name of these charges, which I feel the majority of them hope they do as the Manchester City machine has been so successful the past decade.
Whatever comes of this hearing will be, that’s out of Manchester City fan’s control. But we’ll continue to support and love the club, it is our club and always has been. These charges and jibes from anywhere and everywhere won’t change that fact.
It’s never a smooth ride as a Manchester City fan, never has been and here we are again up for a battle. So time to buckle up and see what comes next.