Manchester City, The Ultimate Glory Hunter’s Guide

The tough part about being a glory hunter is the occasional opprobrium that comes with it. Maybe you don’t remember the name of ‘your’ club’s all time goalscorer, or know what the most recent (adopted this very year!) fashion on the terraces is. Maybe you don’t even know the name of the club’s anthem, or even where the club plays its home games. This could be the cause of acute embarrassment when wearing your club’s shirt at your local Fado’s and a curious tourist asks you a basic question about the club whose badge you are bearing.

This information, after all, is difficult to find on the internet for the world’s richest clubs.

One club is going out of its way to help those hopping on their oil-fuelled bandwagon: Manchester City Football Club.

Manchester City have kindly presented a ‘bluffer’s guide‘ to ‘supporting’ the club on their official website presumably for all their new fans blocked from accessing Wikipedia.

Manchester City glory-hunters

Amazingly, this guide – which could have served the same purpose but been less embarrassing for the club if done in a smarter way – is presented without any humour or self-awareness whatsoever.

It begins: “Loyalty, commitment, passion and, during the darker times, a sense of humour has been needed over the years to follow the Blues.”

And goes on to suggest the complete opposite is now needed to follow City:

If you are asked who your favourite players are from down the years – your credibility is at stake here – don’t say Francis Bell, Colin Summerbee and Yaya Dzeko though these names exists, they are combinations – have a good scan over the club website and check out who the current favourites are and who the club legends are and take notes!

This brazen toadying to the club’s new legion of customers (obviously needed to even begin repaying the millions pumped into the club) must be depressing for loyal City supporters, who indeed have been known for being down to earth and bearing a dark sense of humour over the club’s struggles in recent decades compared to their Manchester rivals.

City once seemed like the club with the most soul in Manchester. Before I moved there in the late 1990s, my grandmother told me of her brothers, who had followed City down to London to support the club in its 1930s FA Cup finals, when United were the smaller team – and postwar, the johnny-come-latelys to glory.

Maine Road, City’s stadium back then, was embedded in the middle of the city’s toughest area, Moss Side, near the city centre; walking to games there was everything you’d imagine supporting a proud old gritty English urban club would be like. Old Trafford, by contrast, was perched further out in bland surroundings, close to a giant shopping mall, the Trafford Center – almost as big as Old Trafford’s megastore.

Fortunately for City’s newer fans, the bluffer’s guide explains its storied past at Maine Road in great detail: “If asked where we play our football, it’s the City of Manchester Stadium – also nicknamed Eastlands due to the area of Manchester it is in. It’s worth noting that from 1923 to 2003 we played our home games at Maine Road.”

Yes, it’s worth noting all right – and apparently nothing further about the club’s entire existence in that period is even to be bothered bluffing about.

12 thoughts on “Manchester City, The Ultimate Glory Hunter’s Guide

  1. Hans

    Seattle Sounders should do this. It fits the bill for all the people that think they invented supporting soccer 3 years ago and couldn’t be bothered with the team they had before.

  2. russ the blue

    So where are all these new glory seeking Manchester City fans? I don’t see any of them. City’s average attendances during the time they have been at Eastlands is only marginally up at the moment which you would expect from any club in any league doing better than it was previously. In fact wheres the glory, City have not had any yet.

    No if you want to see glory seeking fans near Manchester you have to cross over to Owed Trafford, I reckon you will find a good 30,000 glory seeking fans there. Hopefully that figure will be put to the test during the next few years as teams like City, Chelsea, Arsenal Spurs and Liverpool close the artifical gap created between them and United becuase United happened to be the best team in the country just as the money from Sky TV,The Prem and Champs league rolled in allowing them to continue to buy success opening that huge gap.

    It would be interesting to see how many of Uniteds faithful stick around after three or four years of mid table finishes and no European football. It will happen.

    Still Tom you make a wider point. Football is being taken over by people with no sense of it’s history or its origins who certainly don’t care where they take it and I don’t just mean the owners. To some of us older guys (50) it bares little resemblance to the game we used to know.

    My pet hates inlude FIFA, UEFA, FA, who seem to run football for their own advantage, Michel Platini, Sepp Blatter, no terraces, the prem league fair play handshake, most games not being on a Saturday at 3pm, celebrating a team being top of the league for a few hours until the late kick off on the same day and yes even as a City fan rich foreign owners.

    But then how will we will ever get a level playing field again if rich probably foreign owners don’t pump their money into clubs. Certainly not with the UEFA financial fair play rules which are designed to keep the big clubs big and the little clubs little.

    I say get off Citys back unless you are happy with Manchester United winning everything forever, the owners at City have done a lot of good for City the football club, the fans, the local people in the area and I don’t suppose to many of the clubs like Everton Middlesbrough and Villa who we have paid inflated prices to for their players are complaining either. If the cost of this is is the loss of a little soul its probably worth it. There won’t be too many fans worried about that on Saturday as we hopefully lift the FA Cup and prepare for the Champions league next season.

    Just in case you don’t know there are plans to extend the stadium to 60,000, eventually 72,000. 30 million is to be spent building one of the best training grounds in the world opposite the stadium much of which will be open for public use, acres of polluted land around the stadium is in the process of being cleaned up and Citys owners are to spend 1 billion pounds developing the area around the stadium, 100s of jobs will be created.

    Fantastic facilities like City square have already been built. There are two large covered areas opposite each other with bars, heres one http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcfcofficial/4920032836/ and a third covered area with a stage that has live music, interviews with players and staff past and present and three huge TV screens all for pre and post match entertainment. The whole place looks fantastic especially at night.

    So someone has cocked up a bit on the web site, have you looked at the website properly? Have you seen a better club web site?

    I am struggling to see the downside of anything that has happened at City in the last two or three years.

  3. russ the blue

    Tom, here is some more good Manchester City and its owners have done in your new adopted home of the USA

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1297019/Manchester-City-build-500-000-football-pitch-roof-school.html

    Spent half a million building a football pitch for a school providing equipment and coaching.

    City will also be opening academies around the world like this one

    http://www.mcfc.co.uk/news/club-news/2010/may/blues-to-open-academy-in-india

    There is no money to be made doing such things but hopefully it will raise the clubs profile. A win for the club and a win for the locals

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  6. sdfsd

    what you on about lad – old trafford and maine road are both about 2 and a half miles from town.

  7. Tom Dunmore Post author

    Russ, ya really don’t think there’s any self-interest to that expenditure? Just when Man City are (as the obvious post shows) desperately trying to build a global brand to match United’s?

  8. Gary Shoes

    Tom, the bluffers guide was written by a website staffer who’d only been employed for a short time – he almost immediately apologised, and pointed out he wasn’t a fan (i suspect he’s not even a football fan). The article was slated pretty much unanimously by the fans.

    On the wider point of money – and perceived altruism (or not) – I think there’s a lot of hypocrisy going on here. Which team hasn’t “bought” the PL title? Which club hasn’t bought feeder clubs, opened stores in singapore etc etc? City have just done it a bit quicker….:)

    Go back to the mid 80s and before and the vast majority of clubs were owned by benefactors who saw little of their money back.

    The real descent into the pit of cash began in the late 80s when they did away with the cut in the away gate.

    I read somewhere recently…: “whatever we’ve bought, we didn’t put it up for sale…”.

    Anyway, this is my favourite footie blog, and has helped change my opinion on MLS and it’s fans to the extent i’m coming over for a game shortly – keep up the good work!

  9. David

    The money has simply projected Man City to trophies and champions league football. Next season will show their progress, i for one think they’ll fail miserably! Champions League will be boring without Spurs! Although it is nice to see competition for top 4 i’d like to see it with natural progression, not bought!

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