Go to contents

Will Man City Finally Hit the Big Time?

Posted June. 18, 2009 08:14,   


Manchester City has a long history in the English Premier League. The club was established in 1880 as St. Marks before changing its name to its present form in 1894.

The team has struggled throughout most of its history, but enjoyed a boom in the 1960s after Joe Mercer took over as coach. The highlight was winning the 1968 league title.

Then a poor financial structure doomed Man City to a seemingly endless slump from the mid-1970s. Its fans had to endure decades of ridicule and humiliation as cross-town rival Manchester United kept taking Man City’s best players.

The 21st century looks to be kinder to Man City, however. Fans grew excited ahead of the 2007-08 season after former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra bought the team. Questions were raised over his integrity but expectations ran high that his wealth would boost the club.

A more dramatic development came ahead of last season, when Arab billionaire Dr. Sulaiman Al Fahim took over Man City. His riches instantly raised hope that the team would go from long-suffering victim to a legitimate contender.

Man City went right to work in launching an aggressive recruitment campaign, signing Wayne Bridge, Craig Bellamy and Nigel de Jong in last year’s transfer market. The team is now working to bring in Roque Santacruz of the Blackburn Rovers and Carlos Tevez of United Manchester.

Trying to keep the momentum going, Man City said, “We have finalized the list of players we aim to recruit by 2011.”

The team, however, is not expected to turn into the next Chelsea anytime soon. The biggest hurdle is getting big stars to agree to play for Man City, as Kaka’s rejection of a lucrative transfer offer earlier this year showed.

MBC soccer commentator Seo Hyeong-uk said, “This happens because top-rated players consider not only the transfer amount, but also a team’s reputation and teammates.”

Man City’s sluggish performance over the past several years has also deterred big names from joining. The squad finished 10th last season despite signing several stars such as Robinho.

Experts say, however, that the huge potential of Man City down the road cannot be ignored, adding its deep pockets will allow the team to sign big-name stars and eventually shine.