Manchester City really is a conundrum.
So entertaining during the 2011-12 Premier League season when they enthralled onlookers with sometimes sublime soccer and ridiculous off-field antics in equal measure, they provided a breath of fresh air in a formulaic league.
This breath of fresh air, however, cost approximately £900 million to assemble, and if Chelsea were criticized for purchasing the title back in 2004, then Man City should be hung, drawn and quartered as well as flogged at the Captains mast for their excessive spending!
City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has obviously taken notice of the rapidly expanding money pit appearing in Eastlands, Manchester and has pledged to combat it by adopting a more “holistic” approach. Apparently this means that City is going to integrate a philosophy that emphasizes the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.
Now that means nothing to me and it would seem it’s baffled many journalists as well with many struggling to understand what Al Mubarak meant. The general consensus is that he wishes to make the club more self sustainable by putting in place more lucrative sponsorship deals, reducing the wage bill and offloading players surplus to requirements.
So if this is the case and City actually wants to become more self sustaining, then why on earth would the club sanction two signings totaling over £50 million before any manager is even in place?
It’s true that the television revenue has increased this year and that City has put some very lucrative sponsorship deals in place in order to generate necessary funds for transfers, but to splash the cash as they have so far every year seems a little contradictory to Al Mubarak’s new philosophy of self-sustainability. The departure of several players will no doubt go to offsetting the cost of new players with Edin Dzeko, Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri among those likely to be sold, but it’s hard to see if there will actually be any change in approach at City as they seem content to continue to spend big instead of trying to turn a profit.
The recent acquisition of £34 million Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk illustrates the point I’m making that there may not be any change in philosophy at all at City, and regardless of the financial fair play rules set to implemented next season, City doesn’t show any signs of curbing their excessive spending.