The clash of civilisations is being fought out today on the football pitches of Manchester…

I am posting this whilst things still look good for the blue side of Manchester… It’s interesting, but since the writer is an Arsenal fan it misses the central point that soccer has become so expensive you can only expect success if you have a high rolling backer (in City’s case an oil fueled sovereign wealth) in yer back pocket:

The clash of civilisations is being fought out today on the football pitches of Manchester. The implications for the west – and for America in particular – are troubling.

On the red side of the city, representing Anglo-Saxon capitalism, there is Manchester United. For two decades the dominant power in English football, and one of the strongest clubs in Europe, United is now in decline. The Glazer family, the American tycoons who bought United in 2005, have laden it with debt .

Cristiano Ronaldo, arguably the best player in the world, was sold for £80m last summer and has not been replaced. United fans, who suspect that financial constraints lie behind the failure to strengthen the team, are becoming uncomfortably familiar with the grisly details of payment-in-kind notes, the high-interest debt used by the Glazers to finance their takeover.

On the blue side of the city, the mood is very different. Manchester City was bought in 2008 by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan of oil-rich Abu Dhabi, who financed a spree of player signings.

Results so far have been mixed, but after Sheikh Mansour converted his holdings of City’s debt into equity at the start of the year, the club’s long-term future looks sound.

When the two teams met this week, the debt-fuelled American financial model was pitted against wealth based on real assets. The result was a resounding victory for the emerging economic power.

  • Chris Donnelly

    All hail the new King Carlos! After nearly two decades of dominance, I’m looking forward to an era of Red Devil humility.

  • Strange that United’s greatest rivals should be taken over by owners from ABU Dhabi but for many ABU will surely be replaced by ABC if they continue to over indulge themselves in the transfer market.

  • Stewart

    ‘Strange that United’s greatest rivals should be taken over by owners from ABU Dhabi but for many ABU will surely be replaced by ABC if they continue to over indulge themselves in the transfer market.’

    When Ferguson can spend 30 million on a dud like Berbatov, City are not the only team indulging in over-rated players

  • richiep

    As an Irishman I’ve never been able to understand the obsession that so many of my compatriots have with British teams. I’m interested in some of the more high profile games but couldn’t ” follow ” a foreign team in a fit and would consider hurling superior to any other sport.
    Had to laugh when I encountered one of the oldstyle shinners recently who opposed things like the GAA opening up Croke Park and dropping the ban on NI police playing gaelic games. Hadn’t met him for a while and was flabbergasted to hear he had joined the Cork branch of a premiership club’s supporters branch, going abroad 2 or 3 times a season to follow them. His excuse ? ” Tis great crack , like “. Won’t say anymore as I know he reads this.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Football has become far too sexy and glamourus for the likes of me (And sadly for a lot of you also)

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Well at least Mark Durkan, Martin McGuinness and Arlene Fosters uncle in law….Sam Foster and much more importantly FitzjamesHorse enjoyed a splendid evening in front of the TV…not to mention Mark Simpson, who I trust found a bar in Hillsborough with SKY SPORTS.
    What a wonderful night.

  • Mick Fealty

    Smart money won over stupid in the end… Mancini needs a while to shape that team(s) into something more formidable than was on display tonight…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Yeah, but which team has the better firm?

  • Henry94


    All hail the new King Carlos!

    President Wayne still rules. Wasn’t it great to see so many United fans wearing the old Newton Heath colours in protest. Without the fans the Galazer’s business is worth nothing. I expect the revolt to intensify. Only respect for Fergie is keeping the show on the road.

  • Rooney just seems to get better and better though Ronaldo’s departure means he is now getting far more opportunities and responsiblity than he did last season.

  • georgieleigh

    Chris Donnelly prefers City, sporting their sky-blue colours of freemasonry, over the socialist colours of United, a club not named casually, whose supporters also now wear the non-accidental original colours of Newton Heath.

    And republicans like to think they know their history.


  • Chris Donnelly


    I know quite a bit about that actually, but let’s just say I believe football politics in England has moved on quite a distance from those days. The words ‘socialist’ and United don’t sit well together do they?

    I haven’t a football team to follow in England, to be honest, and actually enjoy flitting between teams as the notion takes me. My affinity with City on this occasion was merely a product of my ABU mentality, and a strong preference for Tevez, a player I’ve a lot of time for.

    Still have an ingrained hatred for the ‘Pool, a product of their dominance in my formative teen years (or, more probably, of the arrogance of said team’s supporters during that time.)