The Price of Success, Financial Fair Play and Substitutes: The Issue with Manchester City

Schalke well and truly mucked it up. A 2-1 lead going into the last five minutes against a ten-man Manchester City resulted in a loss and three away goals conceded. It’s difficult as an Englishman to decide whether you should applaude the miraculous comeback of an English side, capped off with another last-minute Raheem Sterling winner, or whether you should hope that City could just lose something…

As good as they are, Manchester City just feel a little bit souless, a little mechanical in the way they play. Guardiola’s football is beautiful but it’s also very strictly manufactured.

When you look at the past ten years, it’s difficult to ignore the severe financial influx from the Mansours. From 8-1 against Middlesbrough to a Premier League title winner. Believe me, I am not against fairy tales (I was in tears over Leicester), but it just doesn’t seem right.

Image result for middlesbrough 8-1 man city
POLES APART: The Manchester City of old and now Guardiola’s Premier League juggernaut could not be more different

Nevertheless, City sit in a very comfortable position going into the second-leg at the Etihad. They have to go all the way this year. The strength in depth they have is remarkable. Bar Kosovan goalkeeper Arijanet Muric, who will certainly go on to have a very good career, each one of the City substitutes in their 3-1 in against Watford would walk into the other top five teams.

City’s Subs v Watford (H)

  • Aymeric Laporte – £55m
  • Fabian Delph – £10m
  • Leroy Sané – £40m
  • Gabriel Jesus – £30m
  • Phil Foden – £0
  • Danilo – £25m
  • TOTAL – £160m (thank the lord for Phil Foden)

I would have no issue with the amount spent if they weren’t so devious with the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. Even my nan can see that they have exploited FFP to the max, spending way over what they’re actually supposed to. In all honesty, if City can’t be controlled, we could be looking at a Juventus-esque monopoly in the ‘most entertaining league in the world’.

City have four of the five most expensive defenders in football history (Totalling £200m). They have to sell tickets to their home games in the Metro. On the pitch, they destroy teams. Off the pitch, fans are bored. They’re now an easily dislikeable club. Fans love it when they lose. If you want a greater depth into the specifics of the FFP investigation, I recommend this.

The “price of success” as Danny Higginbotham said to TalkSport, seems fairly accurate. The ‘die-hard’ fans have watched their beloved club get ripped of any tradition and sense of passion. “Souless City” and “The Empithad” are becoming more commonplace and the polarising effect of City’s success has not made City hated, per say, but they aren’t seen favourably by other clubs and other fans. The question: Is it worth it? And should they be stopped?

It’s a controversial topic but if you liked what you read and want to have your say, make sure to follow us @TasteofFtbl on Twitter!


  1. So it’s okay to have a cartel comprising the leading clubs in Europe, who dominate forever?
    What’s wrong with a owner putting money into his club?
    If the likes of Aldi and Lidl were not allowed to do this, the leading supermarkets would be able to dominate to such an extent that we would all be paying higher prices due to less competition.
    If you want a situation whin which the leading teams dominate football without any prospect of change, then back FFP. This is anything but fair but then was never designed to be so. The real motive was to preserve the status quo.

  2. Tom sounds bitter and jealous to me.. city play beautiful football. FFP was designed to keep the status quo and is actually corrupt. You are also judging Mcfc before they have been investigated. Are your going to correct your pathetic article when they have proved the allegations false. Bitter man

    • Hey Ste, thanks for reading my article! You, ironically in this situation, sound like the bitter one. I have nothing personally against City fans, it was just an alternative opinion. On another note, are you suggesting that if something is ‘corrupt’ that you’re happy with your club taking part in that, hence becoming corrupt themselves? Anyway thanks for contributing!

      • Tom
        You are wrong on both accounts, I never said I was a city fan, I said they played beautiful football ( something you wouldn’t appreciate given the team you support). I also didn’t admit to being happy if they broke the rules , I said you are judging before they Have been investigated..

      • Hi Ste
        I apologise for misunderstanding your football allegiances, who do you support? Also, there is no need to vent your anger at me, it was simply my individual interpretation of events.

        As for FFP violations, I am aware that there is no completed investigation by UEFA as of yet but Der Spiegal (the news source that broke the reports, notorious for it’s similar uncovering of Sepp Blatter’s corruption) have documents showing the inflation of advertisement money. £60m unaccounted for. Try and be a nice guy Ste, this doesn’t suit ya

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Champions League Preview: How Can Tottenham beat City? – TASTE OF FOOTBALL

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.