A press room full of Reds, all hinting that questions ought to be asked. But no, it's lazy journalism and they're rustling up lazy fiction out of thin air.
No smoke without fire eh?
Yes, it is lazy. It’s lazy because it doesn’t dig any deeper and what it presents is façile at best or 2 plus 2 equals 5 at worst. All it says is, is that on the face of it, there’s a problem. Lazy.
I also have to say that the presumption towards a new stadium is either short for "bigger capacity, whether it be a new stadium or redevelopment" or that is lazy too.
‘Supporting development’ used to be dirty words at this club and in truth that has only changed slightly. But really, there may be good commercial
reasons for the club to diversify into other areas (and perhaps even the immediate opportunity - the Football Quarter, for example).
City have ‘engaged’ in the local community in Eastlands but the Etihad Campus is essentially a separate commercial enterprise. If this is permissible under FFP rules and the aim of FFP is to contain the runaway cost of the game, then maybe the rules should change.
On the other hand, if supporting the fans’ involvement in the game with cheaper prices is the aim, then perhaps ‘subsidy’ from this or Fantasy Islands is a good thing (albeit we will have to continue to accept the preciousness of your average PL player).
But, the danger is of course that it is unsustainable or rather, even more unsustainable than it is now.
Abramovitch couldn’t give a monkey’s. He’s got it. He’ll spend it. This one’s broke - get me another. As long as I’m here, no problem. He may have very ‘good’ reasons to be here. Some of them may be football. But have you ever seen anyone so apparently disinterested? No matter...
To my mind City may
have done this all rather more sanely than Abramovitch (if still at extravagant cost). City have built up the brand by pumping millions (millions they happen to have lying around apparently) into players. They have then exploited the brand to commercial property effect in East Manchester.
Perhaps Eastlands is sustainable as property goes but, is there really a sustainable return on the football side? If not, you would have to ask, which is supporting which? They may even come a time when football is the sideshow but in the meantime the effect on the neighbours is devastating.
Because, as the super clubs suck in all the sponsorships, TV income, merchandising and good players - hoover up all the Messis - what will the ‘others’ do? Those without buckets of cash? Go ‘Rangers’ or ‘Portsmouth’? Just trying to keep up?
So what then for the Super Clubs?
If as Evans says "the superclubs will see no point in playing anyone other than each other", exactly who will Man City and Chelsea play against? Barcelona and Real Madrid? over and over and over and over... South American super clubs? which are they exactly? Asian clubs? African clubs? St Etienne? It’s a damn short list.
Like it or lump it, FSG are here because of FFP. They came because a level playing field was coming. The fight to make it happen won’t be clean. And to the extent of his influence, Evans isn’t helping the cause.
If Evans’ armageddon comes about, FSG may say, well this isn’t the deal. We won’t no part of it or, they may have a massive change of heart and take it on.
And one day, someone somewhere (in some cases, some bank?) says to us or one of these guys, ‘hey! where’s my money?!!’. Been there. Done that.
On the other, other hand FSG are doing what they said they would. They spend from revenue. They do not throw cash around like no tomorrow. They explore all avenues of revenue. They are prudent and we will be great. Honeymoon still on.