Sky isn’t the limit for City’s transfer spending

You have to laugh at the coverage of Manchester City’s transfer dealings this summer – the insidious negativity, the not-so subtle nuances, the never ending inconsistencies and contradictions – blimey, you’d be forgiven for thinking the media didn’t like the men from the Etihad Stadium.

Perish the thought!

This article isn’t a whinge about the omnipresent anti-City bias, it’s merely some observations on the general reporting of Sky, the BBC and the shallow red top tabloids.

Fair to say Sky Sports usually try to portray City in a negative light.

Sky Sports News’ disappointment that Benjamin Mendy’s move from Monaco came in at a mere £49.2m, and therefore NOT a new world record for a defender, was palpable.

The shortfall of £800,001 denied them the opportunity to further play out their chosen narrative of a desperate football club, pandering to the whims of a grossly-overrated manager, hell-bent on buying success.

Sky Sports News’ transfer anchor (or something sounding very similar) Jim White, and his colleagues seem to believe it’s a damning indictment on Pep Guardiola’s ability, that he was unable to extract title winning performances last season, from a quartet of full backs with a combined age of 129 years.

At £49.2m, Benjamin Mendy is not the world’s most expensive defender.

The limitless fuckwittery of the mainstream football media beggars belief that when City do actually address the long overdue upgrade of their ageing defence, they are met with an undercurrent of derision. 

But as Sky reluctantly ran Mendy’s £49.2m fee on the familiar black and yellow ‘BREAKING NEWS’ banner, the BBC attempted to redeem the situation, claiming City had paid £52m… a new world record for a defender. So why the disparity in the ‘facts’?

It’s hardly BREAKING NEWS – Sky Sports News HQ aren’t too keen on City.

Bumping up the figure helped fuel the myth that here was yet another ostentatious display by City, as they continued their ruination of the beautiful game.

Rewind to Kyle Walker’s transfer and City allegedly paying anything ranging from £45m to £54m (depending on who you believe) for the England right back. If it’s the latter then City must have already paid a world record fee the week before, so why the excitement?

How do we clear up the confusion? How many world record transfer fees had City actually broken in the space of a few days in July?

At £45m Kyle Walker is not the world’s most expensive defender.

The answer is none – but who cares?

The cracked Mirror newspaper – one gets the impression they’re not too keen on City – decided to present Walker’s move from Spurs in a whole new light, doubling it up as a £100m deal by including wages, and every conceivable possible bonus payment going.

City fans must hope the malicious Mirror hacks are right – that way it’ll mean Walker and his team mates will win just about everything going for the next five years, with the exception of that Thursday night trophy thing.

According to the BBC – Mendy’s transfer fee was £52m – go figure…

As City supporters revel in what was ‘Blue Mendy’, as well as the acquisition of Danilo for £26.5m last Sunday, Sky gleefully announced that City had become the first Premier League club EVER, to spend more than £200m in a summer transfer window…SHOCK, HORROR!

It wasn’t intended as a compliment.  

With Pep stating that City are still in the hunt for up to another three players – presumably Sanchez, another full back and a centre back – there’s every possibility City will go through the £300m barrier – never mind a piffling £200m.

At £26.5m, Danilo could turn out to be one of the best value for money defenders in the world.

The amount of money being chucked around in the Premier League and the upper echelons of European football is, quite rightly, viewed as obscene by many people.

But, as things stand, City are only doing the ‘norm’ in an increasingly crazy transfer window.

Another of City’s ever increasing contingent of ‘Boys from Brazil’ – Ederson is topped to become one of the world’s top keepers.

PSG’s pursuit of Neymar, with a buyout clause of £196m and alleged wages of £500,000 per week – and that’s after tax – is greeted with nigh on wonderment.

If Barcelona’s brilliant Brazilian striker does switch from the Nou Camp for nearly £200m it’s seen as a message of intent, a sign of the Parisian club’s ambitions.

Owning the most expensive player in the world is a prestigious badge of honour if you’re Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester Unted or PSG, so why not City?

Only in football could a business with the wherewithal and resources to buy the best, be subjected to a bizarre form of ridicule, fuelled by the unbridled jealousy of clubs who would do exactly the same, if given the opportunity.

At £43.6m, Bernardo Silva could even prove a bargain, especially if he can emulate the achievements of his namesake, David.

The £92.8m spent on acquiring Bernardo Silva and Mendy looks like good business in a market bloated by revenues from Sky and BT television rights, with an overwhelming majority of  City fans trusting the judgement of the club’s owner, chairman and manager.

Sheikh Mansour is overseeing a profitable and sustainable business plan for City’s future prosperity.

Under the Abu Dhabi ownership, City have developed a more than viable and sustainable business model, one which produces profits and isn’t weighed down with debt and hefty interest charges.

With all the completed and proposed transfer outgoings from the Etihad including Unal, Mooy, Nolito, Ntcham, Kolarov, Hart, Iheanacho, Fernando, Mangala, Nasri, Bony, Delph & Co, City could yet recoup more than £120m in incoming fees.

Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz, a £10.7m capture from Vasco da Gama, is one for the future.

The net summer transfer spend could conceivably end up being less than £200m by the time the window closes on August 31st – but do City fans care either way?

The Etihad faithful and the club just want the best players possible to compete for, and ultimately win, the big prizes.

They’re happy to leave Sheikh Mansour, Khaldoon and Ferran Soriano to look after the balance sheet, while Pep and his players press on and deliver the goods out on the pitch.

Outstanding CFA prospect Phil Foden could become a future City first team star…for a big fat zero transfer fee.

With so much money sloshing around, it’s easy to overlook the potential breakthrough of the likes of Phil Foden, Brahim Diaz and Jadon Sancho (if he stays) into the first team squad in the foreseeable future, saving untold tens of millions on future transfer fees.

You can bet your bottom dollar the media won’t be falling over themselves to highlight the achievements of the CFA, when City’s emerging talents do cement first team places.

Pep’s detractors are going to be so disappointed this season!

In the meantime City’s fans can just carry on smiling as Pep carries on spending and the ranks of the mass media carry on sniping.


By David Walker

This article is dedicated to Phil Entwistle – a lifelong Blue – who is finally fading after a long and courageous battle with cancer. I’m privileged to call him my friend – even more so that he should regard me as his.

True Blue Phil Entwistle was thrilled when City’s Colin Bell and Les Chapman spent precious hours with him earlier this year.

A gentleman and a passionate City man, his watchword of ‘Keep the Faith’ stood us in good stead on many occasions, none more so than as the clock ticked down on that fateful day in May 2012, with City losing 2-1 to QPR.

Like his beloved City, Phil will Fight ‘Till The End. @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu



  1. July 25, 2017  1:17 pm by Pete Bacon Reply

    The total incredulity and cries of anguish from the various elements of the written and broadcast media these last few weeks is now at ridiculous levels. You are so correct in the stark differences in tone and almost reverence being show with regards to a possible Neymar deal with PSG than that shown to City. No doubt the BT coverage of our upcoming Champions League campaign will be dealt with in their usual sneering and contemptuous manner too.

    • July 25, 2017  4:49 pm by David Walker Reply

      Let's hope our actions speak louder than their words. You never know, they may even begrudgingly have to start admiring us if Pep does deliver success in his inimitable style,

  2. July 25, 2017  2:15 pm by Richard Cooper Reply

    You are correct David, saying transfer prices are obscene. Walker, Lukaku and Neymar etc all fall into that category and there are a lot more I am sure.

    It isn't just paranoia on the part of City fans, there is an "easy target" City mentality within the media be it broadcasting or newspapers. As no doubt you saw the smiley smiley increasingly annoying font of all sports knowledge Sally Nugent on BBC saying we had paid a world record fee for Mendy.

    As of now we are pleased with the dealings at whatever the cost ! A fourth fullback a centre back should complete the defensive restructure. Sanchez would be a bonus but I am struggling to see who would sit on the bench if he came. Can't see our other extremely good forwards being that happy - Sane, Jesus, Sterling etc.

    Would really like to see Academy players "come through". Some appear to have nearly made it and then go out on loan. There has to be an "end product" to that super facility over the road, hopefully it will come soon.

    • July 25, 2017  4:47 pm by David Walker Reply

      Even as a City fan of almost five decades, the modern day football transfer fees, wages, ticket prices etc are totally out of kilter with what we would refer to as the 'normal' social spectrum. How you wind it back so that footballers, their agents, managers and everyone connected with the high end of the game's top table, can get a reality check is beyond me.

      As City fans I think we need to sit back and let all the poison flow from others, safe in the belief and the knowledge that Pep, Khaldoon and HHSM all know what City are about and their collective actions will render the haters speechless.

      I'd take Mbappe over Sanchez, but the French prodigy looks Madrid bound. I'd definitely have Sanchez on board - we only have to lose Aguero or Jesus to injury and a helluva lot falls on the other one's shoulders. Let Pep worry about keeping all our attacking talent happy - that's part of his job. Like you, I hope more CFA talent blossoms in the coming months and years - I'm sure it will.

  3. July 25, 2017  3:31 pm by Will Reply

    I think this window is a one off for City such was the overhaul needed. In future it will be fewer players, though maybe the outlay will be as much. I think all City fans dream of some homegrown talent breaking through. It is the hardest it has ever been to do so and a small part of me would even like to see a transfer ban and some youngsters having to be blooded. They would still have to be damned good. I do wonder whether Sane, Sterling,Stones etc would be where they are now if they had come through our academy. One last point, whatever happened to 'undisclosed sum' transfer fees?

    • July 25, 2017  4:37 pm by David Walker Reply

      Totally agree in terms of the quantity of player personnel changes in this window. It should never have come to pass, but it did, and Pep seems to be doing a good job in re-energising City's previously veteran defence, with speed and undoubted quality. Foden looks as if he might be the real deal in due course, let's hope he develops within City's first team ranks, rather than the almost inevitable loan spell. Either way he now carries high hopes and expectations. As for 'undisclosed sum' I think it's been overtaken by 'Sky sources believe...'

  4. July 25, 2017  3:56 pm by Eileen Fullen Reply

    As much as I've missed the footy David I can assure you hold the same honour......can't wait for the season to start - loving the meltdown

    • July 25, 2017  4:31 pm by David Walker Reply

      That's a very generous comment - thank you very much. Let's hope Pep is shaping the team up for major honours in 2017-18 and many years to come.

  5. July 25, 2017  6:40 pm by Charlie Bridge Reply

    Sick to the back teeth of the anti city bias in the press, I've actually got to the point that I can't put ssn on in the morning before work, the fact that it's so pro utd just adds to my angst. I for one couldn't give a toss how much we pay for players, the only thing I'm bothered about is watching great football and it still being affordable for me and all the other average paid mancunians.

  6. July 25, 2017  9:19 pm by Doug Henshaw Reply

    What's happening should of been done a few seasons back, the defence has been sadly neglected. Pep is trying to right things to get the team he & we fans want. A lot of transfer fees are barmy, but we got the dosh so why not spend it.

    • July 25, 2017  10:12 pm by David Walker Reply

      Exactly, and you get the feeling there's another big chunk still to spend. It seems a long way away from the days of getting Danny Mills in on a free transfer as our biggest deal of the summer ;-)

  7. July 28, 2017  2:19 pm by Guvnor Reply

    I hate the press all wankers

    • July 28, 2017  2:23 pm by David Walker Reply

      Oh, the beauty of having freedom of speech ;-)

    • August 1, 2017  2:51 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Stuart, Phil's still with us fighting 'till the end, albeit his race is nearly run. Lovely bloke and top Blue.

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