“I swear you’ll never see anything like this ever again, so watch it, drink it in…”
Every Manchester City fan will readily identify with those words, taken from an iconic moment in football history, arguably – no, indisputably – THE best ever for a City supporter. Martin Tyler’s commentary is etched indelibly into football folklore.
Incredible, unbelievable beyond their wildest imaginings – 93:20 AGUEROOOO – City grabbed the title on May 13th, 2012. Delirious joy and unbridled happiness abounded – Roberto Mancini’s men in Blue had ended a 44-year wait to be crowned as the Champions of England.
A minute earlier, City’s long-suffering fans had been staring into a desolate abyss, one where the tag of ‘Typical City’ had once again come back to haunt them, and their team of perennial under achievers.
Instead of their painfully time-honoured trait of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, City had actually only gone and bloody done it. Four years into Sheikh Mansour’s ownership, City were indeed Champions.
The whole football world – Fergie and United apart – appeared genuinely swept up in the pulsating excitement, the exhilaration, the last minute drama of scooping up the title, with virtually the last kick of a campaign.
Fast forward to today and City stand in virtual isolation. The world and his dog are against them. UEFA and those who despise City’s success, who feel threatened by City’s meteoric rise, who are desperate to destroy City’s ever broadening sky blue horizons, gather like vultures, salivating at the club’s pending demise.
Has there ever been a more orchestrated and pernicious pursuit of a sporting entity, than that of City, by the corrupt and rotten to the core UEFA, spurred on by the greed and self serving protectionism of the old cabal of European football?
From the moment the ‘oil money’ began flowing into M11 3FF, English football’s red alliance of United, Arsenal and Liverpool has led the way with wave after wave of insidious attacks on City.
The gut wrenching hypocrites at Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona et al, needed no encouragement to join in. They all stood to lose as City’s evolution accelerated into revolution.
How dare another club seek to challenge the self styled elite of European football?
City’s emergence posed a real threat to the cosy monopoly sitting at UEFA’s top table. What made it even more unpalatable to the likes of, in particular, the American and German owners of clubs, was the threat was coming from Arabs – ARABS – it just wouldn’t do, would it?
City had to be stopped. Come hell or high water, nobody was allowed to gatecrash the corrupt cartels that were running English and European football.
The ludicrously and ironically labelled, UEFA ‘Financial Fair Play’ rules, were introduced on the premise it would help prevent clubs spiralling into debt and undermining their very existence.
It was a sham from the outset. It had nothing to do with debt. It was naked protectionism, designed and implemented to stop owners such as Sheikh Mansour, pumping investment into their up and coming clubs.
UEFA continues to hide behind this pathetic premise. You only have to look at the architect of FFP – Michel Platini to get its measure. The disgraced Platini has long been exposed as a grubby, corrupt little man – totally in keeping with UEFA’s ‘culture’ of systemic greed and self interest.
Conflict of interest doesn’t apply where UEFA are concerned. Take, for instance, David Gill – Mr Manchester United – who is able to wield power and political influence in UEFA’s stench ridden structures – to the obvious detriment of City.
It must mark as a career pinnacle of many a ‘mover and shaker’ from the likes of United, Liverpool and Bayern Munich, that City have been hit with a two year ban from European competitions. UEFA are also hoping to top up its ‘Greasing Palms Slush Fund’ by slapping a £25m fine on City. The avarice is as astonishing as it is shameful.
UEFA’s processes have been a mockery thus far. They’ve played the roles of judge, jury and would-be executioner in their hideous and hateful vendetta against City.
The official statement from City said it all: ‘Simply put, this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA. With this prejudicial process now over, the Club will pursue an impartial judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.’
Hopefully, justice will be served and CAS will find in City’s favour. If not, there’s no doubt City will take matters to the next level, via the Swiss legal system.
Prior to UEFA deploying their nuclear option on Friday, there had been rumours that UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin, had been keen to reach some kind of compromise with City.
If true, it would suggest UEFA are far from sure of their ground, and have perhaps, only reluctantly, engaged in full on hostilities, and an inevitable legal onslaught from a Khaldoon Al Mubarak-led City.
While the past 48 hours has made for hideous reading, viewing and listening for those who hold City close to their hearts, Khaldoon & Co are resolute in City’s innocence and are now bristling for the fight.
It’s been a long time coming. Many feel that City should have gone to war with UEFA back in 2014, when the club chose a path of lesser resistance, accepting a £49m fine (ultimately reduced to £16m, when City met FFP criteria – oh the irony).
City were only ‘guilty’ because, having been open and transparent with UEFA and received assurances they were in full FFP compliance, UEFA moved the regulatory goalposts and stitched the club up like the proverbial kipper. There’s always something fishy about UEFA – they always manage to stink the place out.
As far as City fans are concerned, nothing will ever be as sweet as when Sergio slotted home the winning goal against QPR, but when Khaldoon and City’s legal eagles wipe the floor with UEFA, it’ll be as sweet as a cinnamon roll smothered in salted caramel sauce.
And that brings us back to where it all began – that commentary!
City fans should watch all of the pure hate and venom spewing forth and directed at their club. They should drink it in but don’t swallow! When City’s lawyers ultimately win the day, the club and supporters can spit the bile right back at the bastards, those who’d happily see City annihilated.
CTWD – and we’re not dying anytime soon.
By David Walker
www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu