Tag Archives: Manchester City F C

Inequality

We live in a crazy world.  Lionel Messi, the highest paid footballer last season, received $111,000,000. Does he deserve that much? More and more people in this country are relying on food banks. If you think that they deserve that, try watching I, Daniel Blake on BBC iPlayer and see if you change your mind.

Yesterday evening, I went to a performance of Commonism, at the Rep.  It’s a conversation between two men, one British and one Norwegian, talking about the world today and imagining how the future could be better. At the end, they hand out copies of their manifesto. This suggests a maximum limit on the economic resources any one individual can possess and a universal basic income. I imagine that it would be a lot easier to get poor people to accept a basic income than to get rich people to limit what they own. The performance was thought provoking and I had much to think about as I walked back to my bus stop, past all the rough sleepers.

When I got back home, I saw the news about the latest Brexit squabble in Parliament. It seemed a far cry from the conversation I’d just listened to, about learning to disagree well. There was also news of Burton’s heavy defeat at Manchester City and the nightmare journey to get to Manchester experienced by some of their fans. The result was not that surprising when you consider the value of their squads. Sky reported that,

“Burton Albion’s squad value this season is around the £6m mark   … Manchester City’s current squad is valued at just over £1bn, with their most expensive acquisition, Riyad Mahrez, joining the club last summer for £60m.”

In other words, one of Manchester City’s players cost 10 times more than Burton’s squad. That enormous inequality just doesn’t seem right to me, with most of the TV money flooding into the Premier League. I can understand why owners of clubs lower down the pyramid pay out too much in the hope of getting promotion.  Birmingham City paid out too much; we are still waiting to find out what price we’ll have to pay for that. We are not the only club with financial problems. The situation feels more serious than just a few clubs breaking some rules; it feels as though the whole system is broken.

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Carrying on as usual

Cityzen photoA photo in a Tweet set me thinking. It showed a Cityzens card, the Manchester City membership card which fans can personalise by adding their own photos.  I spent a few minutes thinking about what picture I’d put on my card if Birmingham City allowed that and then decided that I’d probably not bother to add one. But it’s a nice idea.    Continue reading

Outs, ins and team building

Even if Birmingham City’s new signings that play on Saturday turn out to be brilliant, I’m not very hopeful they’ll be able to avoid a 4th consecutive loss for the team. Teams take time to gel when changes are made, even when those changes are not forced but made to improve the team. Blues’ outs and ins during this transfer window are not the result of careful team building, just Lee Clark and company doing their best in dreadful circumstances.   Continue reading

Live football

Bristol Pear PubOn Saturday morning I saw one of those pubs that has a banner outside proclaiming “Live sport shown here.”  “No, it isn’t!” I muttered as I walked past.  Live sport is sport that you actually see as it happens; it is not the view of a sport chosen by someone else and transmitted to you through your TV.    Continue reading

Why care?

One person commenting on my last post about Nepalese labourers in Qatar asked, “Who cares?”  That question is relatively easy to answer; I care and a lot of other people do too.  It is harder to explain why I care in a way that will make sense to the person that made that comment but I’m going to try. Continue reading

Football, fame and fortune

Buying a football club is a good way to higher your profile.  In Daniel’s post (1) about his trip to Hong Kong he wrote that most of the reporters at Carson Yeung’s trial were reporting on his case because he owned a football club and therefore had a slightly higher profile.  However, they didn’t know much about Birmingham City FC.  It seems like a case of mutual misunderstanding; the people in Hong Kong know as little about our club as we know about business practice in China.

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“Richer than God” by David Conn

My aim in writing this review is not to give a balanced account of the whole book but to explain why I think it should be read by fans of all English football clubs and not just those who support Manchester City.  The subtitle of the book is “Manchester City, Modern Football and Growing Up” and the middle phrase, “Modern Football”, refers to David Conn’s account of the business of football.

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