Where would Manchester City be without Sheikh Mansour’s riches?

Money makes the world go round and that certainly is the case with modern day football. The backing and investment of Sheikh Mansour into Manchester City has allowed City to assemble a Premier League winning team. Money by no means guarantees success however City have no doubt enjoyed a ‘head start’ to the development of the club that would never have happened without such heavy backing. However if that famous takeover never happened, what would have become of Manchester City?

In the dugout City attracted a number of high profile names. Former Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan spent four years at the club in an attempt to emulate his Newcastle United success. With a win percentage of 43.75% many can doubt that his results don’t speak for themselves. Current U-21 manager Stuart Pearce succeeded him, followed by former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson before Mark Hughes took over the club. It looks as though Manchester City had the pulling power to attract some of the best in the business without its mega-bucks budget.

The playing staff on the other hand would no doubt be vastly different. Between the sticks there is every likelihood that Joe Hart would have remained and developed into a world class keeper. Micah Richards, having risen through the ranks would certainly have relished turning out for his boyhood club no matter where in the Premier League they were competing. Currently fringe or departed players such as Nedum Onuoha, Dedryck Boyata, Steven Ireland and Felipe Caicedo could have provided a solid foundation to create a top half performing side, perhaps even a Europa League challenging side.

It could be assumed therefore that City would be fighting alongside Liverpool, Everton, Fulham, Newcastle and the like instead of crashing into the top four and securing a Premier League trophy. Who’s to say that continued development through this method could have created a side similar to today’s Newcastle, capable of surprising all the pundits and securing Europa League qualification?

The club’s infrastructure and facilities would obviously be nowhere near the standard that the club aspire them to be in a few years’ time. However they still possessed a world class stadium and an extremely supportive fan base to generate healthy revenue. The club itself wasn’t exactly poor either as the Mark Hughes signing of Jo for £19 million demonstrates.

On balance Sheikh Mansour’s riches have certainly helped the revival of Manchester City football club. However success might have been around the corner regardless. No doubt the money has substantially developed the club in a manner that would have otherwise been impossible, but time can be as great a weapon as money. City in time could have developed a world class squad by selling and re-investing. Certainly the examples of Newcastle United and Everton prove that there is more than one way to boost your standing amongst England’s elite.

Tomos Llewellyn

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