Date: 16th July 2011 at 12:10am
Written by:
Eastlands empty

Whatever the name it'll still be half empty

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, or should that be the City of Manchester stadium if we’re to believe the likes of Arsene Wenger and Liverpool FC’s managing director Ian Ayre.

Manchester City’s ground naming deal with Etihad Airlines has been the subject of much controversy and the debate looks set to rumble on.

The Guardian reports:

“Liverpool’s managing director, Ian Ayre, has joined Arsène Wenger in questioning the legality of Manchester City’s record sponsorship deal with Etihad. Speaking in the Malaysian capital, where earlier in the week the Arsenal manager had said that City’s new agreement raised “the real question about the credibility of financial fair play”, Ayre also queried the £400m deal.
“Under financial fair play, clubs cannot avoid the requirement to stay below aggregate losses of €45m (£39.5m) a year by effectively sponsoring themselves with what are known as related payments. Since Etihad, an airline that has the same number of aircraft as Flybe and has never declared a profit, is owned by the same Bin Zayed family that rules the emirate and owns Manchester City, Ayre believes it is a related deal and has called on Uefa to investigate the matter further.

“When I spoke at Soccerex earlier this year I was on a panel about financial fair play,” Ayre said. “The guys from Uefa said there would be a robust and proper process about related-pay transactions. Is Etihad, Manchester City and Sheikh Mansour a related party? If they are, then it’s up to Uefa to rule on them.”

“The other test the Etihad sponsorship would have to overcome is whether it represents “fair value”. Manchester City have pointed out that the £40m a year arrangement also provides for redevelopment work around Eastlands as well as shirt sponsorship and naming rights. However, Ayre questioned whether the naming rights to any stadium – especially one that already has a name – are worth anything like the money the airline has agreed to pay.”

It’s no real surprise that rival club’s are questioning City’s Etihad deal, after all everyone always expected Stockport’s finest to find a way around the new spending regulations. The likes of Liverpool and Arsenal realise that despite having a bigger global brand and higher earning power, they won’t be able to outspend City when the new rules come in, thanks to the Eithad deal.

Whether UEFA act remains to be seen, but it makes a rather amusing change seeing three of our main rivals slinging mud at one another rather than us for a change.


55 responses to “United’s Rivals Clash Before Season Even Begins”

  1. Manc Blue says:


    Thanks for calling us Mancs, because that is EXACTLY what we are. Our team name states EXACTLY where we are from.


  2. a true blue says:


  3. JB says:

    Over 1 billion invested and still nobody cares about City outside of Manchester. The Muslim owners might have big pockets but they bought a small club. Good luck.

    • a true blue says:


  4. Yung reddevil4life says:

    All these Manc city fans saying city is Manchester club but man u play there 2. That is why we called MANCHESTER united.
    We have history, loads of cups and fanbase all around the globe. City have only money, no history. They are cheaters!!!
    Mancs are stupid!!!

    • It's Grim Oop North says:

      Another one!

      “Mancs are stupid!!!”

      How can you support Manchester United and say this?

      Of course you have never been to OT in your life, you are obviously a glory-hunting plastic, if you were to call the good people of Manchester like that you would get a good slap to sort you out from fellow United fans.

      Why don’t you support your local football team?

      It’s people like you that are destroying football at grassroots level, numpty.

    • Imam says:

      Hahaha, busted! You bitter bert.

  5. silva says:

    bitter rags all around

    the more sky and the papers report, the more publicity for City

    won the FA cup, and CL for the first time

    nowhere to to but UP for man city

    keep your history of disasters and exploitation rags the FUTURE is BLUE


  6. Gooden says:


  7. Anneeq Anwar says:

    To ‘It’s Grim Oop North’

    Academy players are players that have been recruited through the youth system. Not simply players that have been recruited from ur home city. Beckham was scouted by the man utd team and then rose up the youth leagues. Academy isnt a bonus its the recipe for success, Barcelona have shown that now, liverpool showed it in the 70s and 80s. U need to have that balance of a fantastic academy and good foreign players for success. All the great teams of the past and present have shown that, Liverpool of the 70s and 80s had a fantastic acaemy, and the man utd of the 90s had their academy golden age which ‘surprisingly’ was followed by a massive rush of trophies.

    City smashed attendance records???? Lol thats a downright lie!! The Gooners also tell the same fib, the fact is, its man utd tht smash attendence records even during the 20 years before we won our first prem under fergie so no man utd aint simply supported by glory hunters. And btw we won the FA Cup as recently as 1990 with a team full of academy players, City have had plenty of academy players granted, but how many of them can compare to giggs, Scholes, Beckham, neville brothers? Very very few. Btw food for thought, the highest attendence for a football match was Man Utd v Arsenal in 1948 at Maine Road with a crowd of around 85,000.

    Utd are no better than City?? 19 Premier league title and 3 champions leagues says that we are. And lets not even count the FA Cups and carling Cups in this lols!

    Its funny how u gloat about City smashing transfer fees and then moan about Man Utd ‘milking’ Champions league money (that they earned, as opposed to bought as city are trying to do).

    The fact of the matter is Man Utd is the model football club, it got rich by good management and marketing all whilst the fans owned the club. We didnt whore ourselves out to potential buyers until we landed ourselves a sugar daddy from the middle east. And when we were bought by a billionaire we protested with our green and gold scarves and on our feet we didnt celebrate the loss of the fans owning our club like city did. The 70s and 80s were Liverpool’s glory days not City’s. In the 70s city won 3 titles consisting of 2 league cups and a european cup, id hardly call that glory days! City have always been an average team and will remain an average team.

  8. Yung reddevil4life says:

    I don’t support my local club they rubbish.
    I dream one day I go to old trafford to see the red devils and sir Alex!!
    City fans are stupid, red devils are better than city so why you not support them???

  9. Imam says:

    Hahaha, city fans posed as United fans:

    – Yung reddevil4life
    “I don’t support my local club they rubbish.
    I dream one day I go to old trafford to see the red devils and sir Alex!!
    City fans are stupid, red devils are better than city so why you not support them???”

    Stone cold city fan.

    – glory_chaser
    “what a piss poor article. I am a united fan and I am sick of most of us being obsessed with city. They have money now we had money for a long time before them, deal with it. Who cares if they have a good sponsorship, good luck to them. With the proposal they are helping Manchester Council develop the deprived inner city areas. The Glazers do nothing for the community. I am sick of these bitter united fans obsessed with city, wise up you guys”

    Close, but not quite.


  10. levets says:

    Btw food for thought, the highest attendence for a football match was Man Utd v Arsenal in 1948 at Maine Road with a crowd of around 85,000.

    The highest attendance at a football match outside of London or Glasgow was MCFC V Stoke City in 1934.