Premier League is said to be the most competitive league in the world. The balance of power of each team in the league, the meeting of the world’s best stars, as well as the continuous strengthening of each team through constant investment… All in all, from the beginning to the end, each team has the ability to challenge all the opposing teams. So here the competition of the parties never stops.
But Manchester City has single-handedly dominated this incredibly competitive and ever-changing league for the past decade. In between, numerous groups have repeatedly challenged by showing their full strength, but have not been able to shake them from the throne. They have been ruling together for a long time.
The rise of Man City in the world of football is one of the most surprising and important events in modern football, it can be said without a doubt. On September 1, 2008, Man City was taken over by Abu Dhabi United Group of United Arab Emirates billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. And this is the beginning of the progress of Man City, which is gradually making a revolution in the world of football.
However, Man City was nothing but an unknown and unpopular club even a century and a half ago. Their fight was just to survive in the league somehow. Continual descent into relegation was a regular pattern. At that time, the title was far away, playing regularly in the first division was like a dream for them.
If we look back a few years before that, it becomes difficult to find the existence of Man City. From 1996 to 2003, Man City only moved up and down the divisions. But for the first time they saw the light of hope in 2007. Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra bought 75% of Man City for £81.6 million. At the same time, the popular face of world football, the former manager of the England national team, Esven Goran Eriksson, was appointed as the manager.
However, Shinawatra’s bad reputation in Thailand at that time has faded. He was accused of various types of corruption. which later infected Man City as well.
Erickson, however, began his work with considerable skill. He began scouting across Europe for potential young talent. 60 million pounds to bring in a bunch of unknown faces. Erickson’s expertise in scouting was quickly demonstrated. After many years, Man City spent a very eye-catching season.
Ex-coach Stuart Pearce’s jangdhara football came out and started to present a spectacular game of Eriksson’s City. Elano, Michael Johnson, Giovanni started creating countless eye-catching moments. City also finished in the top four for several days that season. But towards the end of the season, this wonderful rhythm suddenly fell. Ninth dropped out of the top four, with Nakani returning home to an 8–1 defeat against Middlesbrough in the last game of the season. As a result, Erickson was fired.
Within a year, Shinawatra, accused in various cases, was finally forced to give up Man City. After that, the club’s CEO Gary Cook began to travel around the world in search of new investments. And that’s when he found the real deal, which had the potential to completely transform Man City.
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, one of the most important members of the United Arab Emirates royal family, is a political figure and billionaire. He is always inclined towards various investments in the country and abroad. He is involved in various businesses worldwide. He was always keen on new and exciting investment ideas. He was approached by Gary Cook, urging him to take ownership of Man City.
Even though he had invested in some sports-based fields before, he still did not pay attention to globally popular games like football. So Sheikh Mansoor expressed great interest in talking to Cook. After that, without any delay, the billionaire acquired the ownership of Man City from Thaksin Shinawatra in September 2008.
Sheikh Mansoor established a new company called Abu Dhabi United Group to acquire the ownership of Man City. Man City became the richest club in the world overnight. The visionary Sheikh Mansoor started moving forward with a great purpose from the beginning. His main goal was to establish Man City as a powerful force in world football. Sheikh Mansoor’s plans for the then small team Man City were so dreamlike that even the City fans themselves could not believe them.
However, Abu Dhabi United Group soon began to prove how reliable their assurances were. They started looking at every nook and cranny of the club. The overall development of the club began. Their aim was not to surprise by signing all the big stars overnight. Their aim was to establish Man City as a real big club by establishing a solid foundation of the club at a balanced pace.
Even though the club changed day by day, Sheikh Mansoor never forgot the roots of the club. The fans of the club have been given special status. He gives special importance to their opinion through regular communication and discussion with them. As a result, their own traditions and identity have not been hurt in any way, rather it has become stronger.
Former manager Ericson was replaced by Shinawatra and British manager Mark Hughes was appointed. Shinawatra brought Hughes to City after doing well for Wales and Blackburn Rovers. The team was doing well under him. So the new owner did not change the manager at the beginning. But after a few days a new problem appeared. Hughes, who was used to managing an average team, was not able to use it properly when he was getting a large budget allocation for the transfer market. He was repeatedly making mistakes in big signings. As a result, Hughes disappointed the owners in the progress they expected in his 18 months under him.
He spent a total of around 270 million pounds, but nothing worked. In his only full season, City finished 10th in the table, where Eriksson finished the season one step higher, albeit on a much smaller budget. In the following season, the Citizens won only two of their opening eleven matches. Hughes was therefore sacked midway through the second season when City finished sixth in the league.
Hughes’ spell was a total failure. And with such a huge budget, where Hughes had complete freedom to spend as he wished, his winning ratio with that team was only 47 percent. Moreover, some of his great signings like Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta, who later performed brilliantly and became the lifeblood of the team, could not bring out the performance at all by playing them in the wrong place. Rather, they began to recognize themselves immediately after Hughes’ departure.
With a team built with stars like Carlos Tevez, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor and Jolyon Lescott, expectations are naturally higher. But Hughes could not even touch a drop of hope with such a team. However, the City owners gave him a chance. But after having to struggle somehow in the second season, he could not keep it anymore. Roberto Mancini was appointed as the new manager in his place. And with that began one of the city’s most prosperous chapters.
The Italian started organizing the team immediately after taking charge. Within a few days, he established City as a strong opponent. City finished the season in fifth position, which is not unusual indeed. But the speed and rhythm he brought back to the City game in a short period of time cannot be judged by the points table. City’s game underwent a radical change, which was a prerequisite for establishing itself as a big team. It was under him that City first started playing fearlessly. Mancini instilled a winning spirit in the team, which changed City’s level overnight.
In the next season, City brought in all the popular star footballers like Ya Ya Toure, David Silva, Jerome Boateng, James Milner and Aleksandar Kolarov. Mancini’s men had a great season that season. They qualified for the first time in the Champions League, the biggest competition in European football. In addition, the Citizens won the 2011 FA Cup by defeating Stoke City after a 35-year title drought.
And through this, City entered their next step. The underdog mentality that has dogged the team over the years has finally gone away. For the first time City started to think they were a force, they were playing to win, to be champions, to lift trophies. Players, supporters or team staff, everyone suddenly realizes that City is different. City is no longer the same, Agagora has completely changed. They are looking at this new city, whose only goal is to win.