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Manchester City’s Owners Locally

By: Ted Fred Franky, Refuting misinformation, February 4, 2024  4 months ago

The treatment of the football club, it’s supprters and the wider local community.

The Football Club

Khaldoon Al Mubarak has been the Chairman of Manchester City since the takeover. He has been responsible for running the club and its transition into the modern goliath it is today.

At the start of every season Al Mubarak addresses the fans via a prerecorded interview or speech, which is available to watch on the club website. He has done this every single year since the takeover. In this address, he outlines the future plans for the club, as well as the progress that has been made over the last year. This covers everything from the performance on the pitch, the manager, the players, the academy, the Etihad Campus, the Etihad stadium, developments, the fans, social media and so on.

Manchester City MCFC Scarf
Manchester City MCFC Scarf

In his speech, pretty much everything he has ever promissed to do, he has delivered upon. He has addressed, not just the easy topics, but the tricky difficult ones as well. He is incredibly candid and open. He is clearly a very well educated and intelligent man. He chooses his words carefully and makes his points clearly.

Jobs and Taxation

Manchester City also pay huge salaries to players as employees. This means that they are paying tax under PAYE, such income tax and NI contributions. For employees NI stops at a threshold and you pay no more. However your employer has to pay 12.8% Employers NI on top of this. Most large copnaies would avoid this by paying in share dividends or using contracted labour, but football clubs don’t. So if City’s wage bill is say £300m, that’s an extra £38.4m in NI that helps fund the NHS, pensions and JSA.
The club even declares a profit and pays Corportion Tax, how many clubs do that?

The owners have been instrumental in: Expanding the stadium; building the Etihad Campus; building local housing; building the Co-oP Arena; and the infrastructure to support it (such as bars, the new hotel etc); as well as opening the Connel Academy and supporting the Football University, provide significant levels of employment locally and raise taxes for the government.

Man City Nero Scarf - Sky/Navy - One Size
Man City Nero Scarf - Sky/Navy - One Size

Supporters

At the heart of the club are the supporters whether they attend matches or just follow the club from afar via TV, Radio and the internet (Websites, social media etc). The club tries to engange with them all fairly, openly and evenly.

For example, when the club wanted to update the club badge. An open consultation took place and supporters views and opinions were canvassed. Supporters voted on the badge, and unsurprisingly the replacement badge was almost identical to the one used int he 70s, 80s and early 90s. Similarly both times they have planned to expand the staidum, they have consulted with the fans (and local community), and taken on board their concerns and suggestions.

The match day experience is far superior to anything before, from the wide range of pre-match entertainment in City square, video games, football games and so on for children, as well as City Square with bands, interviews fun amd games. There are also buskers and a wide variety of interesting food outlets on the campus. Pre-match it does not resmeble anything like most other stadiums.

The club has fan represetatives from all groups of supporters voted for by the fans: disabled, youth, elderly, and various minority groups. There are about 20 in all. You can email them directly, ask them questions and ask them to raise issues with the club. These representaitves are active and get questions answered providing a controlled dialog between the supporters and the club. Furthermore, fans representative groups such as City Matters and the 1894 Group all have a dialog with the club.

We now have supporter liaison officers at all away games in the UK and abroad, to help with any ticket or access difficulties. At major games such as cup finals, stewards who the fans know and are familiar with from the Etihad stadium, are often there to assist.

An example of the openness is the away ticket allocation. The club receives approximatley 3,000 tickets for every Premier League away game. The demand is huge, it always has been*. The breakdown is as follows: 60% to supporters with ticket loyalty points (with 200 to supporters in their early 20s); 20% to supporters clubs; 20% to corporate hospitality and club/player complementary tickets. The latter category are sold first, then the supporters clubs. Any unsold tickets are then distributed to the supporters with loyalty ticket points. It is not a perfect system, but it is transparent.

Manchester City MCFC Scarf
Manchester City MCFC Scarf

*I have been going for over 40 years and in the depressing days of the 1980s, where attedances plumetted***, City were taking 4,000-6,000 supporters to most away games, with 8,000 or so for the big matches (subject to allocation restrictions). Some of our largest followings were Notts County* (17,000), Blackburn (10,000), Stoke (10,000) and West Ham** (10,000).

**Many supporters were kettled by the police near the stadium and never got to these matches.

*** Believe it or not the all conquering Liverpool at the height of their success recorded a league attendance of barely 20,000 v Wolves and United’s league attendances were as low as 28,000. Both clubs recording attendances well below 20,000 for League Cup matches.

The Wider Local Community

Manchester City FC were one of the six founding members of Football in the Community, way back in 1986. Along with Bolton Wanderers, Bury, Manchester United, Oldham Athletic and Preston North End. When Manchester City moved to the City of Manchester Stadium (now the Etihad Stadium), they continued their work in Moss Side and Rusholme, but also started the same work in and around the new stadium in the Beswick and Bradford areas. So Manchester City have a long history of supporting the local and disadvantaged communities around their current and previous stadiums.

When Sheik Mansour took over at the club, one of the first initiatives was to treble the budget for the Football in the Commnuity programme. This enabled far more work to be undetaken by the team led by former Manchester City goalkeeper Alex Williams.

Since then Manchester City’s owners have helped finance the building of large areas of social housing locally as well as other private developments, significantly raising the standard of living across East Manchester.

Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA3
Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA3

In addition to this, they have built an academy school with first class facilities to help educate and enhance social mobility locally. The Connell Co-op College is a Sixth Form College in the Beswick Hub development. it is Run by the Co-op Academies Trust and is located on the Etihad Campus training campus. They have also been pivotal in establishing the Football University in Manchester which speicilises in degrees related to football administration and management off the pitch. This is hugely beneficial for the wider professional game.

To be honest, I do not think Manchester City could have more genuine and committed , owners than they do. Obviously, a lot of this is down to the vast weath the owners have. However if you look at clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United, their owners are wealthy and they really do not even try to reach this level of honesty, openness and engagement with their supporters or local communities.

For example Liverpool, everyone knows how FSG tried to Furlough staff during Covid-19 and take tax payers money. Yet how is it that such a big club plays no part in Football in the Commuity in and around the Anfield stadium and does little or nothgin to help the local community? Liverpool supporters do. Everton and their supporters do an enormous amount of work locally, but not Liverpool FC. The rumour is Liverpool won’t even pay for all the murals on the terraced hosues aroud the stadium. Just mention Manchester United’s owners to their fans and they turn green and yellow with rage!