With Roberto Mancini now history in a ”typical City” manner – with the press saying it was a done deal, the bookmakers not taking bets on Roberto Mancini getting the sack and with Manchester United parading through the street with the cup they have just won – it is worth taking stock of what it is like to be so stupid with so much money?
When Roman Abramovich became the first really popular playboy owner of a football club i.e outside football he was well known by the general public, it was assumed that he would mess about in the management of the football club (in this case Chelsea) and then blame the manager when it all goes wrong and guess what? The international playboys and girls have done just that and they are clearly not bothered about the silliness of it all.
Sometimes you do get owners who do not mess about in the club, but it is very rare and after all what is the point of buying a football club if you cannot have the players that you like in it? This brings us to the ”typical City” story in which a bloke who needs a reason to escape his two wives buys a club and uses it to play ‘fantasy football’ with real people.
Last year it was really funny as his team won the Premier League in dramatic fashion, but, this year it was not so funny as Manchester United won it back and worst of all Wigan Athletic owned by a lowly bred shopkeeper beat his team in the F.A. Cup!
Football has always attracted the dodgy, the silly, the ego maniac, the hustler. It is the easiest way of saying that you are a man of distinction, man of the people, a world player in finance. The only problem with this scenario is that every game you let 11 men decide your fate in public. That is what football does it is politics and war with a bag of air. Why would you do this to yourself? Very rarely has any owner make any money from football. In fact if you want to be really successful you have to ramp up your non-footballing commercial activities. The only problem with this is that you need success on the field to make the cash.
As the fans continually get ripped of in the pursuit of the owners ego massaging lets all say thank you to these sugar daddies writ large and let them understand that they better open the wallets or they will end up like George Gillett and Tom Hicks of Liverpool FC – totally shamed and reviled.