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City Versus United: Mind The Gap

The gap continues to close between Manchester City and Manchester united both on and off the park. The red dominance that City are now challenging has been stunning.

Like it or not, united's position as a footballing super power will always be the benchmark for the new Manchester City, but under Roberto Mancini's shrewd guidance, The Blues are showing threatening signs of setting their own standards.

Since the Premier League was founded on the 20th February 1992, The Blues have played in 14 of it's 19 seasons.

For the vast majority of those campaigns united ruled England with an unrivalled, globalised spending power that enabled them to build a squad which has maintained a grip on major honours right up to the present day. Indeed, the Stretford club have been crowned champions in 9 of City's 14 Premier League seasons.

Anyone who questioned this month's explosions of joy and relief at Wembley and Eastlands or was in any doubt of the pain Manchester City supporters have had to endure at the hands of their out of town neighbours need only scan the history of the past three decades to realise that but for a brief renaissance under Howard Kendall and Peter Reid, united have lorded it over City in the modern era's top flight.

Yet despite repeated setbacks, even dropping down to the third tier of English football, The Citizens have kept on coming back and it's those hard fought battles back from near extinction that gave the club the opportunity to be in the right place at the right time when foreign ownership came to town.

The majority of the figures below are a case of look back and wince for Planet Blue but the quickening resurgence that has taken place over the past three years gives every Blue the right to some serious optimism whilst preparing for the club's first ever Champions League season.

City Versus United: Mind The Gap

Season, points gap, City manager and final Mancunian league positions.

Premier League:

2010/11: 9 points gap, Roberto Mancini
- Rags 1st, City 3rd
2009/10: 18, Mark Hughes / Roberto Mancini
- Rags 2nd, City 5th
2008/09: 40, Mark Hughes
- Rags 1st, City 10th
2007/08: 32, Sven-Göran Eriksson
- Rags 1st, City 9th
2006/07: 47, Stuart Pearce
- Rags 1st, City 14th
2005/06: 48, Stuart Pearce
- Rags 2nd, City 15th
2004/05: 35, Kevin Keegan / Stuart Pearce
- Rags 3rd, City 8th
2003/04: 34, Kevin Keegan
- Rags 3rd, City 16th
2002/03: 32, Kevin Keegan
- Rags 1st, City 9th
2000/01: 46, Joe Royle
- Rags 1st, City 18th Relegated
1995/96: 44, Alan Ball
- Rags 1st, City 18th Relegated
1994/95: 48, Brian Horton
- Rags 2nd, City 17th
1993/94: 47, Brian Horton
- Rags 1st, City 16th
1992/93: 27, Peter Reid
- Rags 1st, City 9th

Old First Division:

1990/91: +3 Howard Kendall / Peter Reid
- City 5th, Rags 6th
1989/90: 0 Mel Machin / Howard Kendall
- Rags 13th, City 14th

Johnny Marr once composed and jangled the instrumental track 'Money Changes Everything.' Money spent heavily at Old Trafford from the late eighties onwards had a major impact that realised a tidal wave of domestic honours.

It could be that history is about to repeat itself, but this time, inside the city walls.


The Community Shield, Wembley, Sunday 7th August 2011 - City v the rags.


Join the debate in the VMC City Chat Forum
and bask in the ecstacy of an emphatic season as we gear up to make more history.


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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday May 27 2011

Time: 2:00PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
'Money spent heavily at Old Trafford from the late eighties onwards had a major impact that realised a tidal wave of domestic honours." I can see you're trying very hard to justify your ridiculous spending. First off, we won nowt in the 80s! We only started winning in the 90s. When SAF took over we were 21st in the league. Furthermore you've spent close to £500,000,000 in the past SIX years. WE HAVE NEVER DONE SPENDING ON SUCH A LEVEL;EVER! You could add inflation as much you like but we never, as a football, club, functioned like that. So after more mone, you finished 9 points behind a side some say, was a very average Utd side and you're foaming at the mouth? What happens when we go back to firing on all cylinders next season? So you won an FA Cup? Yea so has Portsmouth in recent years and they didnt even spend 1/20th of what you've spent. So yea congrats again. 3 CL finals in 4 years; this is what WE do and we're not even the biggest spenders in Europe. In fact this season, we only bought Smalling, Bebe, Chicharito and Lindergaard! Are you watching blue *****!?
Report Abuse
27/05/2011 15:50:00

And yet you'll have spent around 30m+ within a few days when the De Gea and Ashley Young deals are complete. "Kamikaze spending!" - an unwise man.
Report Abuse
27/05/2011 16:01:00

And quoting 500m for the "OMG!" effect is erroneous, considering much of that was used to tear out the rotten infrastructure of the club and replace it with a world class infrastructure. When the Sheikh took over, the club was an absolute mess from top to bottom and foundations had to be laid from scratch that cost a lot of money. Our spending has merely been accelerated to catch up and has caused such outrage, yet nothing we have spent on a single player comes close to as crazy as paying 28.2m for Veron in *2001* (inflation adjusted fee = 35-40m?).
Report Abuse
27/05/2011 16:07:00

FU - the squad U****d submitted in January cost circa £200 million, that's around 20-30 million less than the cost of the squad list City submitted. This doesn't take into account inflation which would see Rio and Rooney's costs in particular take a massive jump. U****d have spent for success just as much as City are doing now, the only difference being City have done it in a shorter time scale. Tick tock.
Report Abuse
27/05/2011 16:19:00

Drivel of course, FU. The rags repeatedly broke the British Transfer Record from the late eighties onwards and well you know it. They operated unchallenged in the transfer market for decades. Yorke, Pallister, Cole, Rooney etc. Even the glass backed Camel Gob saw them knock out £30 million 9 years ago. You telling us that if Our Malc had the wedge your examples to us all wouldn't have spent to replace the old stagers?
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
27/05/2011 16:38:00

...and of course, Come On Barcelona.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
27/05/2011 16:45:00

Keep in mind Mark "I used to be a rag" Hughes spent about £200m irresponsibly to build a 7th placed team that he couldn't control. All the players brought in last summer had a hand in the third place finish and the FA Cup win. It's also funny, FU (which is a perfect acronym for you) that you claim the FA Cup is a minor trophy. I'm sure once City lift the Club World Cup you'll claim it doesn't matter because it's just one, or something just as ridiculous. It's sad when fans of a successful club such as yourself only cares about what a "lesser" club thinks.
Report Abuse
27/05/2011 17:06:00

Compare your spending to Chelsea's not us. First off, we've always worked hard on the pitch to make our money. What are you supposed to do when you work hard to gain more than enough? You reward yourself, you spend. And if we paid exhorbitant prices for any player, it meant we absolutely needed them at the time and not because we wanted to fill up our squad sheet. Also let's make this clear, I don't care about your spending. It never has scared me and never will. What I care about is your comparison with us. The way our club is and was run can in no way, shape or form be compared to yours. Just no. Please, never again. And I think I'd know more about that than anyone here. Even the **** scouse are bigger spenders than we are!
Report Abuse
27/05/2011 17:22:00

FU, why not compare our spending to yours? Is it because when you do you realise that the amounts spent on building your current squad are similar to the amounts City have spent? Truth hurts, does it? Like I said above the only difference in the assembly of both squads is the timescale in which they were assembled. And also what are you supposed to do when extremely rich owners buy your club? Sit on your hands and not spend it just because you didn't earn it on the pitch? Get a grip fella.
Report Abuse
27/05/2011 17:46:00

"The way our club is and was run can in no way, shape or form be compared to yours. Just no." - Absolutely. The upstanding Edwards Family and Our Malc.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
27/05/2011 18:16:00

The only discernible gap is one of class - as in the rags have none, never had and never will. 35 years and we're still here, despite what your gloating, greedy, bullying glory hunting fans have thrown at us. You've always been jealous of City fans for their good humour and loyalty to their club despite the cock-ups, lack of silverware and general cack-handedness. In the very near future you can be jealous of us for stealing your limelight. Oh Boohoo.
Report Abuse
27/05/2011 19:43:00

The list is endless. JB mentioned a few there with Pallister, Yorke, Cole (British transfer record), Rooney (British transfer record) and Ferdinand (British transfer record). Don't forget Ince (British transfer record), Keane (British transfer record), Van Nistleroy (£18.5 million), Veron (£28.5 million), Carrick (£20 million), Anderson (£20 million), Nani (£20 million), Hargreaves (£18 million), Valencia (£18.5 million). They are the bigger names but there were many more and all were on top wages that most other clubs could not have afforded. Now they are going to spend £20 million on a new keeper. Yes, they had a nucleus of youth players that came through in the 1990s but they were going nowhere until the big names joined them - Cantona, Schmeichel, Konchelskis - all bought for more money than City could afford at that time and again top wages. The 'rags' bought success and got lucky when the Sky money started coming in and enabled them to go PLC.
Report Abuse
28/05/2011 11:09:00

CB1000, Spot On.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
28/05/2011 15:39:00

That should say, your post
Report Abuse
28/05/2011 17:18:00

Fifth column Blue, you're post is spot on. They hate the way that we never, NEVER desert our team.
Report Abuse
28/05/2011 17:18:00

The just rags got seriously tuned by Barca. Again. A massacre that will have them bricking it for next season having scraped the league.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
28/05/2011 22:18:00

Bartca certainly gave them a lesson in how to play the game...
Report Abuse
28/05/2011 23:02:00


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