Sep 1, 2008

World's richest club? Manchester City

File this one under Holy Bloody Crap. Manchester City, a club that was in the third tier of English football not too long ago, is today the richest football club in the world, the fortune of their owners estimated at about $50 billion.

City wasted no time in flashing their newfound cash, offering about $200 million yesterday as they tried in vain to lure David Villa from Valencia and Mario Gomez from Stuttgart. And in what may have been a case of the new owners showing they're not afraid of anyone, they even tried to hijack Manchester United's ultimately successful transfer of Dimitar Berbatov.

Don't cry for City, though. Despite those three attempts all failing, they still managed to break the British transfer record, and seal the fifth biggest transfer in the history of world football, snapping up Chelsea target Robinho.

So let's run through that again:

Richest club in the world? Check
Tried to have the single highest-spending day in the history of football? Check
Managed to piss off Manchester United? Check
Became the first club to beat out Roman's Chelsea in a transfer duel? Check
Guarantee that they'll be the talk of football for the next year at least? Check

What's more, the pieces are there for a top four finish this year - as well as Robinho, they had already signed Shaun Wright Phillips, Jo, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Tal Ben Haim and Glauber Berti. All those join a squad that was thin but boasted real quality with the likes of Micah Richards, Martin Petrov and Elano. Add to that, they have Mark Hughes, whom many consider to be the best British manager not named Sir Alex Ferguson (his old boss, lest we forget).

Hell of a day to be a City fan.

(PS - Everton also broke their transfer record yesterday. Though it's likely that Toffees fans, along with those of Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur and even Liverpool, were more preoccupied by the newborn leviathan in their midst.)


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