A Historic Moment in Football History
The momentous result of Manchester City’s triumph over Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League Final felt like a historic moment for football fans worldwide. The victory ended City’s long and arduous pursuit of the trophy they coveted most and propelled them into legendary status as only the second English club to achieve a Treble.
The significance of this win is not lost on anyone, especially considering that when arch-rivals Manchester United managed their previous Treble back in 1998-99 season, City were struggling down in the third tier. However, with this incredible feat under their belt, it is safe to say that they have overtaken United both on and off the pitch.
A Seismic Shift In Sports’ Balance Of Power
Guardiola’s team has now conquered Europe at a time when Middle Eastern investment into sports has become increasingly apparent. With Qatar and Saudi Arabia owning PSG and Newcastle United respectively while a member of Qatari ruling family bids to buy Manchester United, Istanbul was another major milestone for city.
This remarkable sporting journey becomes even more evident when one considers that victory reinforced how much power has shifted towards this club both domestically and across European games where many believe Pep Guardiola’s team could dominate just as they have done so here.
The Wider Structure And Global System Of Manchester City
There is much to admire about how ManCity plays under manager Pep Guardiola’s coaching system. The wider structure includes an impressive state-of-the-art academy and a total of 13 clubs under the umbrella of the City Football Group (CFG).
City’s under-18s recently became the first ever to win three successive national championships, while their under-21s also secured a hat-trick of consecutive Premier League 2 titles. Since relaunching in 2016, City’s women’s side have won the FA Cup on three occasions and have become Women’s Super League Champions once.
The Scrutiny And Controversies Surrounding Manchester City
While we admire this remarkable feat that ManCity has achieved, it is important to acknowledge the scrutiny surrounding controversies related to majority owner Sheikh Mansour – whose sovereign wealth has transformed Club fortunes. The recent sighting of him at just his second match since taking over via Abu Dhabi Investment Group in 2008 was a vivid reminder of some questions and issues that swirl around newly crowned champions.
A significant concern raised by human rights campaigners is that the club is being used as an instrument for “sportswashing” what Amnesty International calls “the deeply tarnished image” held by oil-rich UAE. Last month, more than forty NGOs accused UAE officials of sustained assault on human rights activists through repressive laws aimed at eliminating any form movement against them.
Despite these allegations, evidence suggests strong investment added value instead of acting solely as soft power vehicles in attempts to diversify its economy and boost tourism. For example, about £1.5bn spent on new players since 2008 while Mansour initially bought City via private equity group for £200m; they are now estimated worth £4bn with a £42m profit announced last year alone.