What Happened When World Football Met Quality Management and Morals

True BlueCorrespondent IFebruary 11, 2009

I have been attacking the way in which the press reports matters for some years now.

If you were to read my posts on Bleacher, you will see that I have little or no time for the hacks that infest newspapers across the world.

You will also note that I believe the way in which my beloved club, Manchester City, has broken the mould.

Yet we still read the same style of articles in the press about how money alone cannot buy success, or how Mark Hughes will inevitably be fired simply because the owner is exceedingly wealthy.

I have also made the point that these reporting styles, and the general content of articles about Sheikh Mansoor are based on supposition and have no substance to them at all.

I deliberately picked the image for my article to show how people are being herded towards a caricature, not based on the individuals actions but on a quasi-racist pre-supposition.

The message in the press is summed up in three ways:

1. The Owner is a crazed spendaholic Arab who has no understanding of football.

2. The owner is an Arab and therefore doesn't understand that there are certain ways of doing things, slowly and with deference to the existing hierarchy.

3. The owner is an mega wealthy Arab and will therefore expect everything to happen immediately and that he will demand the biggest players now or have a tantrum.

I do worry about the way in which this picture is drawn and the almost racist way in which people repeat it.

What the world of football, and the press that report on it, seem to have missed is one simple element, the truth.

Of course, it is less spectacular to report that Sheikh Manssor has appointed an intelligent and hugely effective chairman to oversee the development of Manchester City in a steady and manageable way.

Of course, it goes against the nature of the press to report that massive investment in the club's academy is at the forefront of the owner's plans.

Of course, the idea that the owners and management team are systematically reviewing every aspect of the club to provide a quality experience for the fans isn't worth the ink.

Of course it doesn't need a report showing reductions in season ticket prices of up to 20 percent, but if prices were raised by half that, then wow! That would hit the headlines.

What seems to have happened is that a well-run club, with wealthy owners and massive ambition creates a pre-determined knee-jerk response and now that that has happened the press are scratching their heads and wondering what to do now.

So when the Kaka deal entered the public domain, it was manna from heaven.

What does need to be said is that the non-disclosure agreements signed by all parties were adhered to by City and broken by others.

I am sure that Garry Cook and the management team have learned from that experience and now realise that they are working in a very murky world.

Class will out, however, and the consistent and professional behaviour of the club will shame many others.

Manchester City will capture the hearts and minds of more world class players as they continue to be honest and true to who they are, and how they conduct business.

Only this morning, Manchester City removed the name of Thaksin Shinawatra's name from the club's website and all other club stationery, because it appears his current legal problems do not match the values of the owner.

This was done quietly and without fanfare.

It is another example of how a club should be run and how an organisation can be moved to the next level, leaving behind what isn't desirable and maintaining what is.

Well done, Mr. Cook,  Mr. Khaldoon Al Mubarak, and of course, Shekh Mansoor, your class shines through all the dross.


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