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Manchester City Exasperate the Media

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 16:  Manchester City Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak (R) and Executive Chairman Garry Cook look on prior to the UEFA Cup Quarter Final second leg match between Manchester City and Hamburg SV at the City of Manchester Stadium on April 16, 2009 in Manchester.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
True BlueCorrespondent IMay 19, 2009

Since ADUG completed their purchase of Manchester City last year, there has been massive interest in and even more speculation concerning every aspect of the club, its employees, and even the stadium.

The flames of speculation were fanned by the swift purchase of Robinho, and they have not abated since.

Once the Kaka deal hit the headlines, it seemed that the naysayers and critics of the "crazed billionaire Arabs" were bang on the money (pardon the pun).

Every opportunity to talk down the footballing and business acumen of the new owners has been taken.

The senior management (HRH Khaldoon Al Mubarak and other advisers) have kept a distance from the media and a dignified silence when it came to speculation.

They decided that making no statements was a better option than a myriad of confused messages, and I agree that that was the best option.

The "knowledgeable" pundits made the point that Mark Hughes needed to be given time, but typically they then made very clear comments that he wasn't likely to get it.

Comments from all corners took three forms:

1. Manchester City were paying over the odds for players and ruining football.

2. Manchester City would try to buy the title with a galacticos policy.

3. Mark Hughes would be fired and a marquee manager put in the hot seat.

All of that, and it seemed common knowledge that Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed would demand a Premiership title and Champions League football from his new manager next season.

In the meantime, almost every world-class player has been contacted by City and turned the club down.

What City are, are going to be, and what the owners' values are were neatly packaged into a handy stereotype with absolute zero consideration for the facts at hand.

Whilst the rudderless press drifted on the tides of supposition, stereotype, quasi-racism, and poor journalism, the club has kept a consistent course.

The signings they have made have been steady and mid-priced.

The club have supported Hughes now and made it clear that no new manager was being sought—Mark Hughes was safe.

It was made clear by Hughes that he was in charge of team development, and that the City name were being used by persons not known to the club for ulterior motives.

So now that Khaldoon Al Mubarak has made public the owners' expectations, are the press shouting about it? No.

Are they offering apologies for misrepresenting speculation as fact? No.

Are they giving the owners credit for doing exactly what everyone was asking them to do? No.

For the record, Mark Hughes has been tasked with gaining a top six position next year, and the club are looking at developing the squad, not replacing all of the players with big name signings.

So a sensible owner with a vision of success built over the long term, backing a manager he didn't choose, apparently isn't much of a news story.

I think it is, but then again I don't expect much from the traditional media, as lazy and outdated reporting is all around us.

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