An Arab Royal, a Jewish-American Businessman or a Russian Billionaire

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An Arab Royal, a Jewish-American Businessman or a Russian Billionaire
(Photo Illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Before I get appreciative nods from the direction of the BNP or Neo-Nazi's across Europe, thinking this piece is racist or xenophobic, it isn't.

So for those who enjoy unbalanced and poorly thought out vitriolic attacks on other peoples, races, creeds or religions, please feel free to f*ck off, as this piece wont please you.

If you were to have a chat over a meal with a Chelsea fan, a Manchester City fan and a Manchester United fan, which one do you think would be happiest with the ownership of their club?

Perhaps that's the wrong way of putting it, as in Man U and Chelsea's cases, money has brought success, or at the very least helped continue it. In Man City's case, its still too early to tell.

The question should perhaps be: Which of the fans would be most comfortable with the ownership of their club?

All three clubs are now foreign owned, each has English involvement at the management level, so they are very similar in how they conduct business.

I know that Manchester United fans are still unhappy with the external debt piled onto the club as that has never been the case before the Glazers arrived. They do however seem happy enough with the success they have had whilst under American control.

Chelsea fans have talked about the club having lost its soul, with little or no effort having been made to include the community, at least in the early days of Abramovich's tenure.

The issue about what it costs to watch either United or Chelsea seem still to be a concern to the fans.

Chelsea in particular have become less of a community club under Russian owners, Manchester United already had a good community programme, which has at least continued to work in and around Trafford Borough.

What I have read recently about Manchester City shows that the owners there, as far removed from working class Mancunians as could be, have at least learned from previous "takeovers."

They talk about maintaining the club's proud traditions and history, of valuing the achievements of the past (unlike Peter Swales, a Mancunian businessman who ripped the heart out of city for the sake of his own ego).

Shiekh Mansour is investing in facilities to draw City into a common location,with office space, training facilities and the youth set-up all being cheek by jowl, creating a Manchester City 'family'.

A new and more extensive museum that can more fittingly celebrate the past is something very important to the basic values of Arab peoples, apparently.

Now I don't know enough to comment on Arab values, but so far I would say that they have not put a foot wrong when it comes to dealing with the club's fans.

It may be that they are by nature interested in maintaining all of the club's history and traditions, fusing them with money and ambition and a commitment to the highest levels of professionalism.

Or perhaps it could be that they know how to market themsleves and have learned from Glazer and Abramovich and are in the comfort in not being the first to "take over" a Premiership club?

I would conclude, however, that from the sound of things they are doing an outstanding job of taking the club on a journey that just could kill its very essence.

United fans will talk of history and of record breaking silverware, Chelsea will joke of the massive debts that they don't have, and City fans are likely to simply shrug their shoulders and smile.

The smile is one that says we'll see, but for now we're happy.

Possibly not the happiest of all, but certainly the most content.

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