Manchester City and the Developments You Might Not Know About

True BlueCorrespondent IMay 25, 2009

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 24:  (L-R) Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, Manager Mark Hughes, Garry Cook, Chief Executive of Manchester City FC and James Hogan, Chief Executive of Etihad Airways attend a photocall before the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers at the City of Manchester Stadium on May 24, 2009 in Manchester, England. Etihad Airways have signed a initial three year partnership deal with Manchester City to be the official shirt sponsor.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Manchester City is now one of the most widely reported on clubs in the world. That happens when your owner is worth somewhere in the region of £550 billion with a track record of quality delivery.

Apart from the obvious squad-related business, there are also plans to radically change the way that Manchester City do business. Garry Cook, City's Chief Executive has shed some light on the situation recently with his programmes notes from the last game of the season:

That’s why we have begun a programme of improvements to the matchday experience, from shorter queues at half-time, to the My First City Game project. I hope that, slowly but surely, the City of Manchester Stadium has become a more enjoyable place to visitand not just because of our home record this year.

When you come back in August, you will see that we have continued to improve our match day offering, as more work is done to our catering areas and to the internal look and feel of the stadium itself. All this has come about after consultation with you, our supporters; by listening to your suggestions and acting on them and to add to this two-way feedback. Next season will see us launch a new programme of visits to our supporters’ clubs which will supplement the fan roadshows that Mark and I have already hosted this year at the stadium. We have and will continue to seek the views of fans as we continue to improve on everything we do.

Some will say that they have heard this sort of thing before and that many clubs talk the talk, but don't get around to walking the proverbial walk, but ADUG and the new board have been consistent in delivering in promises.

So the focus on matchdays will be to offer the very, very best experience both on and off the pitch, but the plans apparently go further than that.

There are advanced conversations about a change of ownership for the stadium with additional facilities elsewhere in the City, a carrot for the council. This may well mean an extension of the ground in terms of capacity in the mid-term but it would also allow for greater flexibility in how the other improvements can be delivered.

A new office complex is already in development, which would create a quality working environment for the burgeoning back office operations of the club as well as acting as a hub for the community team. There is also a new, extended museum project in the offing which aims to highlight the importance of the club's history to the new owners and the central role the past plays in shaping the clubs future.

Most impressive however will be a new £70 million training facility close to the Stadium, which will finally provide a  world class facility for world class players. This is the cornerstone of how the club will project itself and entice new signings to City.

Having that "wow" factor is crucial in the short term to grab the attention of the best players and help the club gain momentum. It also further solidifies the clubs presence in East Manchester drawing more of the activity back from Carrington.

Part of the intention there is to re-enforce the image of City being Manchester's club.

Within football in the UK it is accepted that City, and not United have the strongest links to the City of Manchester (With Old Trafford, United's ground being situated in neighbouring Trafford Borough) but it is beyond that audience that the image of Manchester City being Manchesters' club is important.

As well as matching, or betttering United ON the pitch the owners want the world to link Manchester with City off the pitch.

The image of City is of paramount importance and it will be a move back to more traditional club values that will also help in developing the already extraordinary links between club and community.

It may be small beer in terms of the larger developments but the new kits that have been designed to draw the club back to its roots, with driect links to the more sucesful  era in the clubs history.

The overall aim is to create a more visible club, a better spectator experience tied to traditional values.

Whether all of that is possible remains to be seen, but with money, desire and professioanalism in almost unlimited supply I wouldnt bet against it.


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