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CITY VIEWS | The Bastard Child

First I must say without the existence of City Financial Group Melbourne City wouldn’t have existed and Melbourne Heart most likely would’ve followed a similar path to what our friends in Newcastle are currently experiencing, so I guess thanks of some sort is warranted (oh yeah and that $12 million dollar refurbishment of the portable at La Trobe University).

Manchester City is in town, and by town I mean Melbourne. You know part of the City Financial Group big happy family, the big brother if you will. Of course you knew that; Channel Nine showed the game, oh well it was the affiliate station did but you get my drift.

Manchester City is now a global brand and one of the world’s most powerful football clubs. In 2008 the good people from Abu Dhabi United Group purchased the club and started throwing all types of ridiculous money at world class players to fulfil their wishes of owning a big powerful football club. Well seven years in and it appears mission accomplished for the group as Manchester City is now a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League, a far cry from the clubs third division (League One) playoff win in 1998/99.

With players of the ilk of Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguro it’s easy to see how Manchester City has not only become a powerhouse in world football (ok, maybe not the Champions League just yet).

I might be somewhat naive when it comes to international football relationships but I thought maybe, just maybe Manchester City and my club Melbourne City could strike up some type of relationship during the International Champions Cup brought to us by our good friends at Audi. After all Manchester City appear to have doubled their fan base in recent times, surely they might know how to attract fans (lots of money) to support a football club. I know let’s play a friendly, what’s that we can’t play it in Victoria because of contractual agreements ok let’s play it in the faraway land of the magical Gold Coast. Ok I’ve already covered on this previously but I’m leading somewhere.

Next why don’t we have some type of information booth at the MCG when Manchester plays their games so we can share the City Football Group. What’s that, no that’s a ridiculous idea! Let’s have numerous #CityOnTour displays, including a live band (No, they weren’t an Oasis tribute band) and totally ignore the fact that Melbourne City even exist; yes that sounds like a much better idea. Why would you want to grow and develop the local product you continually tell us you support. Even Melbourne Victory had some type of presence at the International Champions Cup via their sponsor CTI.

Another opportunity missed by those at Melbourne City, tens of thousands of football fans attending an international event and zero presence from the club. I understand it was an international event starring AS Roma, Real Madrid and Manchester City with absolutely no ties with the FFA or A-League but if your sister club is involved in this football feast should Melbourne City supporters feel aggrieved for not having some type of promotion at this event.

No wonder Melbourne Victory are selling 3.3 memberships to our every one of ours.

This is not the only issue I have with how our club is being run. Look at some of our recruiting decisions over the last 18 months. This season we had the opportunity to refresh our central defence after we finally decided to part ways with Robbie Wielaert. What do we do, let’s replace him with another 35-year-old centre back. We were promised you had an extensive scouting network we could use but apart from Harry Novillo I’m yet to see any great results. If you even try to put Uruguayan journeyman Bruno Fornaroli in a Melbourne City shirt and tell him he’s the answer to our goal scoring problem I can’t begin even begin to imagine my reaction.

The MLS and A-League are worlds apart; I’m aware of this and have seen a chart of their marquee salaries (designated players) to prove this. I don’t expect you to deliver the likes of Frank Lampard, David Villa and Andrea Pirlo to our little club in Melbourne, but what I don’t expect is to not to be treated like a suffering old fool like how it is currently. Robert Koren was a very hand player at West Brom and serviceable at Hull City but he currently isn’t the player he once was. For the resources City Football Group has at their disposal Koren is a pretty poor excuse for an International marquee.

If you want to feed us the tagline ‘This is our City’ firstly make sure you can back the statement up, and at least compete with Victory on the pitch (they are the defending Premiers and Champions) and then maybe one day we can reach some type of equality amongst the football teams in Melbourne.

New York City FC cannot be compared with Melbourne City because it’s an entirely different market. I was willing to be sucked into the ‘City Family’ ethos with the arrival of NYCFC. At that stage I had no MLS club and I thought “why the hell not”, then you pulled the David Villa needs to attend New York for a photo shoot and publicity campaign stunt four games into his guest stint and now I support NYCFC as much as I support Melbourne Victory.

This season I purchased my Melbourne City membership out of a sense of duty, not because I felt connected to the club at all. The present state of this club continues to disappoint and no supporter can be entirely happy with the service City Football Group or Melbourne City are delivering off the pitch. Continually we are let down by poor decisions that don’t promote the club at all.

I still hold great hopes for Melbourne City and A-League success but stop trying to sell me the ‘City Family’ bullshit because it’s just not happening. Don’t roll into town and expect Melbourne City supporters to drop everything and welcome you into town until you show the supporters the respect they deserve. Supporting a club is a two way street, but it’s very heavy traffic one way at the moment.

About David Hards (482 Articles)
The Founder of FTSAUS. A foundation Melbourne City man who is more than willing to voice his opinion, no matter how wrong it could be. An average goalkeeper or makeshift right back who had more bad days than good on the pitch, but still loved every minute of it. Follow on Twitter: @Hardsy05
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