Manchester City: The noisiest of neighbours

Manchester City Football Club has always suffered in the shadows of Manchester United. That is not me being biased as a United fan, that is fact. Apart from brief periods in the clubs histories, United have always been the more successful of clubs. Years of success bring with it years of history, and with the history came global recognition. This is something City could only dream of. As United lifted the treble in 1999 with the fantastic night in Barcelona, City fans were celebrating escaping the third tier of English football via the playoffs. This is how it had always been, and seemingly, how it would continue.

Then in the summer of 2008, everything changed. City were taken over by a multi-billionaire oil Sheikh and a ‘Abramovich’ style transfer spree commenced. City fans rejoiced as their team went from Premiership no-hopers to expectant title contenders. It was only a matter of time before they lifted their first trophy in 34 years. With this new sense of grandeur, you would expect the club to break free from the shadow of their city rivals, and adopt a winners attitude. However, all we have seen so far is a club suffering from what some people call ‘small man syndrome’. 

Let me elaborate. When Carlos Tevez signed for City after his two seasons at United, City thought it was appropriate to brandish the infamous ‘Welcome to Manchester’ poster in the city centre for all to see. The poster might as well of had ‘ner-ne-ner-ne-ner ner!’ on the bottom with a kid sticking his tongue out. The poster has since been branded as unprofessional and caused SAF to refer to City as ‘our noisy neighbours’. If the poster was done to provoke United, it failed, much like City’s season. As the months rolled on, the outlandish acts continued. One city fan got a tattoo celebrating City winning the champions league, despite the fact they have never entered the competition. Others lauded the arrival of Kaka, only for him to sign with Real Madrid. Instead City bought mercenary after mercenary, chasing the dreams of enough cash to set them up for life. More recently, City were linked with our own Wayne Rooney, as he requested to leave in the midst of contract negotiations. Over 200 ‘Rooney’ shirts were sold from the City club shop. Oh dear, that didn’t pan out well for our blue friends. Their latest stunt comes today, with the grand opening of their club shop on Market St in the centre of Manchester. The stage out front and the dancers rehearsing suggest a ‘Willy Wonker’ style extravaganza. Not bad for the opening of a shop.

All this leads to my original point, City’s inferiority complex when compared to the red side of Manchester. The longer the club goes on without any real success, without any real silverware, the louder and more extravagant their stunts will become. The need to show the world they are no longer the lowly Manchester City, struggling in the background, will force City to flex their muscles with every little thing they do. For a football fan looking at the history of the clubs, the success and the passion, there is simply no comparison between the two. The same goes for the players that City have signed. They haven’t really signed that world-class player they have been chasing. Why would a Messi or Ronaldo want to play for a club that would sign Yaya Toure to a £200k+ a week contract when he was struggling to get into the Barcelona team? Truly world-class players are not in the game solely for the money, they would rather be winning trophies. Until City realise that they need to change their approach to buying players, to financing transfers, to how they conduct themselves off the pitch, they will always be the noisiest of noisy neighbours.


About Steve Ferguson 886 Articles
Steve Ferguson had taken over & re-branded The Faithful MUFC website back in the summer of 2014 and is now the owner and editor of the site. Steve, from Ashton-Under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, is a 35-year-old life long Manchester United fan, travelling over the globe to see the Reds play. Steve has been lucky enough to be at both the 1999 and 2008 Champions League finals, seeing Manchester United lift the biggest trophy in the World, none more exciting than that faithful night in Barcelona in 99. The website is a blog, but also hopes to deliver the latest Manchester United news from around the internet too, linked up with our growing twitter account which is @TheFaithfulMUFC, give it a follow as we will follow you back as soon as we can.


  1. if the tevez poster wasn’t successful in annoying united, why did SAF say anything about it? recognition and reaction = city provoking united.

    if we are just noisy neihbours, why are united fans taking so much time out to speak about/ write about city.

    denial is deep river, i hope you lot can swim! (punn very much intended.)

    Thanks, George.

  2. Brief periods? Typical rag rewriting of history. before the 1950’s City were the bigger, better supported and more successful club. Granted since it’s been mostly your lot but 60+ years is hardly what I’d call a “brief period”, but hey your “supporters” have never been ones to let facts get in the way of propaganda. as you were plastic.

  3. Mr Melon Man, Thank you for comment, my mum is very proud. So is my Dad seeing as you mentioned it. Hope you continue to read The Faithful MUFC

  4. George,

    City and United have always talked about each other, we are city rivals thats what we do.

    As for denial, I’ve no doubt that soon you will win a trophy or two. But at the same time you’ll never be as big, or as popular, as United.

  5. Looks like you ended up with the biggest mercenary of the lot. Rooneeeeeeeeeeeeeee. But of course, he stayed because you have history!!

  6. appriciate you actually publishing the comment, i know we rite about each other and speak of each other, but surely saying the poster failed to rile up united was a biased view, as everybody knows it got right up fergie, as have other actions done with Neville et al.

    and heres hoping your right about a trophy, 13years of season ticket holding has to be worth one soon! as big as united, possibly not, but popular? apart form united fans, most people despise united, whether that be due to jealousy o uniteds success, o just a dislike for some teams (personally – united, tottenham, everton)

    heres hoping the next derby is slightly more exciting at OT than the dire displays at COMS

  7. Of course we are the noisy neighbours. Typical that . DId you just hear all the noise from our players and management leading up to the derby. Er no. Because all we got for a week before the game was SlurAlex, Evra, Vidic, Vander Sar, Der der Ferdinand and little cameos from Ninni and Fletcher. But of course, you are not worried?

    As for signing world class players we obviously need United to give us all some lessons. After all, they are just pouring through your doors. Even in your pomp you had trouble attracting them. Must be so hard trying to check through Mexican lexicons to find out how you spell Hernandez. Is that why you call him Chiquarito, because it is easier to spell.

  8. poor city fans who cant accept the bitter truth. What now? You want to compare city with united! Dont make me laugh. City is in our shadow on every level except having a sugar daddy sheikh with oil money. And for the record united does not buy superstars, we make them. Read a bit of history before calling us plastic. U are more plastic and hypocritical. Criticising united for years for havin more money than u then celebrating when some guy decides ro utilize his entertainment allowance on poor man shitty. Manchester is Red. You better believe it.

  9. Guys, you can diss City all you like, but there is a pattern emerging. You wanted to sign Berbatov for £18mill. A little word out of Eastlands and suddenly you kidnap him and pay £30mill. Rooney wants more money. Someone spills the beans to a tabloid saying he wants a move and the only realistic purchaser would have been City. Suddenly he doubles his money faster than Hughie Green. Next you want Mourinho as your next Manager , maybe. So someone releases a story that Sheikh Mansour wants him to come to City. End result – up goes his salary. Even Lionel Messi, notably coming towards the end of his contract said it is intriguing what is happening at Man City. Probably not becuas ehe envisages himself playing for City, but the very mention of the magic words starts the till rattling.You are not buying quality footballers because you can’t afford it. We are buying “better” footballers because we are like a kid in a sweet shop. Some will stay, some won’t. But the situation is that you reds are getting nervous that we win something or qualify for the Champions League. If that happens then the quality of our playing staff will go up another couple of rungs. At the same time you are stifled by the business interests of your owners, which with the exception of your Club are not really successful. Compare that to our owners last year shoring up a major UK bank and then getting out with £18billion profit. Now that’s a business man. So City can play catch up visibly by buying better players and then stealthily by ensuring that everyone else pays more either in fees or wages to the players they attract or want to keep. Think about it!!

  10. Learn some facts boy, City were by far and away the biggest team in manchester prior to the ww2, when the RAGS , were second best in everyway, begging city for handouts to keep them afloat, as for worldwide recognition that only came after munich! the WELCOME TO MANCHESTER was and is the best ever wind up of its kind, tour still crying now. Now be a goodboy and work out some interest rates or sumut.

  11. Interesting article and it’s definitely resulted in plenty of comments and debate on what you’ve written.

  12. Excellent post, really enjoyed reading it.
    I’m sure City will start winning trophies in a few years’ time. Until then, they can look at them 3 stars on top of their badge and pretend they mean something.

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