Manchester City Council

It's only a game

Only got as far as 10am yesterday in my last post so will resume from there. If anybody doubted the importance of football, even those of you who have absolutely no interest in it, my next meeting was with a journalist from Le Monde who was doing an article on the rivalry between Manchesters City and United and the impact that having two such prominent clubs has on the city.

The answer is of course is that they have a direct and indirect impact on our economy bringing thousands of visitors to the city from all over the world. They also raise the profile of the city globally and help us open doors. Trade missions were run on the back's of both clubs pre-season tours aimed at trade and investment in key sectors.

Talking of investment, at lunchtime I was talking to the Manchester Property Forum and amidst the current doom and gloom caused by the crisis in the Euro zone and the stuttering economy in this country I was still able to talk about a remarkable number of developments that are happening in the city, and about the characteristics of the city - connectivity, skills, support for business, and quality of life - which mean we can be confident that we will continue to atrract job-generating investment.

There are 6 responses to “ It's only a game”

  1. Betty Boo Says:

    Sorry Sir Richard, thousands of visitors come into Manchester to see Manchester United as they have done for decades. Can't see many going to the Etihad Stadium to see City?

  2. Up the M6 or from the airport,dear? Says:

    Ha ha Miss Boop...wrong on so many levels...City are currently the third highest attended club in the PL,with an average attendance of just under 46,800....Not bad for a team that's won one trophy in 35 years,with the so called "biggest club in the world" next door!Secondly,Manchester United,unlike City,as I'm sure you are aware-don't actually reside within the city of Manchester,and haven't done for over 100 years.They pay their rates to Trafford borough council....did you not wonder why the sparsley attended "victory parade" after the title win commenced from Trafford town hall,and not Manchester,like City's FA cup parade?And thirdly,while Manchester United's current owners have plunged the club into a debt currently standing at half a billion pounds,Sheik Mansour is plowing an absolute fortune of his own money into the infrastructure of East Manchester and building one of the finest sporting arenas and training facilities in the world.Add to that City's magnificent historical record of working within the community with projects such as CITC,Platt lane,Blue Zone homework clubs and "City giving" charity-it's almost in total contrast to United.Can't remember the last time I saw any free "United in the community" events in Manchester (FC Utd apart)?Manchester United are no doubt the "club of the world," supported by the armchair millions,backed by the tabloid media and Southern glory hunters-while City are the REAL club of Manchester.Always have been,always will be.

  3. bluemooner Says:

    Sorry,Bett's can't let you get away with that. Day trippers to Old Trafford,needing a tourist map to find their way to the ground, Ok they bring revenue to the City but most of it goes to MUFC. Supporters of Gods own team however wre probably born here ,schooled here, work here,shop here,pay their tax here and will probably die here. Happy!

  4. Betty Boo Says:

    If you read the blog again it clearly states "thousands of visitors from all over the world," which was my point, United have been doing that for years.
    Up the
    M6 blah blah:
    Sheikh (how it's actually spelt) Mansour has to spend his own money 'cause City don't make any. And while you're spouting on about everything he's doing around East Manchester, have you given a thought to the owners of businesses in that area, who are going to lose their premises and livelihoods under compulsory purchase?

  5. Richard Leese Says:

    I'm as fond of a bit of football tribalism as any other supporter of the beautiful game, but I wasn't elected to the Council to be a football supporter - it's something I do in my leisure time and for enjoyment, though as a City supporter there hasn't been a lot of that until recently. Can we just try and be objective for a minute. The last time City and United were competing as they are now was forty odd years ago, and football then didn't have the global TV audience that tune in today. In the intervening years Manchester United grew to be the most successful club in England, a global brand with more supporters than any other club in the world. Their recognition gives an in to Manchester businesses in many parts of the world which would not otherwise exist. When United play at home you can guarantee that every hotel in the city will be full, and that does mean loads of overseas visitors.In a global economy Old Trafford is just as much a part of Manchester as Crumpsall or Gorton, and the City Council very much appreciates the platform Manchester United give us in other countries, as well as the direct economic benefits they bring to the city. I'm absolutely delighted that City are now once again competing at the very top but they haven't won the league yet. The club is aiming to build itself into a global brand. That's good news for Manchester but the whole point of Le Monde's interest is that if we have two clubs at the very top, the benefit to the city is more than the sum of each club's individual contribution.

  6. Lazyitis Says:

    Great response from Richard I thought. Speaking as a red, I'd rather have City just below us than Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool etc. The funny and ironic thing about City, is that their fans hate United for their glory-hunting fans, out-of-towners etc (although let's not get into all of those City fans from Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport) yet they want to build a 75k stadium and fill it with..... gloryhunters, out-of-town fans, just like er, United.



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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