For the Toon fans :
For the Toon fans :
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Marching on together, we're going to see you win. Na, na, na, na, na, na. We are so proud, we're shouting out loud, we love you Leeds, Leeds, Leeds
Howard, Maria, Jamie, & Sam.
Howard Flinn - Mobile Bank Manager for ME Bank - www.mebank.com.au
He's even kept his purse strings tightened the last year or so. I think its has more a positive affect myself.
The following is from Chris Bailey (MUEN)
OH how they squealed up and down the country! On a day when Mad- rid and Chelsea were contemplating splashing out in excess of £70m for Kaka, it was City who were allegedly ruining football by spending a relatively modest £12m for Gareth Barry.
Those commentators and fans of other less financially fortunate clubs so quick to pour scorn on the Blues' transfer dealings should get over it and get used to it - because there is going to be more of the same in the coming weeks.
But before they put away their envy-fuelled, bile-laden pens and stop pressing the redial button on the hotline to ranting phone-in shows, they might like to ask themselves just what is it that Manchester City are doing that is so wrong.
No football club has ever won a league title without forking out lots of money.
In the modern era Blackburn clearly spent their way to the title during the Jack Walker years, Chelsea have done so under Roman Abramovich and no-one accused United of ruining football when they splashed £30m plus for Rooney and Ferdinand, or slaughtered Liverpool for piling on the debt after enticing Torres to Anfield.
Blood, sweat and tears will only get a club so far in the modern game and the rest is down to how you husband whatever resources are at your disposal.
Yet free-spending City have suddenly become the big, bad bogeymen of English football, supposedly throwing around their wealth with abandon and with no regard for the consequences. Wrong, wrong and wrong again.
The Blues have ambition and the financial clout to back up that desire to become the best. Those facts are not in doubt.
But the money they have spent and which they will continue to dispense in a carefully constructed and planned fashion allows others to do the same and is actually good for football.
City are fuelling the transfer market with their money and allowing Villa, West Ham, Hamburg, Madrid and others to be more financially stable and more able to enter the transfer market themselves. Where is the negative in that?
Those who carp on about City owner Sheikh Mansour's billions distorting the game for everyone else are missing a trick.
This is no Viv Nicholson `Spend, spend, spend' spree that Mark Hughes has embarked upon, but a carefully planned and thought-out transfer strategy that ought to bear fruit by making the Premier League more competitive and compelling.
Gareth Barry's signing is the latest in the prescribed cure for the ills that have been holding City back in mid- table. Put simply, they needed a left-footed midfielder of his type, so they went out and bought one.
That is why City's next captures will do no more than address shortcoming in the middle of the attack, where two strikers are likely to arrive, and the middle of the back four, where more competition is needed from a defender who can also double up as a relief left-back should anything happen to Wayne Bridge.
Hughes, Garry Cook the CEO and former England international Brian Marwood, whose arrival at the club as a football administrator signals yet more professionalism in their dealings and attitude, should all take a bow for their swiftness and decisiveness.
Long gone, thankfully, are the days when the Blues deliberately signed players as late as possible into summer transfer windows in order to avoid having to paying wages while their future employees were otherwise engaged on the beach or with their international teams.
It is important to state that the Blues three wise men of the transfer market know who they want and why they want them.
They are not doing an `Imelda Marcos' buying and hoarding baubles just because they can. Critics should look at a squad which still contains half a dozen home-grown products within its ranks.
City's is not a transfer policy designed to ape the Madrid Galacticos model. It is a policy that is predicated on need and practicality and that is still rooted in Manchester, not on a nomadic, global spending spree.
And what is more, that model is not going to change. Few if any other clubs in the Premier League have such a moral and financial commitment to their kindergartens as the men in Abu Dhabi.
Finally, those armchair critics who in the last 36 hours have so energetically and gleefully labelled Gareth Barry a footballing mercenary perhaps they should, after a time of suitable reflection, instead refer to the England international as a visionary.
After all, here is a man who owed Villa nothing. Who gave them 12 years of unflinching service and loyalty but who was clearly in need of a new challenge as he enters the final phase of a career which is at its peak. He didn't seek the attentions of Liverpool a year ago or City's this summer.
His talent meant he was a magnet for others. That he should be able to negotiate himself a well-paid contract is directly related to his ability and the market place.
Barry has been in the game for a long time during a period when top-flight footballers have been remunerated handsomely so to suggest that he ditched Villa - and didn't wait for Liverpool's ardour to reach boiling point - for the sake of £10,000 per week before tax, is just nonsense.
No footballer ever moves only for the money. The vast majority still love the game as much as the cash.
Along with many others the midfielder can see and sense that City are a club primed and ready for a rocket ride to the top. In two or three years time players will be queuing up to join the Blues and those who are already showing warped signs of envy are going to be very unhappy bunnies indeed.
makes good reading i only hope they give hughes a fair crack and not get rid if things start going in the wrong direction
Thats gotta be the funniest thing i have read for ages, look at Robinho had the potential to be one of the greatest players in the world......one season on and you dnt hear anything.
£12M for Gareth Barry a modest sum, i somewhat dnt think so....i think that you have paid well over the odds for the player.....ok he has England credentials but apart from that he has not hogged the limelight as some of the talent the world has on offer.
Ok Samaul Et'o maybe will follow but until the time comes that you can lure the likes of Messi the your club can you really be in the same class as the big 4 in the PL.
There will and always will be for a good many years the big 4 in the PL, i am not here to say my team is better than the next guys, but to get into the big 4 you need structure and you cannot buy that structure, ok some of the big 4 may not win the title year after year but they as sure as hell will be there or there abouts at the end.
As for loyalty in football, it has gone its all about the money be all and end all....
Last edited by HEAPS GOOD !!!; 05-06-2009 at 01:44 PM.