This week the brand new NYCFC kit was launched ahead of their inaugural season. It is, of course, sky blue and beautiful.
Naturally this prompted the latest round of complaints and worries about NYCFC being a subsidiary branch of MCFC and not having their own identity, and on and on and on. These fears are understandable, but wrong.
(As an aside, I have to ask: What were people expecting? Every single advert and piece of merchandise so far has been blue. David Villa wasn’t going to reveal a kit which a different colour, was he.)
The similarities and links between the two clubs are obvious:
They are both owned and run by the same people at the highest levels, as well as teams in Melbourne and Japan.
Both have light blue shirts.
Both either currently or in the past have employed Claudio Reyna.
Both can count Frank Lampard as an important player.
Jason Kreis, the NYCFC manager, shadowed Manuel Pellegrini for a few months and will be taking some MCFC youth players on loan.
But that’s pretty much it.
When you get past that, there really won’t be a huge amount connecting the two teams. The worries that NYCFC will be a subsidiary of MCFC seem to stem from the money aspect. The thing is though, NYCFC aren’t funded by Manchester City, they’re funded by the Sheikh, our semi-mysterious benefactor who seems to be intent on converting the black blood of the earth directly into football trophies. Good for him, I say.
But the more serious fantasies about MCFC using NYCFC as a player and money farm are just ridiculous.
When Frank Lampard joined MCFC on a short loan to keep in shape and sharp many saw it as a sad portent of a dystopian future where NYCFC buy world superstars, pay their wages, and send them to Manchester. Putting aside for a second the fact that Manchester City are paying Frank Lampard’s wages, this line of thinking is patently silly. MLS has a salary cap meaning this is a non starter. Even if NYCFC bought the world’s foremost players and MCFC paid them this would severely eat into Financial Fair Play (FFP) restrictions, thus negating the point of it all.
Speaking of the other side of FFP, is NYCFC a way for MCFC to augment their earnings to meet the new rules? No. That is stupid.
Firstly, as mentioned above, NYCFC is not owned by MCFC and therefore any money earned by the club, couldn’t be offset against FFP anyway. It would be inventive, yes, but it wouldn’t work as it isn’t Manchester City’s money. New Yorker’s don’t have to worry about their cash being deposited into Sergio Aguero’s bank account.
Secondly, and this is the most important part, City don’t need anything from NYCFC. A club that is projected to break even this year and make a profit next year doesn’t need any meagre financial assistance that a brand new club in a different country might be able to provide. How fragile do people think Manchester City are? The club has no debt, a team more successful than any seen in a generation or more, a rabidly loyal fan base, and many, many sponsors.
The reality is that Manchester City have nothing to do with NYCFC. This is another move from a country planning ahead for when the oil runs out. It is further diversification of business in a field unrelated to burning parts of the planet.
NYCFC will stand on their own feet and live or die on their own merits. They are nothing to do with Manchester City and their fans need not worry.
Written by Alex Timperley who is on Twitter