Tuesday, 1 September 2009

One year on

Today was quieter than expected. No dramatic deals, either in or out, only the inevitable departure of Tal Ben Haim and the probable end of Richard Dunne's time at City. It was a placid end to a transformative summer: eight players in, at a combined cost of roughly £120million, and a squad unlike anything I've seen at City in my lifetime.

Today was chance, then, for reflection on the events of one year ago. Of course, reflection on 1 September 2008 hasn't exactly been lacking over the last twelve months. It is impossible to think seriously about any City-related issue without confronting the enormity of the ADUG takeover and its implications. But today - both the anniversary of the takeover, and the end of of the period of squad-rebuilding that it led to, makes it feel like the right time.

The central point must be this: that the ADUG takeover is the most significant in the modern history of MCFC. That it has changed MCFC quite irrevocably, that the whole purpose of the football club had been re-programmed. After the promotion season of 2001/02 a growing sense had developed around the club that all that could be hoped for was to keep the ship on an even keel. Under Stuart Pearce merely retaining Premier League status was the pinnacle of achievement. But with the takeover the club's whole purpose shifted to an enterprise: the pursuit of a clearly defined goal, with progress along one path in that direction and the means to do so.

In that one event, all the old uncertainties were shattered: the future path of the club was clear, the only question was of timings. We have now travelled one year along the ADUG path, and it's been thrilling. The two-fold promise - stability of management, radical change of playing staff - has been delivered. Having struggled to deal with the changes last season we have started 2009/10 at a gallop; with a team made up of players with the winning mentality and Premier League experience necessary to suceed, founded on the twin pillars of the Premier League's most consisten goalkeeper and the lynchpin of England's midfield, each of whom joined City after years at their previous clubs - bought, like nearly our whole team - with ADUG money.

I don't know where we're going to be in a year's time. Probably balancing our new Premier and Europa League campaigns, with much the same squad as this year - three or four new players at most. But we'll be one year further down the straight road to success, the one we started on in September 2008.

5 comments:

Gav said...

I'm going to disagree with you for once, Jack.
"But with the takeover the club's whole purpose shifted to an enterprise: the pursuit of a clearly defined goal, with progress along one path in that direction and the means to do so."
Really? What's the goal? Are ADUG in it for the money? When do they expect to see a return from their investment? Or is it just a wider halo effect to market Abu Dhabi?

Manasvi said...

Understandable to be sceptical, but the fact that ADUG have invested so much, and will continue to do so,in the infrastructure and general community makes it almost impossible to believe they are going to suddenly leave. They have shown to be very conscious of the club and the fans and look to be, morally, the best owners of any football club.

The Electric Donkey said...

[quote] That it has changed MCFC quite irrevocably, that the whole purpose of the football club had been re-programmed. [/quote]

In general, I agree with the post - it has been a most tumultuous time. However, I would say one very important thing remains as the purpose of the club - that it is a community club, rooted in the City.

One of the most undersung but significant achievements has been to move the club forward in terms of its standing, its players and its professionalism without forgetting or side-lining the people and the history that the club was and is built on.

I think credit is due to both the club and its supporters for this.

phil said...

Uh, they don't need to make money on this enterprise.

Wigan Blue said...

"But we'll be one year further down the straight road to success, the one we started on in September 2008"

Correction: "the one we started on in 1894"

We've never doubted - don't you start now!