Cleats logo

Understanding the Antipathy Towards Manchester City

A Deep Dive into Soccer Fandom

By Nicole JamesonPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

Soccer, more than just a sport, often embodies the hopes, dreams, and fervent passions of millions around the globe. Among the myriad of clubs that populate the footballing world, few evoke as polarized emotions as Manchester City. Despite its recent successes and admirable playing style, Manchester City finds itself a subject of intense scrutiny and, in some quarters, vehement disdain. This essay seeks to unravel the complexities behind the widespread antipathy towards Manchester City among soccer fans.

Historical Context:

Understanding the contemporary sentiment towards Manchester City necessitates delving into its history. Historically, Manchester City was a relatively modest club in comparison to its crosstown rival, Manchester United. However, the narrative began to shift with the injection of substantial financial resources following the acquisition by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008. This marked the onset of Manchester City's meteoric rise, transforming from a mid-table club to a powerhouse in English and European football.

Financial Dominance and FFP Controversies:

Central to the animosity towards Manchester City is the perception of its financial dominance. The club's newfound wealth enabled extravagant spending in the transfer market, often eclipsing the budgets of its competitors. While financial investment is not inherently problematic, accusations of breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations have tarnished Manchester City's reputation. Allegations of circumventing FFP rules through creative accounting practices have fueled resentment among rival fans, who perceive such actions as undermining the principles of fair competition.

Disruption of Traditional Power Dynamics:

Manchester City's ascent to prominence has disrupted the traditional power dynamics within English football. Historically, clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal dominated the landscape, both domestically and internationally. Manchester City's emergence as a formidable contender challenged the established order, eliciting apprehension and hostility from supporters of traditional powerhouses. The fear of a shift in the footballing hierarchy and the loss of historical dominance underpins much of the antipathy towards Manchester City.

Perceived Lack of Organic Growth:

Critics argue that Manchester City's success is not a result of organic growth but rather a consequence of financial injection from external benefactors. Unlike clubs that meticulously built their success through youth development, astute recruitment, and prudent financial management, Manchester City's rise is perceived as artificially engineered. This perception diminishes the authenticity of the club's achievements in the eyes of many football purists, contributing to the disdain directed towards Manchester City.

Style of Play and Tactical Pragmatism:

While Manchester City's style of play under the tutelage of managers like Pep Guardiola has garnered widespread acclaim for its aesthetic beauty and tactical sophistication, it has also attracted detractors. Some critics perceive Manchester City's approach as overly pragmatic, prioritizing possession and intricate passing patterns over the traditional virtues of English football such as grit, physicality, and directness. This stylistic divergence exacerbates the cultural divide between Manchester City and its detractors, further fueling animosity.

Fanbase Dynamics and Tribalism:

The rivalry between football clubs extends beyond the pitch to the fervent loyalty of their respective fanbases. Tribalism, a defining characteristic of football fandom, often manifests in the form of animosity towards rival clubs. Manchester City's rise to prominence has amplified the tribalistic fervor, intensifying the animosity between its supporters and those of rival clubs. The tribal nature of football fandom magnifies perceived grievances and exacerbates the hostility towards Manchester City.


The antipathy towards Manchester City among soccer fans is a multifaceted phenomenon rooted in historical, financial, and cultural dynamics. The club's unprecedented rise to prominence, fueled by substantial financial investment, has disrupted traditional power structures within English football, eliciting apprehension and resentment from rival fans. While Manchester City's style of play and tactical sophistication have earned plaudits, they have also attracted criticism for deviating from traditional footballing virtues. Ultimately, the animosity towards Manchester City reflects the complex interplay of rivalry, tribalism, and the evolving landscape of modern football.

premier league

About the Creator

Enjoyed the story?
Support the Creator.

Subscribe for free to receive all their stories in your feed. You could also pledge your support or give them a one-off tip, letting them know you appreciate their work.

Subscribe For Free

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


Nicole Jameson is not accepting comments at the moment

Want to show your support? Send them a one-off tip.

NJWritten by Nicole Jameson

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.