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Tony Adams comments on Manchester City highlights the issue at hand

Tony Adams comments on Manchester City highlights the issue at hand
Tony Adams comments on Manchester City highlights the issue at hand

As news broke yesterday of Manchester City launching legal action against the Premier League everything Manchester City has become the topic of conversation. Today Arsenal legend Tony Adams has weighed in on the topic. But one comment made by the former England international stands out.

Tony Adams touched on Arsenal’s recent spending to keep pace with Manchester City. “We’ve spent £200m here at Arsenal just to get near them and you can’t keep doing that. I think the league, more importantly, need to look at that so Man City don’t keep rolling it around. We’ve spent £200m here at Arsenal just to get near them and you can’t keep doing that. The big clubs will always be the big clubs but the Premier League is the best in the world and you want to maintain that. Thank god we have Arsenal because, if we didn’t have Arsenal this year, it’s a non-existent league.” The full clip can be seen below courtesy of the SkySports Premier League X account. Adams also spoke of the City Football Group his opinion on the ability of the CFG to stockpile talent.

Tellingly in his answer the statement that ‘big clubs will always be big clubs’ stood out.

Being a big club doesn’t entitle anyone to success. Be it Manchester City or otherwise.

There appears to be a prevalent attitude in football that being a ‘big club’ or a ‘historically successful club’ entitles that club to success. Sure it helps with brand recognition, sponsorship and a host of other factors but on-field success isn’t determined by the size of the club. It takes a club working together in all departments to achieve success. Manchester City exemplify this statement. From the boardroom to the pitch the club is pulling in one direction. That stability has helped Manchester City achieve their current era of dominance.

The other issue that routinely gets mentioned during Manchester City’s era of dominance is their financial might separates them from their rivals. Tony Adams made mention of this today. His comment that Arsenal have ‘spent £200 million just to get near them’ is another example of this. His comments give the impression that Arsenal are punching well above their weight to contend with Manchester City for the Premier League title. It’s a claim that doesn’t stack up on closer inspection. Figures sourced from transfermarkt.com show just how much Arsenal have spent since the 2018/19 season to compete at the top of the Premier League. It is a lot more than the £200 million quoted by Tony Adams today. Manchester City have spent to maintain their position but Arsenal have spent almost as much to compete.

‘Big clubs will always be big clubs’. That quote from Tony Adams certainly stands out. As per Matt Lawton’s report in the Times yesterday City believe the current Associated Party Transaction (APT) rules hinder their ability to grow as a club amongst a host of other claims. If the Premier League’s APT rules do hinder Manchester City or any other club from becoming a bigger club what hope do they have of becoming a bigger club?

If Manchester City are successful in their case against the Premier League the idea of big clubs always being big clubs may have to be changed. ‘Big clubs have remained big clubs because they wouldn’t let anyone else sit at the table’ may become more fitting.