Many City fans had been expecting United to overturn a slender 2-1 deficit and if not for David de Gea’s butter fingers they might have won on the away goals rule and set up the first ever major cup final between the Manchester clubs.
Instead, City fans can put the body armour away and expect more of a friendly day out at Wembley on March 2nd.
City have been given an allocation of 31,580 for this game, with adult prices ranging from £40 to £100. Most season card holders should be able to get a ticket, but those on the League Cup scheme will be rewarded for their loyalty by having first dibs.
You can find ticket prices and criteria at the official site.
City have bought a majority 80% share in the club, with NRL club Melbourne Storm picking up the other 20%. Much like the City/Yankees collaboration with New York City FC, this seems a smart move and will enable City to tap into the knowledge of local businessmen.
CEO Ferran Soriano said the intention is to make Melbourne Heart, which is more than likely going to be renamed Melbourne City, into a major player in Australian football. Right now, they sit bottom of the league and have the fourth lowest attendances in the A-League.
Premier League fans will be familiar with their captain Harry Kewell, who spent years in England at Leeds and Liverpool. Former Dutch international Orlando Engelaar and former Coventry striker Michael Mifsud also ply their trade for the club.
Melbourne Heart play their games at beautiful AAMI Park, which seats 30,050 fans. Some will wonder if they might move to Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, but with a current average attendance of around 10,000, a 50,000+ stadium might be too much, too soon.
City want to revolutionise football and are looking to create a “family” of clubs around the world, who will share the same footballing philosophy and scouting networks, while maintaining strong ties to the local community like City.
No major announcements are planned until mid-2014 and Melbourne Heart’s season is likely to end without too many changes.
Manchester City are now the second highest earners in English football, behind only United.
The annual Deloitte Football Money League was released yesterday and showed that City have overtaken Arsenal and Chelsea this year with record turnover of £271m.
This makes City the sixth highest earning club in the world, not bad for a club that those with heads buried in sand believe relies entirely on a wealthy owner.
These figures should also mean that City comply with the first monitoring period of Financial Fair Play, though the official financial report is yet to be released.
The area in which City lag behind their rivals is matchday revenue, with City’s ticket prices, considered to be the best value for money in the league, and lack of corporate/executive seats making for comparatively low matchday income, despite average attendances of around 47,000 (more than the likes of Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool who have higher matchday revenue).
The stadium expansion will improve matchday income significantly with many more premium seats to be introduced, along with more standard seats that will include the much talked about £299 value season tickets.
The full breakdown can be seen below (click to enlarge).
City have yet to reveal the extent of Alvaro Negredo’s shoulder injury after he landed heavily against West Ham.
He was seen leaving Bridgewater Hospital in a sling on Wednesday, but the Daily Mail reckons it is nothing serious and he should be back for the Spurs game next week.
Pellegrini should clarify The Beast’s condition at tomorrow’s press conference.
With City playing in the Capital One Cup final on March 2nd, the Old Trafford derby, which was scheduled for March 1st, has been postponed.
United will have that weekend off while over 30,000 Blues travel south to Wembley.
The new date of the match is yet to be confirmed.
The 22-year-old, who has been fairly outspoken to the Norwegian press about a lack of chances at City, was granted an early release by City, half a season before his contract was due to expire.
Despite links to many big clubs, including Arsenal at one point, Ibrahim has flown to Greece and will join former City youth team-mate Vladimir Weiss at Olympiacos in the coming days.
It’s thought that Olympiacos will loan him out to Crete-based club Ergotelis FC for experience.
Ibrahim made three first team appearances for City’s first team, including a Premier League appearance against Liverpool in 2010.
Best of luck to Abdi on his new adventure.
City have been rebuffed in another attempt to sign Real Madrid defender Pepe, according to El Confidencial.
30-year-old Pepe was City’s number one defensive target last summer, with Pellegrini looking for a high-level defender to add experience to the defence.
With young defender Raphael Varane badly injured at the time, Real wouldn’t sanction the sale of Pepe and that stance hasn’t changed.
City had to settle for Martin Demichelis instead, but with Joleon Lescott on his way out in the near future, City are looking at defensive options.
Both Kurt Zouma and Eliaquim Mangala have been targets, but deals for either are difficult this month. City have been very interested in Mangala, but Porto want around £40m for the young Frenchman, a price City feel is too high.
If a defender isn’t signed this month, City will hold on to Lescott until the end of his contract in June.
In the same article as the Pepe news, El Confidencial had a snippet on Isco. Remember him?
Nasri’s blistering form this season has made the Isco saga easy to forget, but he was one of City’s main targets last summer and was tipped to follow Pellegrini from Málaga to Manchester.
The Spanish publication claims that Isco, now of Real Madrid, is considered “persona non grata” (a very unwelcome person) at City, because he had given the club his word that he’d join, but went back on that when Real dispatched Zidane to lure him to the Bernabéu.
Of course, football is a fickle business and if Isco does ever become available, an apology could quickly change things…