Football: Champions League win would boost City's bid to match United as global brand

1 year ago 16

PORTO, Portugal: Victory for Manchester City over Chelsea in the Champions League final in Porto on Saturday (May 29) could have an impact well beyond sporting pride.

A first-ever title in Europe's premier club competition would complete City's rise from Manchester's "second club" to England's top team, and experts believe that could be the missing element in creating a truly global brand.

"The biggest trophy in club football is the Champions League, and winning that would certainly have an impact on their brand, that is why you see clubs chasing it so hard, like Paris St-Germain," said Hugo Hensley, head of sports services at Brand Finance.

PSG fell at the final hurdle last season, losing to Bayern Munich, leaving their Qatari owners still searching for that defining trophy that seals status in the game's elite.

Unlike PSG, City have had to compete with one of the game's biggest-name clubs being just down the road.

When billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan bought the club in 2008, there was no doubting that he had invested in the second club in the city.

Manchester United were not just the most successful team in England, they were a global brand attracting fans from across the world.

United had everything needed for football and commercial success - one of the game's top managers in Alex Ferguson, world-class players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and a brand already rooted in success that was glowing from a third European Cup and Champions League triumph.

City had a tradition of their own - they were one of England's top teams in the late 1960s - but as recently as nine years before the Abu Dhabi group took control, they had been languishing in the third tier.

On the field, things have changed dramatically.

While United have struggled for success since Ferguson's departure in 2013, City have won five of the last nine Premier League titles, including three of the last four.

In Pep Guardiola, the club has a manager widely viewed as the most innovative and effective in the game, and they have a team packed with international talent, producing entertaining football.

READ: Man City, Chelsea get set for Champions League final cla...

Read Entire Article