Pellegrini’s 1st Press Conference, South Africa and CityLive

Date: 11th July 2013 at 5:45 pm
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Manuel Pellegrini

So on a seemingly random day in July, Manchester City’s new manager Manuel Pellegrini held his first press conference, an opportunity for the new man to sit through thirty minutes of bone-headed pea-brained questions that brought no insight into anything City or Pellegrini-related. Needless to say that Manchester United were brought up on numerous occasions, allowing a certain United blogger to pen a whole article calling City obsessed. Good to see irony not only alive and well, but seemingly intent on taking over the world.

Press conferences are 99.8% of the time utterly tedious affairs, and I am led to believe that Pellegrini came across well, as expected, as did one of City’s new signings, Fernandinho, a player clearly excited to be at the club if his online presence is anything to go by. Both also appear to be really nice chaps. I will never watch the press conference.

Of course the timing of the press conference may be more to do with the upcoming tour of South Africa, a tour that certain sections of the media reported last week may be abandoned if the gravely-ill Nelson Mandela was to die in the meantime, a period of mourning excluding the right to play football matches. As it stands, this does not appear to be an issue, and the tour goes ahead.

David Moyes’ first press conference generated live coverage on Sky and five pages of coverage in the Manchester Evening News. Needless to say, Manuel Pellegrini didn’t get such coverage, but had the honour of having his trophy-winning record questioned in print this morning, an honour David Moyes mysteriously avoided. Of course Moyes is the successor to Alex Ferguson, so the coverage makes more sense when factoring that in. Moyes may get more support from journalists by virtue of being both a familiar face and British, but I sense that Pellegrini’s charm will win many over. After all, such a pleasant demeanour allowed Roberto Martinez an easy ride whilst taking his team to relegation.

Elsewhere, and the long-awaited big July announcement by Manchester City was finally made – CityLive. This is an event at Manchester Central on August 8th, kind of a pre-season party, including Jason Manford, music acts (to be confirmed, which may explain the delay in the announcement), player awards, the unveiling of the manager and new signings, a Q & A with Pellegrini, and a few surprises on top. The reaction was predictably cool from sections of City fans, who expect everything for nothing nowadays, or perhaps were put off by the likening of the event to the brash MTV music awards.
And then there was the price. £25 sounds steep, but when you look at the venue, it isn’t really. A single comedian can cost that much to see (and more), so I fail to see why this event is considered extortionate considering the variety of what’s on offer. Yes City could have made it slightly cheaper, and there are claims that this party is merely a money-making exercise, but like any other “product”, no one is forced to purchase it, so if you don’t like it, don’t go, and let those that do want to enjoy it, without the constant background drone of whinging fans.

It’s been said (by me) a million times already, but if you want a world-class team in a 60,000 seat stadium with brilliant facilities, a world-class media/online presence, a world-class academy and still some of the best-value season tickets in the Premier League, all under the umbrella of Financial Fair Play, then the owners of our club are going to try and generate revenue. You can choose when to spend. Having said that, City fans have been treated to free music in the past, from the rather ill-thought-out finale to the Maine Road era, to the Doves gig in the car park, an event naturally accompanied by tremendous amounts of rain water. Barring a leak in the roof, at least those that attend #citylive will be dry.

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