Mishmashchester City

Image: McGarry: City not so slick

Ian McGarry told The Supplement that it was Man City's lack of substance that put Kaka off any move.

Plenty of money but not enough substance, says McGarry

They may be the richest club in the world, but Manchester City are broke when it comes to style and substance. That was the verdict of Ian McGarry as the Sunday Supplement looked back at another hectic seven days for the moneybags men from Eastlands. The week of course started with Kaka snubbing a record move to Manchester and the small matter of a reported £500,000 a week, saw Craig Bellamy arrive for £14million and ended with Nigel De Jong signing for £19million. But while they continue to be linked with more massive signings and are leading the Premier League spending stakes in the transfer window, City are still playing catch-up as a football club, says McGarry. The Sun football writer warned that while money might be able to buy most things, it cannot bring the experience and efficiency needed to attract the game's top names. "The fact of the matter is the Kaka deal got messy, but it didn't get messy because Kaka didn't recognise that he was being given and amazing opportunity financially, it messed up because to Kaka there didn't seem to be coherent strategy coming from one person saying 'right, this is where you're going to play, this is who's going to be playing around you, this is where we're going'," McGarry told The Supplement. "Instead he got this mish-mash; 'well the manager probably won't be there at the end of the season, but don't worry we'll get a good guy in. Robinho's there as well, we'll get other people in'.


"Even Garry Cook I don't think comes across as this smooth operator and negotiator like other people. Kaka is used to dealing with Adriano Galliani who is probably the most experienced transfer operator in European football, the guy that signed him for AC Milan five years ago. "I think maybe at the end of the day he had a look at it and thought it all looks a bit amateurish, a bit brash, too much money and not enough substance for a player like that to make the move. "Whereas, on the other hand, Robinho didn't even know where he was going when he went to City, he was just told to sign the contract." But the problems run much deeper than failing to lure the Brazilian, says McGarry. The more realistic signings of Bridge, Bellamy and De Jong might suggest that City are back on an even keel, but even their arrivals show what sort of inner turmoil the money men from Abu Dhabi have brought. "That dressing room is already riddled with division and problems," he said. "You've got someone like Bridgey, who is a very good left-back and a short distance behind Ashley Cole for England, however he is earning £84,000 a week at Manchester City and Richard Dunne who has been captain there for the last four years is earning £38,000.
"The discrepancy is ridiculous. You've got someone like Dunne who has kept them in the Premier League and put his body on the line for the club and then a new left-back comes in the transfer window and is getting paid more than double. "It's the same with Nigel de Jong; they could've got him for £2.4million at the end of the season, but they've just paid £19million for him. "The majority of players there are on less than £40,000 a week, the new players coming in are on post £80,000, Robinho's on £160,000 and then Kaka comes in on £500,000?" One man who might not, it seems, be cashing in on their new-found fortune is Hughes. McGarry believes that while all the attention now is on big-name, multi-million-pound signings, once the window closes, all the attention will turn to the man in charge of Manchester City. And with Robinho seemingly as involved off the pitch as he is on it, that could spell the end of Hughes, says McGarry. "Robinho's already been told there will be a new coach at the end of the season and he's been in constant contact with Kaka," he said. "Unfortunately Mark Hughes is a very good manager but still learning his trade, and I think even he knows his card is marked with regards to where he'll be next season - and it won't be Manchester City."

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