“Not too bad for a diddy league”: Stark difference between Celtic and Man City fans in Rome shows money can’t buy you fans

It’s funny how money can change a fan-base, and usually not for the better. It wasn’t that long ago when Man City were a plucky underdog in Manchester who till had thousands of fans when they dropped through the divisions.

They might be hugely successful on the pitch after throwing millions at transfers and a big shiny stadium, but that doesn’t mean you get a hardcore group of supporters who will follow you around Europe.

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It might be a consequence of pricing the real fans out of the game, but we’ve seen them looking for influencers online to persuade people to go to Champions League games, alongside half empty stadiums full of people filming every moment like proper tourists.

There’s something to be said for having a genuine set of supporters, it reflects well on the club and makes it more attractive for players. Money might buy you some trophies, but it won’t buy you history or soul.

We all saw how many Celtic fans traveled to Rome to watch the dramatic victory of Lazio on Thursday, it’s quite startling when you compare it with an image of the Man City fans at the same venue:

It’s also worth pointing out that Pep Guardiola’s all conquering side failed to beat Celtic in their two Champions League games recently, but that wouldn’t feed into the whole “diddy” league narrative that they like to spin down south.

It’s just yet another example of how you can’t simply throw money at football and expect it to flourish. It’s likely we all know a “Man City fan” who hasn’t been to a game, won’t be able to name a player who played for the club ten years ago and they probably supported Chelsea 15 years ago as well.

But hey, “best league in the world” right?


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Football scout for an English league side and lover of all things football. Still trying to figure out exactly why Vidar Riseth hammered the ball across his own goal line that night in Perth....

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