Date: 10th April 2008 at 3:15pm
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The Holy Grail of MCFC European qualification still amazingly could be found, so long as our players don’t get stuck in any more these next five games…The UEFA website reports on our final straw clutching Euro option: ‘Norway top the current UEFA Fair Play rankings, and would automatically receive one of the UEFA Cup berths if they are still there when the final rankings are released at the start of May. England, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Spain and Estonia are the other seven countries currently in the frame for one of the two places awarded via the Fair Play draw, which will be held at the City of Manchester Stadium on 13 May at 14.30 (15.30GMT), between the pre-match press conferences before the UEFA Cup final.’ – So the draw would be made at Eastlands? You certainly couldn’t make that one up!

MONEY MATTERS, Part One: The Managers

France Football Magazine led this week on ‘Les Salaires des Stars,’ it’s annual doshfest weigh up of who has earned the most wedge in the world of football this season. To give you an idea of exactly how much money now circulates Manchester City, the fact that Sven-Goran Eriksson makes it into the 5th best paid manager in world football slot with 7.1 million euros netted speaks volumes. Okay, included in that sum is a sizeable pay off cheque from the FA, but it also serves as a reminder that Frank Shinawatra will be expecting results for his outgoings. To put it in perspective, Sven’s paid as much as Frank Rijkaard at Barca give or take the odd half a million euros. The financial winners ahead of Svennis were:
1. The Special One, No fixed abode: 29 million EUR
2. Fabian Crapello, Ingurland: 14.2 million EUR (What do you reckon Pearce is on?!)
3. Taggart, the rags: 7.4 million EUR
4. Juande Ramos, Spurs: 7.3 million EUR

MONEY MATTERS, Part Two: The Players

So Ronaldhino and his agent brother are considering him signing for City then, are they? Sounds an ambitious City move at the first thought, but then I wonder how many Blues would relish the fact that Ronnie is currently the second best paid footballer in the world after our other ‘Fleet street’ rumoured signing David Beckham?

Beckham earns 31 million EUR per season at Los Angeles Galaxy. Ronaldhino bags 24.1 million EUR at Barca. Another City media link Thierry Henry is in 5th place with a 16.8 million EUR salary. Is that realistically the sort of dressing room destabilising money City would seriously consider paying out so soon after Frank’s takeover? Taking it on to another level, Tiger Woods, who is in action right now in Augusta is the best paid sportsman on the planet with 75 million EUR in earnings per year. That makes Ronnie the 7th best paid performer in the world of sport.

I’m putting ‘Ronniegate’ down to bored sports hacks in ‘the street of shame’ looking for stories and I’m pleased to see Sven distancing himself from these rumours:
‘I don’t think that news has come from our club,’ he told Sky Sports News. ‘I don’t know where it is coming from.’

Surely City should aim to build upon the platform The Sven Revolution has given us and prioritise the signing of a Van Buyten, a Podolski, a Perrotta or a Huntelaar to beef our team up. We are a long way off superstars at MCFC!

Saturday 12th April, 15:00 GMT

Mackems Form Last 6 PL games: D,L,L,W,W,W
City Form Last 6 PL games: D,L,W,D,L,L

Goals Factor:
Mackems last 6 PL games: 6
City last 6 PL games: 3

In the City sin bin: All clear

Injured: Onouha ruled out for the season after that nasty knock against Chelski. Castillo, who has suffered a calf knock could also feature. Richards’ return is still a couple of games away, but it’s all eyes on the reserves tonight as Bojinov plays a part against Liverpool. Fingers crossed for that one.

Johnny on the spot?:
Our surely record breaking fourth consecutive 3pm PL saturday kick off sees us face the hard road to Sunderland. We gave Royston Vasey Keane an absolute technical area savaging throughout our underpants inspired victory at Eastland’s on bonfire night. He will no doubt have his demonic eyes focused on a revenge mission this weekend. Craig Gordon, their ‘keeper, backs the resurgent Mackems to make it four wins in a row against a flagging City side and I agree, unless Sven finally gets somebody up there to play off Benjani’s work rate. If the tactical caution and striking isolation remains, allied to Sunderland reckoning they need one win to be safe, then I see no other result: Sunderland 2 City 1.


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