SIMON JORDAN: Rather than attack our champions, let’s celebrate, cherish and value Manchester City 

Their football is poetry in motion and they’ve assembled arguably the most graceful team the Premier League has ever seen — sorry Arsenal’s Invincibles — but many fans in this country simply shrug their shoulders at Manchester City’s ever-growing list of achievements.

Nothing in life is guaranteed apart from death, taxes and, seemingly, City winning the league.

Is the wider indifference because we don’t like winners and prefer to embrace gallant losers? Perhaps we are more comfortable when we don’t have greatness among us.

There will undoubtedly be a segment of the ‘football family’ hoping City don’t win the Champions League, because their failure to win the biggest prize remains a stick to beat them with. From my experience, they are not a popular club — either in boardrooms or among rival fanbases.

A combination of envy, resistance to new kids on the block and the perception many people have that they gamed the system to reach the top have contributed to this antipathy and scorn.

Manchester City should be celebrated for what they have brought to the Premier League

Manchester City should be celebrated for what they have brought to the Premier League

City have caused a stir in Europe and beat German champions Bayern Munich 3-0

City have caused a stir in Europe and beat German champions Bayern Munich 3-0 

As a country we should be backing Pep Guardiola's side to represent the English top flight

As a country we should be backing Pep Guardiola’s side to represent the English top flight

But let’s not do the Europeans’ job for them. Rather than vilify and attack our champions as they do, let’s laud and applaud the beauty of City.

There are constant mumblings in Europe that the Premier League is a bad thing for football, led by choirmaster Javier Tebas, the hypocrite general who is president of Spain’s La Liga.

Tebas argues that football’s profligacy is driven by English clubs’ spending and that we represent the financial ails of the whole game.

It is a laughable accusation, especially given it was Spanish sides who traditionally spent the most, boasted about Real Madrid’s Galacticos and had one of their biggest clubs, Barcelona, narrowly avoid a debt-ridden meltdown, selling everything that wasn’t nailed down to do so.

Accusing English football of profligacy is baffling considering how many clubs around Europe have benefited from our largesse. I’m sure Benfica were delighted to get £105million from Chelsea for Enzo Fernandez months after signing him.

Yes, our spending is extensive but we are also fuelling football economies across Europe.

If we’re not careful, these accusations will stick — much like the absurd ‘English disease’ label did when discussing hooliganism around Europe in the 1970s and 1980s. So let’s not allow the Europeans to make us the poster boys for everything that’s bad in football again.

There are mutterings from abroad about the irresponsible nature of our spending and how the Premier League’s power has damaged the game, but as far as I am concerned our top division only has a responsibility to the football pyramid in this country — not the European leagues.

This constant sniping at the Premier League and simmering resentment at City comes from all across Europe, most notably Spain and Germany.

Manchester City lifted the Premier League trophy last May to win the English top flight

Manchester City lifted the Premier League trophy last May to win the English top flight

LaLiga president Javier Tebas has criticised English clubs' of representing financial ails

LaLiga president Javier Tebas has criticised English clubs’ of representing financial ails 

But it was Spanish clubs who recently lavished money on big transfers, with Real Madrid's 'Galacticos' era spending heavily on stars including Luis Figo (above)

But it was Spanish clubs who recently lavished money on big transfers, with Real Madrid’s ‘Galacticos’ era spending heavily on stars including Luis Figo (above)

Well I’m sorry Senor Tebas, you don’t get to use our champions as your whipping boys to make a point when the Spanish league started this race to the bottom. Let’s not forget either that your two leading sides remain committed to the embers of the maligned European Super League.

Simon Jordan writes for Mail Sport

Simon Jordan writes for Mail Sport

We have a propensity for self-flagellation in this country but rather than beat ourselves up because the Europeans can’t compete with us, we should be proud of what our league has become.

We’ll deal with our own problems but maybe it’s time to stop vilifying City and declare a ceasefire on the constant ambivalence to their achievements. Let’s celebrate, cherish and value them.

Rather than loathing this, we should be behind City, proud of them, hoping they reach the pinnacle and win the Champions League.

Yes, we want City to be held accountable for any misdeeds of the past if they are guilty — we should always operate to the highest standards — but we’re not going to be held to account by the hypocrites in other European leagues.

City produce some truly elegant football but conversely there is something inelegant about their ownership model and their approach to clearing their name. They make veiled threats to those who try to bring them to task and let it be known they will tie the federations up in years of red tape because of their enormous cash resources.

So the witch-hunt that has followed City ever since the Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008 has had merit and justification, but it’s time they face consequences or are cleared of the 100-plus charges levelled at them by the Premier League, because it is essential our champions operate on a fair basis.

For all the jealousy and collective glee at City’s failure to lift the European Cup, everyone in the Premier League is playing better football now. That is the Manchester City effect.

English clubs' spending has also boosted football economies across Europe, with Benfica benefitting from gaining £100m after selling Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea (above)

English clubs’ spending has also boosted football economies across Europe, with Benfica benefitting from gaining £100m after selling Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea (above)

Put aside the rancour and angst about how they got there and the financial wildfire of their spending being allowed to go unchecked and uncontrolled — not dissimilar to Chelsea’s, just a matter of timing — and consider that we’ve all been watching a unique standard of football.

As such, our remarkable league has three intriguing subplots: who wins the league, who qualifies for the envy-ridden European competitions and who gets relegated — and all with often very high standards of football.

So while it might not sit well with some — particularly our friends on the continent — there is an argument that City’s emergence as an elite force has been good for English football and enhanced homegrown talent such as Phil Foden, John Stones and Jack Grealish, who may yet give our national side hope of winning something.

Of course, we have to concede that English football is now only English in name.

The majority of the talent, owners and coaches are from overseas. But despite that, it’s still the English Premier League — and we must cling on to that for dear life.

It’s a remarkable phenomenon that is the envy of the world. Let’s not forget that when the next wave of criticism from abroad hits our shores.

Dressing room drop-ins are a waste of time 

Todd Boehly, as I once did, appears to be suffering from first-season syndrome on a number of fronts.

Like the Chelsea owner, I walked into the Crystal Palace dressing room to address the players and tell them what a disgrace I thought they were. Admittedly, it was not in the same auspicious surroundings as Stamford Bridge — we’d lost 1-0 at home to Grimsby Town — but like him I had spent a ‘relative fortune’ on new players.

Todd Boehly has made a mistake by visiting the Chelsea dressing room to air his views

Todd Boehly has made a mistake by visiting the Chelsea dressing room to air his views

I soon learned you gain nothing from the practice even if you have positive things to say

I soon learned you gain nothing from the practice even if you have positive things to say

I soon learned there is no point in entering the dressing room. You get wound up to do it and by doing it, while gaining nothing. You’re undermining the authority of the manager and coming across as an interfering chairman — and that moniker will be trotted out and used against you forever more.

Dropping in on the first game to wish them luck for the season is OK. Every now and then eavesdropping on a team talk in a side-room out of sight, reasonable. But if you want to tell the players how wonderful you think they are, don’t bother — they can look at their obscene wage slips for that accolade!

Going into the dressing room after a game is certainly not unique to Boehly, it’s something many, many owners have done before, but it’s an exercise in futility leading to a cul de sac called ridicule.

Alli’s lost his love of sport – just like AJ 

It’s sad to witness Dele Alli’s decline.

He’s clearly got the wrong people around him but maybe he just doesn’t love the sport as he once did.

There appeared to be a deterioration in his motivation when all he seemingly wanted to do was be a poster boy for Boohoo.

It has been sad to watch the decline of Dele Alli but perhaps he doesn't love the game

It has been sad to watch the decline of Dele Alli but perhaps he doesn’t love the game

Fans don’t want to hear it but, for some people, football is simply a job. And like all jobs, not everyone loves the profession they are in.

There’s certainly a significant proportion of footballers who don’t feel how the fans do about the game.

Although it is a different dynamic with different parameters, Alli reminds me of what has happened to Anthony Joshua.

When the pilot light goes out on somebody, it’s very difficult to reignite it.

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Sports Event Casino Handicap Description

PK0It means not giving in to each other, and winning 1 point wins all.
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3 levels3Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the two teams will tie and win all 4 points.
3-503/3.5When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 4 points.
3 losses3.5When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins all 4 points.
Sports Event Casino Handicap Description

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