The ex-Crystal Palace chairman called Manchester City a “manufactured club” after Guardiola urged more fans to attend following their Champions League win over RB Leipzig
Simon Jordan launched an astonishing attack on Manchester City after Pep Guardiola urged fans to attend Saturday’s clash with Southampton.
The outspoken former Crystal Palace chairman called City a “manufactured club” and questioned whether the Premier League champions are “the club that people would have you believe”.
Jordan’s outburst came after Guardiola’s appeal to supporters following Wednesday’s thriller against RB Leipzig, with the City boss saying: “We need the people.”
Guardiola was speaking after an official attendance of 38,062 watched his side beat Leipzig 6-3 win in their Champions League opener – leading to ‘Emptihad’ jibes from rival fans on social media.
And Jordan questioned whether City are a “big club” following the manager’s impassioned plea.
“I thought big clubs filled stadiums,” Jordan said on talkSPORT as he highlighted the club’s failure to win Europe’s top club competition.
“If you’ve got 20% less fans in for a Champions League game and the first one of the season you’ve got to ask yourself why that is.
“It might be that there’s a general feeling of discontent towards UEFA, that’s been there for some time because we’ve seen the City fans in the past I believe turning their backs during the UEFA Champions League theme.
“Whether that’s because they can’t win it or whether it’s because they think they’ve been unfairly treated by UEFA, I think it’s a combination of the two perhaps.”
Jordan said Guardiola’s previous employers were “bona fide” big clubs, adding that City’s domestic rivals Liverpool and Manchester United don’t have to “call out” for more supporters to attend.
“It was reported on other platforms that he was pleading – he wasn’t, he was making an observation,” said the 53-year-old entrepreneur.
“He’s used to playing football inside of full stadiums, at Bayern Munich and at Barcelona – bona fide big clubs that haven’t been manufactured.”
He added: “I don’t know whether this is a Champions League phenomenon, that the fans don’t have any investment in watching group-stage Champions League games because they consider them to be foregone conclusions, or whether it’s a real telling of the fact that Manchester City aren’t the club that people would have you believe that they are.
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“On achievement terms they are, except for the Champions League.
“But as far as filling stadiums, I don’t think you have to hear Liverpool calling out from their managers to fill stadiums. I don’t think you hear it from Manchester United that they have to call out to fill their stadiums.”
Jordan did acknowledge that City’s fanbase had shown their loyalty en masse after the club was relegated to the third tier of English football back in 1998.
“They’re not a small club,” he said. “Because if you look at Manchester City there are very few clubs in the country – and you can name them probably on one hand – that could relegated to League One and get crowds of 25 to 30,000 as Man City did.”
City’s 6-3 thrashing of Leipzig meant they have scored 16 goals in their three home games this season, after 5-0 wins over Arsenal and Norwich.
And afterwards Guardiola appealed for more fans to go and watch his side’s scintillating football against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints on Saturday.
“I would like more people to come to the next game on Saturday, we need the people next Saturday. Please,” Guardiola said on BT Sport .
“We will be tired. I know the team from Ralph is quite similar to the way they play. They are so, so dangerous with good quality and it’s a really important game for us.
“So I invite to all our people to come next Saturday, 3pm, to watch the game.”