Aston Villa have had some interesting stories this year with sides ending in City – whether it be Birmingham or more bizarrely Bristol – but former player and now pundit Paul Merson will have put the cat amongst the pigeons on Sunday as he answered a question from fellow pundit Matt Le Tissier and one side from Manchester.
Appearing on Sky Sports’ live coverage of the final days Premier League action (Sunday, just after midday), ahead of kick off Merse got involved in a chat about which side from Manchester was the bigger club, United or City.
Despite the fact that City went on to clinch the top flight title later in the day, Merson was adamant that United had the bigger history in the game, and went as far as saying that Villa remained a bigger club as well owing to our own achievements.
“They are a better team. A much better team than Man Utd. Are they a bigger club? No chance. Nowhere near. Man Utd have got history. Manchester City haven’t got history, have they! Not just about winning the league, you have got to win European Cups as well. Win the ultimate. You can’t just dominate your league. You have to go further adrift then that. Tiss just asked me, who’s the bigger club Aston Villa or Man City? I think Villa have got the history, at the moment. They are a big football club, but they haven’t got that money.”
It’s a fair point, the European Cup is the pinnacle of club football despite all the rebranding that’s gone on with the Champions League but even in saying that, it doesn’t down play the achievements and growth of City in recent years.
Had football not changed with Financial Fair Play, at least under our current owners we would now have the money, and things could well have been different under Randy Lerner as well, given we voted against the regulations in the first place.
Given we have to have a slower plan, let’s hope in the years to come we can settle that debate for good.