Mancini gets City backing

by Michelle Fortune , 22 March 2013

Roberto Mancini has the backing of Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano, who has defended the club's performance this season.

Despite the heavy investment in the squad, City failed to make it beyond the group stages of the Champions League for the second successive season, while they look almost certain to loss the Premier League title to rivals Manchester United.

The club's struggles have led to reports that City were looking at alternative options for next season, but Soriano insists Mancini has the full support of the board.

"Mancini is a champion. There is nothing more to say," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Anyway, it is not easy to win back-to-back titles in any league, especially the Premier League."

Soriano is keen for City to follow the example of his former club Barcelona in bringing in big name signs to boost the home-grown talent and he believes investing in the academy will help the club fulfil the UEFA financial fair play rules.

"My way of football? One year you can win with luck, but in the long-term you need planning and investments to reach the final of the Champions League," Soriano said.

"In 2003, we did a study at Barcelona. For each player delivered to the first team from the cantera [academy] there was an average cost of €2.4m [£2m]. That's nothing if you think of the current costs in the game. Even at the age of five years you should get the style of the club, then the rewards will come.

"Our problem is to find players stronger than the ones we have and that is not easy. There are rumours about players coming to City, but I never comment on transfer market rumours.

"In the last three years there have been losses of €235m [£199m], then of €118m [£100m] and now there is a 'red line' of €59m [£50] [imposed by Uefa's financial fair-play regime. But we also have just invested €150m [£127m] for the infrastructure of our youth system – [the Etihad Campus]. It's a fantastic project, focusing on financial sustainability."

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