Dubai: Ferran Soriano, the chief executive officer of City Football Group — the parent company of Premier League reigning champions Manchester City — believes the success of the game in England is down to the clubs in the UK embracing “global football”.
Speaking at the 14th Dubai International Sports Conference, alongside former England coach Fabio Capello and Ajax and Manchester United legend Edwin Vand Der Sar, Soriano said a landmark year in the English game is down to looking at the bigger picture, not just the one-game-at-a-time attitude that has hampered the game for many years.
In 2019, four English teams competed in Europe’s top two competitions — the Uefa Champions League final and Europa League final.
Chelsea defeated Arsenal in Baku to claim the Europa League, while Liverpool overcame Tottenham Hotspur to lift the Champions League trophy.
Given that Manchester City were not even involved in either final while marching to their second consecutive Premier League title shows how dominant English football is across the world.
And Soriano says this is due to the ability of the clubs in England to get ahead of the game — so to speak — and evolve to be the best.
“English football is no longer English football. Almost 10 years ago there was a typical style in the English game — long balls, tall players, route-one football. It was not good. We were only looking to win one game at a time and not looking at the future. This is gone.
“City came with a future plan and that is now why we see such success in England. We adapted, our rivals adapted and the fruits of success are now being seen.”
“Now it is global football in the Premier League. It is great to see.”
While there has been such success for English clubs, Soriano also warned that 2019 was a dream success that will be impossible to replicate.
“Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal and City … It doesn’t mean English teams will win everything once again. Everyone is playing global football now. The others are watching and catching up. Every league is adapting. What the English teams did last year will not be repeated.”
So, no pressure on those English clubs hoping to make it to Istanbul or Gdansk, come May …