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Manchester City allowing fans to get closer to the action than ever before

Manchester City have made some stunning progress as a club ever since their financial takeover by Sheikh Mansour, on the pitch and off it. In terms of reaching out to their fans via social media, the club is second to none in terms of providing fans a detailed insight of how the club operates on every level. The weekly ‘Inside City’ feature details the team’s training, the clubs charity work and social calendar events. It is this fly on the wall stuff that really brings the fans closer to their club. The cutting edge academy and training complex has been documented on a regular basis keeping everyone in the loop, no matter where they reside on the planet. The clubs expansion overseas with the New York City franchise and woman’s team have shown that the club really are investing in all the right areas, ensuring they are rooted for a long time to come in every possible aspect.

All of this information can be accessed via the social outpourings that come from the club, a comprehensive and continuous flow of all the latest developments of the club. Further to being so informative, it also allows for a wider revenue stream, more space to advertise and sell advertising space, thus generating more revenue and in turn aid the quest to balance the books for financial fair play regulations soon to be enforced. The knowledge, skill and presentation of all that happens behind normally closed doors are there for the fans to see and engage with, in turn bringing the football to the fans. The videos posted of Golden Goals from previous encounters before the next fixture, extensive and brief highlights of matches just gone allow you to enjoy the key moments again, all keep your interest in game heightened.

It allows the fans to see what happens down the tunnel, in the changing room and with the kit men. United supposedly complained about footage of their squad taken in tunnel on derby day, but there is no agenda, no interference with the players putting them off, or access to the changing rooms, just a truly insightful set of film, which can be studied by any fan. It’s something to be shared among friends and fans, as when an away side is at the Etihad their fans can in turn see their players prepare for the game, and are envious that they can’t see this in progress every week at their own clubs. It is truly remarkable to see the friendships, rivalries and reactions so up close and personal in the heightened tension that can be found at a top flight football club. You even have a glimpse every week of the post-match food trolley entering the dressing room usually laden with fruit and pizza.

City certainly are at the fore front, unlimited access for the fans to get their fix making the season so much more interesting than some of the mundane main news channels which only scrape the surface. A news feed tailored to your interests which can be viewed on a daily basis is something very progressive. It makes the fans feel as though they belong but never feels overly intrusive, and more importantly would never give too much away to prying eyes of other clubs. City Today is a short daily round up of all the latest news and one can only assume draws the fans straight to the website for the latest accurate and reliable updates, aimed directly at the most important people involved with the club.

The footage captured has often gone viral, testament to the team who puts all these videos together, whether it be Mark Hughes ‘stunning volley in training, Balotelli finally missing a penalty or the famous Harlem Shake. This makes the players more human to the fans, people they can now relate to. Further to these more comical videos, it has also been possible to watch the reaction to the Champions League draw and even go on the Premier League title winning open bus tour around Manchester, both monumental moments in the clubs recent history. The footage is extensive and new material always readily available, and it is not something that should be taken for granted by the fans. What other club allows you to feel like Kolarov is one of your friends and enjoy the relentless banter Lescott and Richards share? The films taken have introduced fans to the club photographer, all the kit men – even the club cat who has now sadly deceased.

The club have now even stepped up their game for the away fan experience, preparing an app for the away fans, which would enable them to see all the local bars, hotels and restaurants. This shows even more progress at the club perhaps boosting the local economy, and welcoming away fans to the Etihad ensuring they are able to take in the city as a whole.  Club twitter accounts are pretty commonplace and allow for conversation among fans but this also unfolds in reality at the ground, with BT square playing host to live music, talks and refreshments. The club has a huge focus on the fans and continues to deliver some very high quality encounters and opportunities for fans, which look set to improve even more with the announcement of the stadium expansion.

These are all signs of a quality club, family friendly, accommodating for the away fans, and have expertise in every department across the board. They are club looking to the future and preparing perhaps to become one of the very best in the world. The most respectable attribute of this progression, is bringing the fans along through upholding the link between club and supporters, whilst maintaining high standards on the pitch. The Blue Moon has certainly risen.

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