Manchester City China crisis puts players at risk
The Premier League champions have hit turbulence before pre-season tour of the Far East
Manchester City’s pre-season has got off to a bad start after their flight to China for the Premier League Asia trophy was twice postponed due to an “administrative error”.
The team were due to leave for Shanghai on Saturday but players and staff were told not to go to the airport after it emerged that their private charter did not have permission to enter Chinese airspace.
A Thomas Cook Sport spokesman said this morning: “Due to an administrative error with third parties Manchester City’s flight with Aeronexus was delayed by two days. We have resolved this issue and the team are due to depart today at 11am.”
It was “third time lucky” for City as they arrived at Manchester Airport on Monday morning, says MailOnline.
“City had endured a nightmare couple of days as their pre-season plans took a huge hit but fears have now been eased over potentially missing their Premier League Asia Trophy clash with West Ham on Wednesday.
“[Manager Pep] Guardiola has had his squad in for double sessions at the City Football Academy and was said to be relaxed about the issues.”
However, the delay highlights the problems Premier League clubs face with their global commitments.
“City were already cutting it fine to prepare for their first friendly of the summer and they players are bound to be suffering physically after the 11-hour flight to China, with jet lag also a major concern for the club’s medical and fitness staff,” says the Daily Telegraph. “The risk of injury will be high and the situation will have to be carefully managed because of the fatigue.
“It will also cause embarrassment to the tournament’s organisers as City have not been able to fulfil their media duties to promote the tournament.”
The Manchester Evening News says: “City were due to hold a press conference today to mark the start of their tour, but that has been shelved, with the squad now not likely to arrive until late on Monday night UK time (early Tuesday morning in China).”
They will have just hours to prepare for the match against West Ham in Nanjing, some 200 miles from Shanghai.
Kit manufacturers Puma launched City’s garish yellow and peach third kit in Shanghai in their absence today. “The vibrant and disruptive kit colours embody the modernity of the club and its mission to play attractive, technically-skilled and attacking football,” claimed the company.