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Forget the Treble, Manchester City’s new Netflix documentary could be the biggest thing to happen to the club!



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In this week’s edition of his City Xtra column, Amos Murphy reflects on the recent Netflix release and what that could mean for Manchester City’s ever-changing fanbase. 

It was the talk of the Etihad Stadium last week. No, not Phil Foden’s stunning hat-trick against Aston Villa (although that was special), but the new Manchester City documentary released exclusively on Netflix. 

Securing the treble is widely considered the biggest achievement in City’s history. Granted, they’ve had a few, but winning the three biggest trophies in English and European football remains unmatched. 

However, while the treble itself represented a giant step forward, both on the pitch, but also off it for Manchester City, the subsequent Netflix release showcasing the triumph might prove to be an even bigger leap. 

The documentary – produced by City’s in-house production team and later distributed by Netflix – tracks the Club’s historic treble win, from the first pre-season transfer dealings to lifting the trophy in Istanbul. 

It offers an in-depth look at Manchester City’s 2022/23 season, detailing the relationships between players, (some of) the coaching methods adopted by Pep Guardiola and a lot (seriously a lot) of passionate pre-match, mid-match and post-match team talks. 

For an existing supporter of the club, it’s golden. A cinematic look back at what will likely be remembered as the halcyon days of Manchester City Football Club. But for City themselves, at a boardroom level, the documentary could prove to be bigger than the treble itself. 

It’s estimated that there are over 260 million active Netflix accounts across the globe. Typically speaking, a chunk of those accounts will be shared by multiple people, in some cases, entire households and families. 

On top of that, a whopping 80 million of those subscribers are estimated to be based in North America, which happens to be a market where the Premier League continues to grow exponentially. 

At the end of last month, Manchester City’s title tussle against Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium was clocked as the most-watched Premier League match in football history. The appetite for Premier League football is strong Stateside. 

And as is often the case with new followers of a sport, eyes are drawn to the side enjoying the most success. To the shock of nobody, with five Premier League titles in six years, that team is Manchester City. 

Couple all of that with a showpiece documentary covering the club on the biggest streaming platform in the world, and it’s easy to see how the Blues capitalise big time on their Netflix release. The math is mathing. But for some sections of City’s supporters, it’s mathing too well.

All of this comes against the backdrop of growing anger within Manchester City’s match-going fanbase over the continued increase in season ticket prices. The club announced earlier this year that for the 2024/25 season, yet another price hike was on the way. 

It was met with backlash from supporters, with the 1894 Group – Manchester City’s most vocal fan-led group – revealing a banner before the Arsenal fixture that read ‘Record profits but record loyalty – Stop exploiting our loyalty’. 

The display was swiftly removed by stewards. City argue it was because the banner covered the advertising hoardings. The 1894 Group disputed that, with reports emerging their matchday accreditation hadn’t been granted for the following match against Aston Villa. City say that wasn’t the case. 

Granted, this isn’t exclusive to Manchester City. Clubs across the Premier League are having similar issues. But, with City at a crossroads in their growth as a club, questions will continue to be asked until a compromise is made.

The Netflix documentary, as show-stopping and wonderful as it is, could prove to grow the inequalities within City’s fanbase even more. And unless City want to redesign what it means to be a Blue, that cannot be allowed to happen.