What can businesses learn from Manchester City?

Manchester City have won the ‘Treble’ (The Premier League, the FA Cup, and the European Champions League). Above are some photos of me taken at City games last season!

But why is the Club so successful? It’s really not just down to spending lots of money (like the jealous supporters of their rivals claim). Many of the top football clubs in the UK have spent just as much money as Manchester City, but they have not had anywhere near the same amount of success.

I believe there are several core reasons why Manchester City have been so successful over the last few years, and that there are some important lessons that all business owners can learn from this success. Here are just a few of them.

1) GREAT TEAMWORK - Manchester City have got the best team spirit in the Premier League. Every team member knows exactly what their role is and how they fit into the vision of the wider team. The attitude instilled into them is ‘all for one and one for all’ and to never stop fighting for the team.

Every player is prepared to do whatever is needed for the good of the team, and this means being prepared to take on any other role when required. For example, John Stones will push forward into attack where appropriate (sometimes assisting or scoring goals himself) while meanwhile, Jack Grealish will often run back at speed, to help out his defensive team mates. There are no prima donnas - everyone does exactly what is required for the greater good of the team.

2) GREAT SUPPLY CHAIN - to be successful you need a great supply chain. Manchester City have got a fantastic ongoing supply chain of top quality players joining the team from a wide variety of sources including: (1) from their own youth academy - such as Phil Foden, Rico Lewis and Cole Palmer;  (2) from foreign clubs - such as Erling Haaland,  Manuel Akanji and Julián Álvarez,  and (3) from other English clubs - such as Jack Grealish, Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez.

3) GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE - City already have one of the best stadiums in Europe, with state-of-the-art facilities offering high levels of comfort. But they never stop trying to improve. The new stadium plan, aims to create a best-in-class customer experience by turning the Etihad Campus into a year-round entertainment and leisure destination.

The Club are just about to begin building several connected all-weather facilities integrated into the stadium, plus an expanded North Stand, increasing stadium capacity to over 60,000. There will also be a new 3,000 capacity covered fanzone, a music arena with over 20,000 capacity, plus a new museum, hotel, and extensive catering facilities. But despite all the planned improvements, City’s season ticket and matchday prices compare very favourably with other Premier League Clubs like Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool. A great customer experience, at a very fair price!

4) GREAT LEADERSHIP - no explanation required here! The most successful businesses have the best leaders, with crystal clear focus, great organisational skills, the ability to inspire and motivate, and they are loved and respected by their team. Manchester City’s Team Manager (Pep Guardiola) is regarded as one of the very best coaches in the world, but he is also respected as a great leader and a charismatic man-manager.

A successful business is ultimately only as successful as the person managing it. And regardless of the quality of the players, a football club can only be successful if it also has a great leader.

So if you want YOUR business to be successful, take a leaf out of the world’s greatest football team - Manchester City!

© 2023 Darren Bugg

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