The Chinese media has slammed Manchester City for showing disrespect to the fans and media during their pre-season tour.
In the Premier League Asia Trophy, City beat West Ham 4-1 in the semi-final, only to lose the final 3-2 on penalties to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The state-owned Xinhua Agency has criticized Pep Guardiola’s side for snubbing fans that were waiting for autographs and showing ‘discrimination’ to member local press.
The editorial said, “For the Premier League champions, their appearance in China was nothing more than a commercial obligation, and their lack of enthusiasm and the indifferent treatment of their hosts stands in stark contrast to representatives of other clubs.”
It continued, “An attitude of arrogance and the belief that they were the main attraction to the Premier League Asia Trophy was misplaced and stood in direct contrast to the other clubs. Wolves could not do more to engage with fans and even Newcastle, despite arriving under a cloud of off-field negativity, treated China with the utmost respect and dignity. Today those clubs leave China with a new-found respect and new fans; Manchester City leaves China with neither.”
Manchester City landed in Hong Kong to play against Kitchee as part of their pre-season in Asia. On reaching Hong Kong, Pep responded to the criticism by Chinese media.
He said, “I should say that I don’t agree and also that it’s false. To make a statement like this they have to know exactly what happened here in our club. We had an incredible time in Shanghai. We were committed to the co-operation you have to do here in China. The people from the hotel, all the people asking us to do things – we were ready to do that.”
He further added, “We came here – it’s a unique experience because it’s not easy to come to Asia during the season. To come to Asia and experience the culture, the restaurants. It’s amazing to get to know other people. That’s why I can’t understand what people are saying – maybe one journalist is a bit upset. I don’t know why – but it’s far away from reality.”
He concluded by saying that sooner or later, Manchester City will come back to China.