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12th Oct 2023

Richard Dunne on the ‘bullshit’ he was told during Man City’s big money takeover

Lee Costello

“You knew your days were numbered.”

Richard Dunne was captain of Man City back in 2008, but even he couldn’t survive the cull that followed when the club was bought over by billionaires.

In almost no time, the team went from being a mid-Premier League side, to winning the title just a few years later, and not surprisingly, the team sheet was an ever changing factor in this process.

The situation was not dissimilar to what is happening with Chelsea at the moment, as Todd Boehly has been constantly chopping and changing his squad, while spending huge amounts of cash in the process.

However, the erratic nature of the American owner, and chaos that has gripped the London side, makes Man City’s rapid development seem like it was a real slow burner.

Richard Dunne on what it was like being a Man City player during the takeover.

Speaking exclusively to SportsJOE thanks to BoyleSports, Dunne, who was speaking about the latest EURO 2024 outright betting markets explains what it was like to be a City player during that period.

“It wasn’t as chaotic as Chelsea now, I think with Man City there was a difference in the fact that we were a ‘middle of the table’ team, and we didn’t really have the quality to go and challenge for league titles, so we needed time to make a change.

“It didn’t feel like 20 people were going out and 20 people were coming in, it was like pockets of people coming in, and there was phases of the progression that the club was making.

“So they would bring in a couple of defenders, a couple of midfielders, a couple of forwards, whatever it was – they didn’t win the league straight away, it took them a couple of years.

“It took that amount of time to build a squad, and I think as players who were in, it was progressing so eventually it was like ‘well they are soon going to get around to my position and bring someone else in.’

“It was just a case of trying to be a part of it, try to stay and do your best while you’re there, but it’s one of those, it’s inevitable when team is developing so much, then they are going to bring in players for all positions to try and push them up the league.

“With Chelsea at the minute, I don’t know what the plan is, because they have a team that is capable of winning the Premier League, and then they bring in 20 new players, change the manager, and all of that sort of stuff, there’s no long term plan it seems.”

Richard Dunne on the ‘bullshit’ he was told during Man City’s big money takeover.

Richard Dunne

Dunne knew his time would come eventually, so he wanted to chat with the manager, Mark Hughes, about his future and what plans he should be making.

“As soon as they started signing players you knew your days were numbered. They were linked with centre halves like John Terry, Kolo Toure, and all of those sort of people.

“I asked the manager what the story was, and he was like ‘we want to bring them in and play alongside you’ and all of that stuff, but I knew it was bullshit, it was just a case of well, I need to sort myself out.

“I was a stage where I was in my late 20s and I just wanted to play football, so I didn’t want to be a fifth or sixth choice centre half at a club, even though both the cub and you were doing great, and you were on the way up and stuff – that was a period where I just needed to play.

“You do get senses of it going around, and when your club is linked with every top player in the world, then one of them is going to come in and replace you as well eventually.”

Richard Dunne on what team he supports now.

Dunne may have left Man City earlier than he had planned, and maybe not on the best circumstances, but that hasn’t affected his relationship with the club.

The former Ireland defender is still a blue, and would consider them as ‘his team.’

“Yeah (I’m a City fan) obviously through my time there, and my kids grew up going to the Man City games, so my son has grown up as a Man City fan.

“We try to go up as much as we can and watch the games, I’ve not been at a match for a while but I am hoping to go over the next couple of months.”

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