MANCHESTER, England, Sept 9 (Reuters Life!) - For most soccer clubs an end-of-season DVD charting the highs and lows would be enough. Manchester City are not most clubs, though, and have splashed out on the full cinema release with gala premiere.
Coach Roberto Mancini, in a suit rather than the blue and white striped scarf that became his trademark last season, was among the City staff and celebrities walking along the ‘blue carpet’ on Thursday for the opening of “Blue Moon Rising.”
The documentary-style film follows five obsessive fans during last season, City’s first full season after the takeover that made it the world’s richest club. It also features interviews with players, Mancini and City-mad musician Noel Gallagher.
Echoing their lavish transfer and salary policy, City did not fancy saving cash with a straight-to-DVD production.
“City’s ambitions are huge,” Nick London, one of the producers, told Reuters while a couple of big screens showed trailers of the film to the fans waiting outside the central Manchester cinema.
“The club has been transformed over the last few years and they thought they wanted to make a movie to begin with. And, as a producer, I can only applaud that.
“Eventually it will end up on DVD but the intention is initially that it gets a theatrical release in Manchester and elsewhere, goes on to DVD and maybe goes on to TV later on.”
The hope after Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan took over in September 2008 turns into pain at missing out on a Champions League spot by finishing fifth in the Premier League in 2009/10.
There is also the bitter disappointment of the last-gasp goal that sent City out of the League Cup semi-finals at the hands of local rivals Manchester United.
Some players think the film may be just the start of the excitement for the club which is looking for a first English league title since 1968 and which has spent around 300 million pounds on new players since the takeover.
“Hopefully it’ll be more drama, maybe with winning a competition or getting even higher in the league,” said winger Adam Johnson.
“I haven’t got a clue what I’d call the sequel.”