Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP)
A group of Manchester City fans have reacted angrily to Pep Guardiola’s call for more participation in the Etihad, telling the City manager to focus on training.
Guardiola was frustrated with the turnout in City‘s 6-3 win over RB Leipzig on Wednesday to start their Champions League campaign.
A crowd of 38,062 watched the nine-goal thriller, a far cry from the more than 50,000 who attended City’s first two Premier League games.
“I would like more people to come to the next game on Saturday,” Guardiola told BT Sport.
“We’ll need the people next Saturday, please, because we’ll be tired. I invite all of our people to come over next Saturday at 3 pm and watch the game.”
City’s low attendance and flat atmosphere for Champions League home games are often used as a stick to beat the club by rival fans.
However, Kevin Parker, the general secretary of City’s official supporters’ club, said Guardiola needs to be more grateful for the time and money fans are spending.
“He doesn’t understand the difficulty some people might have in getting to a game at the Etihad on a Wednesday night at 8 pm,” Parker said.
“They have kids to think about, they might not be able to afford it, there are still issues with Covid. I don’t see why he’s talking about it.
“He’s absolutely the best coach in the world but, in the nicest way possible, I think maybe he should stick with that.”
Parker added that Guardiola’s comments would only fuel the fire from opposition fans mocking City’s support.
“People call the Etihad the ‘Emptyhad’. It’s a bit funny by opposition supporters but there is no justification for it. It’s not factual. Our participations are generally excellent.”
© 2021 AFP