The city centre will be painted sky blue this evening as Manchester City is set to celebrate their 2021-22 Premier League title.
After what had been one of the closest title races of the past few years, Manchester City yesterday pipped North West rivals Liverpool to the post during an impressive comeback in their final match of the Premier League season to successfully retain their title as the winners of English football’s top flight.
The Citizens eventually made their dream a reality by beating Aston Villa 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium after first going 2-0 down.
Two goals came from İlkay Gündoğan, and one from Rodrigo, all in the second half.
The victory yesterday was Manchester City’s sixth Premier League title in total since returning to the top flight in 2002, and the fourth Premier League title in five years won under current manager, Pep Guardiola.
But the celebrations weren’t just limited to yesterday, as Manchester City has now confirmed plans to take over the city centre this evening for an open-top bus parade and a party fit for champions.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Open-Top Bus Parade
To show off the shiny Premier League trophy in all its glory to thousands of fans, Pep Guardiola and the Manchester City squad will set off on an hour-long open-top bus parade down the city’s main thoroughfare, before finishing at the Beetham Tower – where a live stage show will take place with the champions.
The parade bus will depart from Exchange Square near the National Football Museum at approximately 6pm, and then travel onto St Mary’s Gate.
The route will then head south on Deansgate, and finish up near Beetham Tower at 7pm.
While fans will be able to line the streets for the full parade route, entrance to the official parade stage viewing area is only accessible via Deansgate, and not by any other entrance, with all supporters to be subject to a search before entering.
The accessible viewing platform on Great Bridgewater Street is available accessed from the same entrance, and will be available on “a first come first served basis”.
The open-top bus parade is only part of the party, as onstage entertainment will start at 4:30pm, with the players expected to arrive at approximately 7pm.
The parade party will be hosted by Manchester City’s City Square presenters Danny Jackson and Natalie Pike, who will be joined by former players and special guests, and, as there has been in previous years, there will also be live music from bands and DJs.
As this is a non-ticketed event, Manchester City is suggesting that fans arrive early to get the best possible viewing experience.
There will also be screens throughout Deansgate showing all the action from the stage.
What is the Council saying?
Manchester City’s Premier League title-winning celebrations are being fully-supported and made possible with help from Manchester City Council.
Commenting on the parade, Councillor Bev Craig – Leader of Manchester City Council – said: “Winning back-to-back titles is a fantastic achievement which I’m sure City fans will be eager to celebrate, especially as the pandemic denied them the chance to do so last season.
“The Council are happy to support the parade and expect a memorable occasion as tens of thousands of fans gather in the city centre to share the moment”.
What else do I need to know?
Manchester City and Manchester City Council have also released some top tips for people making their way to the celebrations, and for everyone else travelling in and around the city centre this evening.
This is an outdoor event and will take place come rain or shine, so it’s recommended that fans:
Check the weather forecast before leaving to attend the celebrations.
Wearing appropriate clothing for the weather.
If it’s sunny, bring sun cream, a hat, and drink lots of water.
If it’s raining, bring wet weather clothing as umbrellas are not allowed.
The weather forecast for this afternoon into the evening in Manchester city centre is predicting a combination of overcast skies and rain showers, with temperatures ranging from 12°C – 14°C.
For all travel advice – including details of bus diversions – refer to the TfGM website here.
Wrexham AFC announce Manchester United friendly with hilarious Sir Alex Ferguson video
Manchester United confirmed that they would be playing Wrexham AFC as part of their US tour on Tuesday, but the Welsh club’s Hollywood owners had a much better way of announcing the pre-season friendly.
While the Red Devils put out a simple statement revealing that one of their games would come against the resurgent Red Dragons, Wrexham‘s celebrity owners in Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney once again decided to put their acting to good use and inform their own fans of the upcoming match.
So, what’s the best way for a National League club to announce a massive fixture with one of the biggest sporting franchises in the world? Well, ideal scenario: getting a United legend and perhaps the greatest football manager of all time to help you do it would have quite the impact. Surely not?…
Yes, somehow, Rob and Ryan managed to convince Sir Alex Ferguson to be in the video and while they’re the ones known for their funny bones, it’s the gaffer who shines as the star of the show.
So good. We almost thought we were staring at a still image at one point and the gag was going to be along the lines of him not even being there while they wonder, ‘is he frozen’?, but the punchline was the perfect level of dry for Scotsman who is literally known for his infamous ‘hairdryer’.
Now, we’ve seen plenty of parodies and funny videos since the acting, writing and comedy-producing duo first bought the club back in November 2020, but I think it’s fair to say we never expected to see Sir Alex in a sketch.
Obviously, we’ve seen countless commercial ads involving United down the year working — including that time the players met Deadpool himself (remember that?) — but we can’t remember the legendary coach ever getting involved with these kinds of shenanigans before.
Suppose retirement has given him the free time to focus on the things he enjoys: i.e. more United.
As detailed in the video and United’s tour teaser at the start of the week, the two teams will be playing in a pre-season friendly at the Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego on July 25 later this year.
Not only will there be plenty of American Reds piling through the doors this summer, but there’s also sure to be a fair few transatlantic Wrexham supporters too, as the story of the club’s takeover has captured the attention of millions, especially after their hugely popular documentary series.
To make things even cooler, it isn’t the only connection between the Devils and the Dragons we’ve seen of late either, as former United keeper and Premier League veteran Ben Foster came out of retirement to sign for Wrexham 18 years on from his previous loan spell. What a coup
Reynolds even popped up in his latest matchday vlog. Wrexham really is one of the strangest sporting stories we’ve witnessed in quite some time.
Manchester United reject offers for Mason Greenwood as rep says he ‘should be allowed to move forward with his young life’
Manchester United have reportedly rejected a number of offers for Mason Greenwood as the club continues their internal investigation into his behaviour.
The club have reportedly received a number of offers for the young forward from Turkish teams in recent weeks and months while Greenwood has been suspended from playing or training. He has yet to return to the sport after charges of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm were dropped.
The charges handed down in January 2022 were ultimately dropped last month when key witnesses withdrew, more than a year on from the incident that was widely circulated on social media.
Now, following a behind-the-scenes feature by The Athletic and ‘new material’ leading the Crown Prosecution Service to drop the case for the foreseeable, it seems United are now the only party still investigating Greenwood, with his own team and figures around the club pushing for a resolution.
Speaking to Laurie Whitwell as part of the piece, one of Greenwood’s representatives argued that there is “no real substance” to the allegations, them “a mix of old news, speculation, half-truths and completely untrue claims.”
He went on to say, “Mason is 21, he has been cleared and should be allowed the opportunity to rebuild and move forward with his young life.”
Another source is also said to have told the outlet that the youngster has been fundamentally changed by the experience, insisting that he “would run through a brick wall” to be back playing at United.
As for the club’s stance, it remains to be seen what their final decision on his future will be, but it was reported earlier this month that a potential return is still “firmly under consideration” and his number 11 shirt has not yet been vacated as many would have expected if he was set to move on.
On the other hand, the article goes on to detail questions surrounding Greenwood’s conduct and general attitude during his relatively short time as a senior player too, the suggestion being that he was slacking in training because “he knew he was a good player”.
His attendance at Carrington is said to have been raised as an issue on more than one occasion and then-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær often covered for training sessions and games he missed after failing to turn up to the team hotel for “unexplained absences”.
Another source who watched him play aged just 16 also went on to reveal that Bradford-born academy product “wasn’t shy about telling someone they were s***”, apparently even calling out Cristiano Ronaldo as “dead [finished]” when he was still at Real Madrid.
Greenwood played over 100 senior games for United and was widely considered one of the brightest young prospects in England, let alone the club, but the career trajectory he looked to be on is widely different from the problematic position he finds himself in now, regardless of any offers from abroad.