UK & World News

  • 11 May 2014, 11:05

Man City On The Brink Of Premier League Glory

Manchester City will seal their second Premier League title in three seasons with a draw or better in their final game of the season against West Ham today.

After one of the closest seasons in decades only Liverpool can deny City.

But they will need to beat Newcastle and hope City lose to earn their first title in 24 years.

While City are expected to triumph, the Premier League is taking no chances.

Two trophies and sets of winners' medals have been prepared and will be delivered to the Etihad and Anfield by separate presentation teams.

The winners will receive record prize money of £95m, a 60% increase on last year following a massive rise in the value of domestic and international broadcast deals.

The club finishing bottom, Cardiff or Fulham, will receive £63m, more than Manchester United got for winning the title last season.

Norwich will also be relegated.

In an unpredictable season five teams have exchanged the lead 25 times, but City are justifiably strong favourites to hang on to an advantage they have held for just 15 days.

Victory would underline City's elevation to the English and European elite, a rise funded by unprecedented spending by their owners, the Abu Dhabi ruling family.

They have spent more than £1bn on transfer fees and wages since they bought the club in 2008, and have built the foundations of what could become a period of dominance.

City appear to have timed their run perfectly, winning their last four games to capitalise on Liverpool's faltering form in the last fortnight.

They went top on Wednesday night, 48 hours after Liverpool threw away a 3-0 lead to draw at Crystal Palace.

It would also be a significant personal triumph for City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who could end his first season in charge at the Etihad with the title.

He would become the first Chilean manager to win the league, and only the third overseas coach to win it in their first season in charge, following Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, both of whom achieved the feat at Chelsea.

In a nomadic career Pellegrini has managed 11 clubs in five countries, including a year in Quito, Ecuador, the world's highest capital city.

Guiding City to the summit of the Premier League will count as his greatest achievement.

His has been an understated but effective campaign.

While attention focussed on Jose Mourinho's return, Liverpool's renaissance and Manchester United's decline, Pellegrini and his players have remained in contention, and had the stamina, experience and poise to take the opportunity when it arose.

A victory parade has been planned in Manchester for Monday, but it may be overshadowed by disciplinary action from Uefa.

City have been fined £50m for breaches of Financial Fair Play rules that limit clubs' spending, and will also face limits on their Champions League squad next season.

Negotiations between City and Uefa broke up on Friday with no resolution, and the club may yet challenge the verdict.

Confirmation of the outcome is expected on Monday.

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