Manchester City are “unrecognisable” from the club they were prior to Sheikh Mansour’s arrival, concedes Kit Symons, with the former defender delighted to see the Blues rise above arch-rivals United as the “dominant force” in the city.
Such a standing appeared to be a pipedream for many years, with the Red Devils enjoying an era of unprecedented success under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson.
There has, however, been a considerable turning of the tide in Manchester, with Mansour’s takeover in 2008 allowing City to benefit from the riches of a billionaire owner.
Sizeable investment has been made in the construction of a star-studded squad, with the Blues landing four Premier League titles in the space of seven years. Three of those have been collected since Ferguson headed into retirement at Old Trafford during the summer of 2013.
Having once been branded “noisy neighbours” by United’s legendary former boss, City are now the top dogs in Manchester.
That was certainly not the case during Symons’ time with the club, with three years spent at Maine Road between 1995 and 1998, but the former Wales international is pleased to see the Blues making the most of the opportunities they have been given.
Symons told the Manchester Evening News: "The football club is unrecognisable but in a good way.
"Firstly, they have a different ground, a different stadium, a different training ground, so many different people that changed that were working at the club and I think the only constant is the supporters. That stayed. It’s a totally different club because they have world-class players coming in but a football club is the supporters in my opinion.
"I am just really pleased to see City as a dominant force in Manchester and I love seeing them winning titles and cups and picking up silverware. I am pleased for everyone concerned.
"The City supporters are brilliant, simply fantastic and deserve all the success they’ve had over the recent years because they turned up in huge numbers when it wasn’t going well."
City secured an historic domestic treble under the guidance of Pep Guardiola in 2019, but have been knocked off a lofty Premier League perch by Liverpool this season and have work to do when it comes to closing that gap and covering the loss of key men such as Vincent Kompany and David Silva.