Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Tueart's American Dreams ; Former City Star Explains Why New York Is the Perfect Destination

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Tueart's American Dreams ; Former City Star Explains Why New York Is the Perfect Destination

Article excerpt

DENNIS Tueart thrived in the Big Apple - now he believes City can conquer it. The deposed Premier League champions may have lost their supremacy on English shores for now - but plans to expand into the United States are evidence that their Abu Dhabi owners remain intent on global domination.

Tueart left Maine Road for the New York Cosmos in 1978 in a move that would see him replace Pele at the iconic club.

He spent two seasons in America during the golden period for the sport in that country when it could attract world stars like Franz Beckenbauer, George Best and Bobby Moore.

Both football and the Cosmos eventually collapsed Stateside - but Tueart remains convinced that the US is an untapped market.

Sheikh Mansour clearly agrees, which is why he is ready to pump as much as Pounds 300m into the launch of New York-based team.

"I played over there for two years and we averaged gates of nearly 48,000," said Tueart. "The first final we played in was sold out with 75,000 spectators.

When Argentina won the World Cup in 1978 they played the New York Cosmos at Giants Stadium. It was a full house.

"We were Hollywood on the road. We played in front of 80,000 people in Indonesia, in front of 45,000 in Melbourne, Australia and there were 45-50,000 in Japan. It was phenomenal."

The Cosmos' are now the stuff of legend, but their model proved to be unsustainable and they ceased competing in 85. It was a classic case of boom and bust.

The demise of the NASL saw interest in the US disappear - and while Major League Soccer and big names like David Beckham and Thierry Henry have helped rebuild the game, there has been nothing to compare to the worldwide appeal of the Cosmos.

The landscape is very different now.

While the success of the sport in the 70s was based on importing superstar names from across the globe, these days it is the promise of what the US can offer the rest of the world that is so intriguing.

For City the States could provide a major new revenue stream as a growing market.

NBC have agreed a threeyear deal worth Pounds 160m to screen the Premier League in America from next season. That is about three times more than the previous agreement with Fox Sports and ESPN. …

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