Man City will 'never be as big' as Man Utd

David Gill formed as successful partnership with Alex Ferguson during his time as Man Utd boss
David Gill formed as successful partnership with Alex Ferguson during his time as Man Utd boss

Former Manchester United chief executive has claimed their local rivals Manchester City will never overhaul the Old Trafford giants in the worldwide popularity stakes.

City's vast financial potential has allowed them to join the Premier League elite since the takeover of Sheikh Mansour and his Abu Dhabi based consortium in 2008, with the two league titles they have claimed in 2012 and 2014 evidence of their rising strength on the field.

Yet Gill suspects City may never be able to match United's vast commercial power around the globe, as he offered these comments when speaking at a Manchester school.

“I’m not being arrogant here but it (Manchester City) will never be as big as Manchester United in Asia and certain markets," stated Gill in comments appearing in the Manchester Evening News.

“Look at Liverpool, the club haven’t won the league for so many years, but they are very popular in Asia.

"The big teams with history and heritage, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid, have that.”

Gill went on express his admiration for the organisation that has been put in place at City, as he suggested the recently discovered wealth was good for the Premier League.

“What they’ve done in conjunction with the Manchester city council in east Manchester is fantastic," he added.

“If Sheikh Mansour decided he wanted to sell the club tomorrow, what he’s left there, in terms of the development of that whole area, is unbelievable and is great testament to what they have done.

“Clearly, they have raised their game and it is a very well run club.

“It’s very exciting for the Premier League. They will, without a doubt, be a long term player and a force to be reckoned with for many years.

“And I think Manchester United have got to respond to that as well as other clubs.”