Hiroyuki Yuzuki / Marubeni Europe PLC Risley Office
Having been posted here for over two years, I can say that Manchester is firstly synonymous with rain. Even in England, a country famous for its wet weather, above all things it is a region famous for having a lot of rain, to the extent that if you say to a Briton “I come from Manchester,” the reply will be “Ah, rainy Manchester, right?” The heavy rainfall owes to the influence of the mountainous area on its east side called the Peak District. But the Peak District is not all bad; it is also a national park sporting fine views. The area contains typical English country towns, pastoral land, a multitude of footpaths, the manor houses of nobles, and interesting places such as limestone caverns which were once mined for their mineral ore.
The next thing associated with Manchester must be football. Manchester is home to two teams, “United” and “City.” United is a world renowned club. In 2006, it had operating profits of 10 billion yen, with player salaries totaling 20 billion yen. This was the largest operating profit of any soccer club in the world. And its no wonder, with sellout crowds without exception at every game held at the 76,000 seat home stadium of Old Trafford, despite ticket prices of between 7,000 and 10,000 yen.
This is astounding considering the scale of the city of Manchester, and one can admire how much the English love their football. On the other hand “City,” Manchester’s publicly-owned club, is a mid-sized club in the Premiere League. These days, the possibility that it will be bought out by the former prime minister of Thailand has been in the news. “Thais taking over a Premiere League club?” you might wonder, but currently the Premiere League is a powerful investment target that is attracting the attention of rich people from around the world.
Manchester is an hour’s plane ride from London, and two hours by train. If you find yourself in London, how about stretching your legs and watching a football match under the light drizzle of Manchester?
Marubeni Group magazine "M-SPIRIT" VOL.41 (September, 2007)