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Pellegrini leaves door open regarding Lampard future

FrankLampardManCity1-ASRoma2014UCL (Getty)


This much is known: Frank Lampard is set to continue as a Manchester City player. What remains to be seen is just how long that will continue to be the case.

Man City took the opportunity to extend Lampard’s time with the team by extending the midfielder’s contract Wednesday, delaying the 36-year-old’s move to New York City FC until at least the conclusion of the Premier League season.

Even worse for NYC FC and their fans, manager Manuel Pellegrini left the door open for an extended stay with the club, despite declaring his sympathy to the fans of NYC FC.

“Maybe all the New York fans, and I understand perfectly, want to see Frank playing because for the fans in New York to see Frank play is an amazing thing,” Pellegrini told reporters following Man City’s 3-2 victory over Sunderland, in which Lampard scored the game-winning goal. “I hope that he will be there next year but I think that in this moment the best decision for him, for the club, for New York is to stay here with us.”

The Man City manager refused to elaborate further on the midfielder’s future while stating that no decision will be made until the end of the season.

“You are talking May or June? You cannot have all different questions about Frank Lampard,” Pellegrini said. “The questions about Frank Lampard are I think finished today. He will stay now with us until the end of the season.

“In May maybe you can start thinking about what will happen in the future. He will stay with us until May.”


What do you make of Pellegrini’s statements? When do you expect to see Lampard make his NYCFC debut?

Share your thoughts below.


    • Well said, my son. Well said. Continue to obey my commands and maybe there WILL be someone after me. Maybe, just maybe…YOU could be promoted up from US Soccer President to MLS Commissioner when I retire. The NFL billionaires and I have been discussing the possibility. But first, you must fullfil the holy prophecy and destroy the NASL rebels! Until that happens you will be stuck in your current lowly position. Trust the dark side, my son, and you will be able to smash all enemies!

  1. First- I’ve been a city fan for over a decade. I just wanted to put that out there. I also plan on being a strong NYCFC supporter. I watched the post-game press conference. My initial thoughts were that Pellegrini’s comments were taken out of context by the journalist. When Pellegrini mentioned that he hoped he’d have Lampard for next year it seemed to me that he was referring to his thoughts at the onset of the deal- in the past tense. It didn’t occur to me that he was saying that he was hoping to hold on to Frank for another season. Even if that’s what Pellegrini wanted, it seemed a really silly and uncharacteristic mistake from a manager who is generally cagey with the media. Then he absolutely botched the attempt to walk back his comments. At this point I’m torn. As an MCFC supporter I want City to have the best chance at a successful season and I understand where the team is w/ regards to Kun’s injury and Yaya’s impending ANC absence. As an NYCFC supporter I feel at a loss. I want Frank here at the beginning of the season. Period. That said- he’s one player. Quite frankly we’ve still got some very good pieces in place and I’m confident that our inaugural season can still be successful if he arrives later into the season. Call me an optimist.

    Finally I don’t agree with all of the comments that state that MLS is being made a fool of or that NYCFC is little more than a play thing for MCFC. Don Garber, Claudio Reyna, and Jason Kreis and the other members of the front office seem to be committed to getting NYCFC off the ground and running. These are serious guys dealing with a setback. They’ll manage it accordingly. All of these other doom and gloom scenarios seem to be a bit unjustified. IMHO, give these men time to figure this out before we rush to judgment.

    • Do understand that Garber and Reyna being “committed to getting NYCFC of the ground and running.” included telling outright lie’s about Lampard being signed by MLS and being “loaned” out. Apparently, Lampard was NEVER signed by MLS and still isn’t. It is not out of the question that people could sue MLS for false advertising with the intent to reap profits from jersey and ticket sales.

      It is the lying and misleading aspect of this, from MLS and NYCFC, that could cause damage moving forward. Ironically, it is MCFC whose hands are the cleanest. They are the ones holding the legal contract. MLS and NYCFC Fu*ked up.

      • It doesn’t matter, suckers! You may be upset now, but you’ll come crawling back! We offer the only top division teams in the country and that will NEVER change!! So suck it up and send in your season ticket deposits, ya buncha lemmings!! Bwaahahaha!!

  2. I am a Westchester County, NY resident, living about a half hour away from Yankee Stadium. Never been much of a RBNY fan, so here I am all ready to buy some tickets for me and the family to NYCFC this season. But this is really a joke. I am not interested in rooting for a farm team.

    If the folks at MCFC are trying to alienate people to might be inclined to become fans of NYCFC from day 1, they are doing an awfully good job. Screw them and their farm team.

    • You can find way less wasteful and more enriching ways of giving your money to foreigners.

      Here’s hoping that NYCFC is buried in the ruins of the new Yankee stadium.

  3. So if Manchester actually signed him and not New York doesn’t that refute peoples claims that Manchester is going to use New York as a way to get around financial fair play?

  4. It sounds like NYCFC took City Footbal Group on their word regarding what would happen with Frank Lampard. They all had a handshake agreement after Frank was signed to the short term contract with MCFC and that was that. They trusted the integrity of CFG, and probably the integrity of Frank Lampard as well.

    But can you blame them? They said all the right things and put up 500 million + for a new club. Who would have thought that they would shoot themselves in the foot by not delivering on key promises? Further, how do you ask your new employer, who took you over to train you in the ways of English Football and Manchester City culture, for a written contract since you can’t trust their integrity?

    I think that NYCFC is doing the only thing they can do and making the best of a bad situation that they did not see coming. So your anger, if directed at them, might be misguided. If anything you could be angry that they were a bit naive. Especially when you think about the billions that Sheikh Mansoor has pumped into the Premier League. That was always going to be the #1 priority.

    For NYCFC to maintain face, they will have to address this. Their relationship with MCFC will have to be defined and more transparency provided to fans. They should really operate as separate entities, each with unique goals and aspirations to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future.

  5. cosmos for life and i cant for cosmos to play red bulland nycfc.
    has anybody wonder why do red bull and nycfc fight over the same dps when they can just sign anyone.
    imagine if cosmos join the dp war.

  6. NYCFC is just Man City’s way of having a reserve club, but in an especially lucrative market where they can sell lots of merchandise and expand the MCFC brand. I’m starting to think that all the trouble they have had in locating a stadium site has less to do with real issues than with MCFC’s reluctance to spend $200 million on a stadium that they don’t really need to accomplish their goals.

    This fiasco is becoming Exhibit 1 in the case for revamping the MLS structure.

    • Seriously

      It’s reaching the point where we need to air out a lot of these uncompetitive, Mickey Mouse, “quirks”
      I want the CBA to really go the players’ way, even if that requires a strike. I want to see the Cosmos cause trouble during negotiations
      I want to see some kind of anti trust suit or a reopening of Fraser v MLS to knock down this single-entity ruse
      I want to see NASL teams offer college players better and better offers to light a fire under MLS

      20 seasons in. This current model has outgrown it’s purpose

  7. New ownership, please.

    Kill this thing in it’s crib and start over. No outside interests this time.

    No real New Yorker is going to support JV anything

  8. Tne problem is this….Lampard is NOT who MLS should be going after. Was it fun having Henry playing in NY…sure. But the idea that we.are going to build a base of fans long term with this strategy is wrong. Look at the Cosmos. Pele, 50K fans, great times. Cascadia had the Sounders and Whitecaps only drawing half of that with relative no names and Americans.

    Flash forward a few decades. Who is drawing ? Seattle with relative unknowns and Americans.

    Guys who want to see Lampard types can watch foreign leagues early Sat AM MLS needs tobegettingpeople excited about watching Rowe and Nagbe and Evans and….

      • Wow this comment is old. I forgot people still thought this. Watch the world cup much? Compare MLS average attendance to the rest of the world. top 10. TV revenue is increasing along with viewership, though that’s where most of the improvement is needed.

        This NYCFC stuff is tiresome. Apparently MLS didn’t learn it’s lesson from Chivas failures, but hopefully they’ll get with the program. Despite this, saying Americans don’t like soccer is actually funny… literally, it’s got to be a joke you were making.

  9. Don and the owners could send a powerful statement by nipping this in the bud.
    Give them the Chivas-treatment.
    Yes, I know how goofy that would look in the short run and how it could complicate the TV deal. But this could be the defining moment where MLS announces that they’re not a retirement village.

    You wanna be a great league, Don? This isn’t how you do it.
    You can’t grab anybody’s belt loop and follow them around the yard.

  10. As far as I can gather, Lampard never signed with MLS. He’s been a Man City player all this time… This is worse than MCFC just not giving him back on time – its MLS and Sheik whoever lying to the world and the NYCFC fanbase specifically. Lampard has been registered with the Prem since the beginning of this whole operation, and not “loaned” to MCFC, the way that Garber and MLS put it, just a few months ago. Huge misstep by everybody involved here.

    • Um…see, what had happened was…we thought y’all were too dumb to notice little details like that. We figured if so many of our bots, I mean fans, didn’t care about how we are monopolizing D1 and stunting its growth with spending limit agreements among our billionaire investors – while at the same time making loads of cash organizing summer friendlies featuring world class clubs whose salaries are paid by others – then you wouldn’t care about a little lie like this…

  11. A complete joke. Lampard wasn’t even signed by NYCFC/MLS despite them specifically stating he was. They lied and Garber knew all along but was blinded by the $100m. Where is the emergency press conference from him about how disrespectful this is to MLS? This is way worse than anything JK has ever said. Yet another embarrassment by Garber. He’s starting to lose it.

    All that said, anyone saying they want full refunds is being dramatic. Who buys season tickets just for one player? Villa is still there at least and I’m sure another big DP will be signed. And no doubt some solid players are sent on loan to NYCFC.

    • Not $100 million. $400 million for the club and a privately funded NYC stadium. $100 mil is chump change in MLS these days. But finding somebody willing to build a SSS in NYC had been impossible until the good Sheikh rode in.

      • Dude, clearly the $100m is the part going to MLS. The stadium is their own. So it has nothing to do with Garber. And to say $100m is chump change for MLS is ridiculous. How can you even say that seriously? Only NYCFC and LAFC have paid $100m or more.

      • That said, I do agree that the ownership group willing to drop that much coin on a SSS in NYC played into Garber’s blinders. But I was strictly trying to single out the immediate payment to MLS, the $100m record fee.

        When CFG discussed the Lampard contract internally, MLS would be in those conversations and would have known NYCFC actually never had a contract despite MLS, NYCFC, and CFG saying otherwise.

    • Y’all want big name, big money players, well, I think this is what happens when you want the player more than the player needs you. Or when we try and vicariously gain cred by latching on to existing teams and brands. The players can be mercenaries or have so much leverage they can dictate most everything they want.

      This is part of the reason I am pro-guarded growth. Players don’t come here looking for the money tree and retirement then, they come here to play because they want to. When you start trying to be bigger than your britches by association with names and brands other than your own, they get power to push you around.

  12. This is a joke

    I understand that the EPL is the best league in the world and that any player would want to have another shot at the title and the CL, but Lampard signed a contract to play for NYFC and no one forced his hand

    City is the second team in England’s second city and NY is the world’s biggest stage, if Lampard is serious about playing in MLS and helping to build the game here then he should show up and play, if not then stop wasting our time and stay where you are

    This makes you wonder if Man City owning the majority of NYCFC is tenable long term, NY fans deserve better than a minor league team, it did not work with Chivas USA and NYCFC is off to a bad start

      • Agreed Jim,

        But it is about what NYCII should be doing. Releasing Lampard…he needs NYC way worse than vice versa. Lampard types are dime a dozen. Teams that could be competitive not many

        This is about…CAN NYCII do that ?

      • nycfc has no contract with Lampard. What should they release him from????? They should make plans without him and move on, yes. However, they never had a contract with Frank. mcfc did, and now don’t want to pass him off to little bro like promised.

      • NYCFC can’t do anything that Man City doesn’t want there are no separate entities called Man City and NYCFC – it’s the same.

      • You are both wrong. Player contracts are with MLS, which is obviously a different entity that Man City. That’s why MLS apparently has no power in this-it appears that Lampard never had an MLS contract (or at least one that contained an enforceable start date clause). As for NYCFC, unless the Yankees own 30% of Man City, and they do not, then City and NYC are not the same entity.

      • Doesn’t work like that. Yum! owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, and many other major brands that are operated separately as their own corporations. They all have their own balance sheets, revenues, profits, etc. And like Adam said, you are forgetting the Yankees own a large percentage of NYCFC.

      • It’s not the same team. David Villa can’t go play for City right now without some sort of agreement being signed. You won’t see Agüero suiting up for NYCFC. They’re two different organizations.

        As if you needed any more proof than Lampard himself. He’s not tied to NYCFC in any way, shape or form right now.

        MLS decided to announce a player that’s not an MLS player, point blank. He has nothing to do with NYCFC.

      • Mansour will get what he wants.
        MLS “rules” are vapor

        The Calvinball committee could send Villa across the ocean tomorrow

        I mean if they actually signed Villa in the first place – who knows?

  13. He will stay till the season ends but not sign for another EPL season and nycfc needs him.
    Lampard wants to play for one last time in the champions and epl, and he wants to play with MLS sooner than later.
    The question is, who will be nycfc 3dp, red bull, galaxy’s and Orlando’s.

  14. These are direct quotes form sky sports:

    “Two keys points: The deal he initially signed with City was a short-term contract that took him up to December 31 and not a loan deal.

    And secondly, by signing the paperwork he is registered with the Premier League until the end of the season, meaning that he did not need to reregister once a new deal was done.

    And as it transpired, City wanted to keep him for longer and following negotiations with the MLS, New York City and his advisers, they were able to thrash out another short-term contract.”

    Does this mean that Lamp is actually not under contract with nycfc at all?!? An they would sign him and make him am official member at the end of the current season?

    For MLS, this is a disaster. But transparency is of the lowest priority according to their past decisions. This single handedly lowered the world’s respect for MLS. Teams with relationships like mcfc-nycfc should be banned. It’s only going to cause more problems.

    On a slightly different note, I think MLS should add teams from NASL or USL PRO if they’re thinking of expansion. Look at Orlando city, they had everything already to. There’s already a staff, a team, and fan. Just making a team out of thin air is a bigger risk.

    Just my opinion, but the SKY quotes really interested me. Do you guys think Garber new exactly what was going on?

    • OC doesn’t have a stadium yet. They’ll be playing in a big bowl stadium.

      MLS fuzzes the “who holds the contract” question sometimes. If MLS has him pre-signed they should put their foot down. This is not in the broader league interest. But this sounds like the team is dictating. Except I thought this was single entity, etc.

      • You saw the “yet” part I assume? He said, “they had everything already.” No, not really.

      • Must agree with Gerald, TIV you’ve been around long enough not to try splitting that hair: NYCFC is maybe-possibly-sorta finding a site to then try to request to purchase; the proposed Miami/MLS is still wandering in the wilderness; even a most-venerable MLS entity such as DC United have only now, after ten years, finally finalized their future stadium.

        But the new MLS franchise Orlando City has, at this very moment (1/2/15 at 5.34pm edt), construction crews, backhoes, and lots and lots of etc. building the new stadium.

        Split that hair all you want, but you have been around here long enough to admit there is a world of difference between what is happening in Orlando right now compared to the usual stadium rigmarole of the entire MLS era of the past twenty years, none of which is credibly hidden by the word “yet.”

  15. Is NYFC now ChivasUSA II on the east coast? Talk about no respect for NYFC. Good thing New York fans still have the Red Bulls to cheer.

    So why doesn’t NYFC just cut their losses and rip up any contract they have with Lampard? Let him stay in England and finish out his soccer playing days there and never bring him to NY. Obviously he doesn’t want to come to NY, ManCity doesn’t want him coming to NY, and possibly the owner doesn’t want him coming to NY. It’s time for NYFC to move on without Lampard.

    • This may be one big City hydra with multiple tentacles where in theory there are different teams but in reality it’s one organization pulling strings. In which case the dramatics are somewhere in between a charade and corporate infighting over an attractive employee both teams under one umbrella want. NYC wouldn’t likely “give up on” Lampard because he is theirs, just on some corporate timeframe and priorities they have to await. The timeframe is clearly being settled within the organization.

      My concern, for the fans, would be that this is diluting the first impression and may mean the team has to start the season leaving cap and roster room open for a player they can’t even use til x date.

    • Come on man – why doesn’t NYCFC rip up the contract? It’s the same entity! It’s the exact same club with multiple branches. He’ll be at NYCFC as soon as Man City doesn’t need him any more – and not a minute before.

  16. “… I think that in this moment the best decision for him, for the club, for New York is to stay here with us.”

    Total BS. What a worthless slimy organization. Down with NYCFC!

    • How dare you insult one of our outlets! We serve up good, wholesome, accessible, Americanized soccer at every one of our fine chain stores. There is nothing slimey about any of them. They are all held to vigorous quality standards set up by our close Soccer United Marketing good ole’ boy business partners – I mean, by the federation that objectively and fairly governs all the leagues – US Soccer.

  17. Nobody is surprised. Everyone understands that Lampard means more to MCFC right now, and that a preseason and first half of the league season is of much lower value.

    But it is also clear to everyone that these decisions erode the faith of the NYCFC fans, as they are being shown that they don’t matter in the situation and that is just the way it is.

  18. MLS is going to have a well defined growth cap if they allow teams to operate in this weird group system where the MLS team is treated as a minor league. Time to push the league out of the nest and see if it can stand on its own.

    • The blood in Jason Kreis must be starting to heat up. He’s going to bail on this “project” if Pellegrini takes whatever he wants from Kreis team. He’s probably talking to Reina right now about what they can do to make up for the loss of lampard until at least May. Kreis isn’t going to play games like this for long.

      • Yeah, Kreis left RSL for a bigger opportunity… He’s now the highest profile reserve team coach in MLS! Woohoo!

  19. I thought he was 36 not 34 which starts to affect the calculus on how long NYC can wait. If they wait until City has extracted ever last ounce of EPL out of him, or he gets hurt, it’s worthless to NYC. It also dilutes the NYC product for its first year competing with NYRB and looking for a home.

    But then this whole situation may be starting to hint at the pecking order. NYC2 in the abstract sounds nice enough but if it’s City leftovers in a baseball stadium it may be a harder sell. This starts to smell like Chivas.

  20. Sheikh Mansour FC is all one club and Manchester City trumps the others. Pellegrini isn’t shy about saying so. If David Villa has a great season next year, no doubt there’ll be some “loan” or something arranged in January to get him to the Etihad. Looks like Hempstead Cosmos aren’t the only minor league outfit in the area.

    I just don’t get why anyone is surprised. Lampard just scored the winner yesterday to move Man City level with Chelsea at the top of the PL table. You think the Sheikh would forgo those two points so that Frankie can play at the baseball stadium in March?

    • Ironically, whereas the Cosmos are a 2nd division club who act like they are 1st division , NYCFC is a 1st division club that acts like its 2nd division.

      This whole fiasco could not have been more embarrassing for MLS than if the Don issued a press release saying “We are 2nd rate & well aware of it.”


      • The Don got all cranky at Klinsmann for having the temerity to suggest that MLS is lower-tier compared to the big leagues in Europe. Guess what, Don? Your strident denial is contradicted by one of your investor/operators.

      • More interesting is how FAST he responded to Jurgen

        Now he’s hiding under his bed rather than speak to anyone

        nothing but silence from MLS

      • I don’t really agree with this part of it though. No one ever said MLS is as good as the Premier League or other top leagues in Europe and this doesn’t alter that equation either way. I genuinely believe that one day it can, and much sooner than a lot of people think. Whether partnerships like Man City/NYCFC are a smart way to get there is another matter.

    • Patience everyone. They will send him down to the minors when he can’t hack it in REAL major league soccer anymore. New York City Farm Club plays in Minor League Soccer. Be realistic, folks. Or is everyone really in that much denial?


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