If you believe Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, however, it will have to overcome the fact that it's 'a small club with a small mentality'.
Whatever your opinion of City on the pitch, the club's ambitious plans to become a global brand capable of challenging Barcelona, Liverpool and Real Madrid have taken a hit following marketing chief David Pullan's departure.
As we reveal in our cover story, Pullan has left a little over a year after taking up the top marketing role, during which he has been working to boost the club brand around the world and increase its supporter base. His tenure coincided with a period of unparalleled prosperity following its acquisition by Arabian trillionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and seemingly endless investment has attracted top players.
Meanwhile, in the boardroom, Pullan has made use of the sheikh's deep pockets to roll out fresh marketing initiatives, including revamping the Manchester City website and partnering with Endemol to devise TV initiatives aimed at strengthening the brand overseas.
Despite Pullan's best efforts, however, the club still has a long way to go to fulfil its global business ambitions. The fact remains that its relative lack of success on the pitch over the past few decades has made it difficult for the brand to travel into new markets.
There is no doubt that Manchester City will have to choose its next marketing director carefully for Cook to be satisfied. However, it is going to take more than marketing nous and big budgets for the club to emerge from Manchester United's shadow. In short, it's going to take goals, and lots of them.