BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 17:57 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 18:57 UK

Man City buyers complete takeover

Khaldoon Al Mubarak
Khaldoon Al Mubarak will be Man City's new chairman

Manchester City's new owners have completed their takeover negotiations and vowed to create a lasting dynasty.

The Abu Dhabi United Group is backed by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

In an open letter to fans, Sheikh Mansour said: "Negotiations are complete and the transfer of ownership will take place on Tuesday."

New chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak promised stability, saying: "We are not going to do crazy stuff, but it makes sense for us to build a dynasty."

He added: "(Executive chairman) Garry Cook and manager Mark Hughes call the shots and we're here to help build a sustainable club. I think we are going to have a blast doing it!"

Far from looking to bring in their own man on the back of the takeover, Al Mubarak promised City's fans that the group see Hughes as integral to the club's future success.

We are building a structure for the future not just a team of all-stars

Sheikh Mansour

"Mark is as good as they get and we are backing him all the way," he said.

"He is an honest man, he's a leader, he's tough and he is everything you would want in a head coach. We trust him, he's one of the gems we saw in this club once we came here.

"We are here as long-term investors, and with our backing, with the commitment we are going to make to the academy in the next 10 years, there is going to be a tremendous period for Manchester City and for us."

Al Mubarak also stressed to fans that he and the new owners will not interfere in team affairs.

Hughes is reassured by the new chairman

He said: "Mark makes the football decisions and we are here to learn.

"One thing I have made very clear to Mark is that any player he wants comes from him. It comes from his requirements, his plan for the club. I'm a fan, but I am not an expert.

"It is Mark who runs the club, and he will put a plan together to win trophies but we will be patient.

"As long as it is being managed properly and the players are doing what they need to do, then it will take whatever it takes."

The group has bought City from UK Sports Investments Ltd, which was led by former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thaksin will retain a 10% stake in the club and become City's honorary president, BBC Sport understands.

He will also have a "partner" on the board - either his sister, Yingluck, or his close ally, Jack Srisumrid.


Sheikh Mansour, who is a member of the Royal Family in Abu Dhabi, confirmed that he would not be demanding immediate success and promised the club would continue to invest in home-grown talent and "not just a team of all-stars".

In a statement on the club's website he said: "We are ambitious for the club, but not unreasonably so.

"We understand it takes time to build a team capable of sustaining a presence in the top four of the Premier League and winning European honours.

"We know a little of the history at City also and whilst we want to bring in the best players in the world, we also want to see the academy continue to develop talent and give Mark Hughes the chance to bring home-grown players into the team.

Premiership football is one of the best entertainment products in the world and we see this as a sound business investment

Sheikh Mansour
"We are building a structure for the future not just a team of all-stars."

Sheikh Mansour admitted his investment in the Premier League club was a personal venture rather than a state project and pledged his long-term commitment to City.

"In cold business terms, Premiership football is one of the best entertainment products in the world and we see this as a sound business investment," he said.

"That being said, we understand that we need to put money in to get the club to where we believe it can be and where we think you the fans want it to be.

"I am also a long-term investor and that is probably more important to the club and to you [the fans] because it means we are here for the long haul and that we will act always in the best interests of the club and all of its stakeholders, but especially the fans."

see also
Man City 6-0 Portsmouth
21 Sep 08 |  Premier League
Hughes joy as City 'set standard'
21 Sep 08 |  Premier League
Man City takeover close - Hughes
17 Sep 08 |  Man City
Man City to stick with youth plan
08 Sep 08 |  Man City
Man City boss cools transfer talk
04 Sep 08 |  Man City
Robinho aims for title with City
02 Sep 08 |  Man City
Ownership rules concern FA chief
12 Sep 08 |  Football
Arab group agrees Man City deal
01 Sep 08 |  Man City
Arabian might at Eastlands
02 Sep 08 |  Man City
FA neutral on foreign ownership
27 Nov 06 |  Football

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites