Man City

#21

I think I’ve nearly had enough of football already this year and it’s only the 2nd of September.

This is completely farcical

#22

Brilliant.

#23

[quote=“Fran”]

This is completely farcical[/quote]

This is only the beginning. January will be interesting. Hughes will be gone by Christmas if they’re outside the top 4.

#24

I’m not sure Messi, Robinho, Ronaldo and Torres can all be accomodated in the same team. No doubt this will be very concerning for season ticket holders at Eastlands.

#25

I’m not sure 18 players can be accommodated in the one team, which is the minimum he thinks he needs.

#26

I hope they dont sign that diving goofy twunt !! and that is the truth

Ronaldo = CUNT !!!

#27

Good article from the Guardian

How City became a trophy brand for greater glory of Abu Dhabi
The Premier League’s seductive entertainment provides opportunities for a new form of social climbing
David Conn
September 2, 2008 11:43 PM
Amid the deluge of news as Manchester City became an oil-rich club it was striking that the new Abu Dhabi owners did not speak too sweetly about the club itself, its heritage and identity, or the sentiments of its supporters.

In most football club takeovers new owners carefully stress how much they value the traditions of the club, and cherish the fans’ loyalty. Think of Thaksin Shinawatra’s purchase of City last year or when Tom Hicks and George Gillett walked on to the Anfield pitch wearing Liverpool scarves.

Little of that featured in Sulaiman Al Fahim’s statements about the purchase of City by his Abu Dhabi United Group, a vehicle, apparently, for some of the trillion pound oil wealth amassed by the principality’s ruling Al Nahyan family. Al Fahim said he would “solve all the club’s problems” and “clear any pending payments,” suggesting that City were indeed seriously overspending under Thaksin, and he backed his bold talk of making City a top-four team by pouring enough money in to pluck Robinho out of Roman Abramovich’s wallet.

Al Fahim was perhaps being more honest than most buyers, not claiming there was anything special about City, acknowledging that his backers “were attracted to the Premier League itself” and might have bid for Arsenal, Liverpool or Newcastle United. Nor did he declare that he or any Al Nahyan is, or has ever been, a dedicated follower of English football. The reason for the purchase of City was made quite clear: it is for the greater glory of Abu Dhabi.

“By engaging into sport’s investment, ADUG aims to reinforce Abu Dhabi’s position as a capital of both sport and economic development through … supporting the emirate’s sports,” the group’s statement said, “and attracting the world’s attention to the United Arab Emirates through this purchase of one of the oldest English clubs.”

This extraordinary acquisition, the first by Arab potentates, looks to be launching the Premier League into yet another new financial era, in which more top clubs are likely to be bought as “trophy brands” - owned for the glory they reflect - by the billionaire sheikhs of the Middle East. Dubai International Capital, the investment arm of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is still holding out to buy Liverpool from Hicks and Gillett, and with the credit crunch squeezing the money available to western investors, these “sovereign wealth funds,” investing rulers’ fortunes, are wielding burgeoning power.

For decades, England’s professional clubs were owned by local businessmen - also buying prestige - until in the mid-1990s, after the Premier League clubs broke away so as not to share the new TV fortunes paid by BSkyB, several chairmen made millions by floating their clubs on the Stock Exchange.

The City quickly lost interest in all the football plcs except Manchester United, but even though the others struggled to make a profit as they spent to compete, their value, and attractiveness to investors, grew because of the Premier League’s glittering success, beamed worldwide by satellite.

The recent buyers have been a mix; Abramovich, the Russian oligarch, bought Chelsea as a hobby, and, many have speculated, to gain acceptance in the west. Hicks and Gillett, and the Glazer family who bought Manchester United, did so for business, purchasing prime “brands” whose values will rise in a globally expanding sport.

Thaksin Shinawatra’s acquisition of City last year was also financially driven - and he appears to have turned a meaty profit by selling to ADUG, despite this being much sooner than he would have liked and in adversity. Thaksin is also assumed to have wanted City to boost his profile in Thailand, where he was fighting for his reputation, money and freedom, after being ousted as Prime Minister in a military coup, charged with corruption offences and having had his assets frozen.

Yet all the goodwill trips by City to Thailand, the hosting of the Thai national team, the happy birthday message to the king of Thailand on the Eastlands scoreboard, have not helped Thaksin fight off prosecution, or gain access to his frozen money. Reluctantly he was forced to sell, and he and his associates turned to the sheikhs, who are said to regard Thaksin well.

The executives he installed at City are also well-connected in the region. Pairoj Piempongsant, who was pictured concluding the deal with Al Fahim on Monday holding the blue shirt with Abu Dhabi United on the back (an image which perhaps did not send quite the signal they intended), has been particularly influential. A businessman who gained prominence during Thailand’s 1980s economic boom, Pairoj and another of Thaksin’s City appointments, the Yale and Harvard educated Jack Srisumrid, are directors of Empire Asia, a financial consultancy with offices in Bangkok and Dubai, which specialises in takeovers and claims “an extensive network of relationships” in the Middle East."

Pairoj has made good on the promise to find for City a phenomenally wealthy backer. Sources close to the deal say Thaksin will retain 25% of the club, and Al Fahim said Thaksin would have a position as “honorary president”, with no decision-making power. So Thaksin will retain his involvement and association with Manchester City, but be clear of the Premier League’s “fit and proper person test” if he is convicted of the first corruption charge when the verdict is delivered in a fortnight. The test excludes anybody with a criminal conviction, but applies only to directors and holders of over 30% of a club’s shares.

The Abu Dhabi ruling family will take possession of a solid Premier League “brand”, in a new 48,000 capacity stadium already built - by Manchester City Council. The Al Nahyans buy familiarity in the west, too; Amnesty International submitted a report to the United Nations in July raising concerns about alleged human rights abuses in the UAE, including execution by stoning, the flogging of a teenage girl for “illicit sex,” torture of prisoners and harassment of human rights activists, in a country a long way from democracy. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s current president, is a reformer, who has promised “a political system based on consultation, justice and security,” but not votes for the people. As Al Fahim said, ownership of City “attracts the world’s attention to Abu Dhabi” - via one of the globe’s most seductive entertainments, Premier League football.

In its essence, this motive is not so different from the social climbing of the old style chairmen, like Peter Swales, who made his fortune, such as it was, in rented tellies in the 1960s. He was City’s intensely unpopular chairman for years. Football club ownership, though, has become global, involving dizzying amounts of money, and mass ownership of television has made it happen.

For City fans, the dominant moods yesterday were, withouth doubt, giddy and delighted. There are, though, a drowned-out few feeling uneasy, that when they fell in love with football and the sky blue shirt many moons ago, were not signing up for a game of my-billionaire-is-richer-than-yours.

#28

According to SSN they actually made a 50m bid for Torres on Monday. Aswell as Torres, Ronaldo, Messi and Fabregas they’re also going to sign Kaka in January. They’re obviously either ok for defenders and goalkeepers or else the crazy Arab can’t think of any household name who play’s in his team’s own half.

#29

I wouldnt mind a keeper, wonder if he’ll go for Cassillas?

#30

Anyone got a link to a pic of the “United” City Jersey

#31

I presume you’re talking about this?

Its not a City jersey as you can see. Its an Adidas jersey with those words on the back. The full wording is of course Abu Dhabi United Group.

#32

Thats the one, I had heard that it was a city jersey.

#33

Nah, this is the back of the current City jersey

http://www.middle-east-online.com/pictures/big/_27648_manchester-city.jpg

This is a different shot of the ABUG jersey

http://sg.yimg.com/xp/afp/20080902/15/1241346725.jpg

#34

Jaysus…

The former Manchester City defender David Sommeil has emerged from a
two-week coma brought on when he suffered a cardiac arrest at the
Valenciennes training ground.

#35

Ronaldo ‘to end his career at City with 140,000-a-week deal’

Brazil striker Ronaldo is considering a lucrative offer from Manchester City that would see him become the club’s ambassador once his playing days are over.

The 31-year-old would initially be given a one-year deal worth 140,000 a week with the option to spend the rest of his career at Eastlands.

Heading for City: Ronaldo is rumoured to ready to sign a 140,000 a week contract
Brazilian coach Carlos Roberto, who works as part of City’s scouting network in Brazil, says a close associate of former owner Thaksin Shinawatra has presented the deal to Ronaldo.

Carlos Roberto said the the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year would have to give City an answer ‘in the next few days’, adding:

'Pairoj (Piempongsant) met with Ronaldo and demonstrated how much he admires his talent.

‘The project would be for Ronaldo to end his (playing) career at club and then continue working for them.’ The former Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter Milan marksman has not played since rupturing ligament in his left kneecap during a match for AC Milan in February.

But Ronaldo has clinically recovered and is back in training with Flamengo, the Rio de Janeiro team which he supports.

The Brazilian club had hoped to make him a permanent addition to their squad but cannot compete with the spending power of City’s new Abu Dhabi-based owners.

Ronaldo would be able to sign for City before the transfer window re-opens in January because he has been a free agent since his contract with Milan expired at the end of June.

His rehabilitation is going well but he is keen for his girlfriend, Maria Beatriz Antony, to give birth to his second child before he leaves Brazil.

Fabiano Farah, the player’s agent, said: 'Ronaldo is clinically fine, but is now getting back to full fitness. He is very well and close to being ready to play.

'He is as determined as he was in 2002, when he got over a serious injury that affected him a long time.

‘That year, he came back to win the World Cup. He wants to be the same player he was at that time. He wants to keep winning titles, win the Champions League and be the best player in the world again.’

Eastlands boss Mark Hughes has indicated he would be interested in bringing him to Eastlands as long as he does not just see it as an end-of-career payday.

Ronaldo would become the fifth Brazilian at City. Midfielder Elano joined from Shakhtar Donetsk last summer and striker Jo, 21, signed for a then club-record 19million from CSKA Moscow in June.

The coup of Robinho’s 32.5m dealine-day capture from Manchester City overshadowed the signing earlier in the day of 25-year-old Brazilian centre-back Glauber, who joined from Nuremberg on a one-year deal.

Ronaldo has scored 74 times in 112 internationals. He is the highest scorer in World Cup history with 15 in 19 games, including a golden-boot-winning eight in 2002, when his double ensured Brazil beat Germany in the final to claim their record-breaking fifth title.

#36

Terrible for city if that goes through. He has looked like shit for the last couple of years. Can’t see him recovering enough to be a worthwhile addition to the squad. And Hughes would have to play him all the time. Fookin Circus.

#37

140k, if its true Ronaldo would be a fool not to take it.

Crazy stuff really.

#38

All done…

City end interest in Ronaldo
Tuesday, 16 September 2008 09:39
Manchester City will not be signing Brazil legend Ronaldo.

Reports have emerged from South America that the out-of-contract 31-year-old had accepted an offer from City to join fellow countrymen Robinho and Jo at Eastlands.

However, while executive chairman Garry Cook did meet the player and club officials carried out medical checks on a knee ligament injury Ronaldo sustained in February, the club will not be completing a deal.

‘We had shown a past interest in bringing the player to the football club in the right circumstances and spoke to him and his representatives,’ admitted a club spokesperson.

‘However, we have chosen not to pursue the matter.’

While some City fans might be disappointed at the news, most will be relieved.

Recent photographs of the former World Cup winner indicate he is way over his ‘fighting’ weight and unlikely to challenge Robinho or Jo for a first-team place.

And it also shows manager Mark Hughes is being allowed to manage the club his way.

Hughes never got involved in the high-profile courting of Ronaldinho during the summer and signing Ronaldo makes even less sense.

His stated aim is to bring in players who still have a desire to make an impact at the highest level, a description that would not appear to apply in Ronaldo’s case.

City’s takeover by the Abu Dhabi-based United Group for Development and Investment is due to be completed this week but it will be January before they can make any further meaningful additions to Hughes’ squad.

In the meantime, the Blues will head to Cyprus for Thursday’s UEFA Cup clash against Omonia Nicosia, with Robinho looking to build on his memorable debut day strike against Chelsea on Saturday even if the eventual defeat was not what City wanted.

#39

[quote=“myboyblue”]And it also shows manager Mark Hughes is being allowed to manage the club his way.

Hughes never got involved in the high-profile courting of Ronaldinho during the summer and signing Ronaldo makes even less sense.[/quote]

That’s a bit ridiculous to be honest. It doesn’t prove Hughes is being allowed to manage the club his way at all in my opinion. It doesn’t appear that he sanctioned the initial interest at all, nor did he seem to decide not to pursue the deal after talks with Ronaldo. This Garry Cook guy in tandem with the owners seems to be trying to sign all these ‘globally recognised’ players as part of their aim to become ‘the biggest club in the world’. I guess Hughes signed the likes of Ben Haim and whoever but the effort to bring in the real big names looks like it’s being carried out completely above his head.

#40

Speaking of Ben Haim, cant see him staying at the Club for much longer…