Wednesday 24 September 2008
Last Update 24 September 2008 12:00 am
LONDON: Manchester City’s chairman- designate Khaldoon Al Mubarak said yesterday the club’s new owners plan to build a dynasty over the next 10 years, with manager Mark Hughes the key to sustained success.
In a statement on the Premier League club’s website (www.mcfc.co.uk), Al Mubarak promised City’s long-suffering fans: “Nothing rash is going to happen, we are not going to do crazy stuff.
“We will work with (executive chairman) Garry Cook and Mark. They call the shots and we are here to support to help build a sustainable club.
“Mark is as good as they get and we are backing him all the way. He 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 Mark who makes the football decisions. We are here as long-term investors, and it makes sense for us to build a dynasty. Between Mark and Garry, I think we have a dynasty in the making.
“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. And I think we are going to have a blast doing it!”
The takeover of the club from previous owner Thaksin Shinawatra will be completed later yesterday leaving Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan and his Abu Dhabi United Group as the men in charge at the City of Manchester Stadium.
The arrival of the Middle Eastern billionaire makes City the league’s richest club-taking the mantle held by Chelsea for the last five years under Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
The Manchester club’s new owners signalled their intentions on the final day of the transfer window by bringing Brazil forward Robinho to Eastlands from Real Madrid for a British record transfer fee of 32.5 million pounds ($59.95 million).
City have started the new season well and are fifth in the standings after thrashing Portsmouth 6-0 on Sunday.
Al Mubarak added: “We are genuine people and we want to develop this club in a sustainable manner.
“Mark 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. “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.”
City have been champions of England twice, in 1937 and 1968, won the FA Cup four times, the European Cup Winners’ Cup once and the League Cup twice. Their second League Cup win in 1976 was their last major honor.
Ten years ago they spent a season in the third tier of the English league system and although City have been back in the Premier League for seven seasons, they have been overshadowed for decades by neighbors Manchester United.
Al Mubarak wants the domination enjoyed by United-the European and Premier League champions-to end and said City can be successful by developing their own young players.
“My mandate from Sheikh Mansour was to spend as much time as I could with the academy.
“I have promised him that I’ll do what I can to ensure that this academy is the best-not just in England, but in Europe.”