Abu Dhabi kjøpte Manchester City

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Abu Dhabi investors buy Manchester City

A group of Abu Dhabi investors agreed to buy Manchester City on Monday from Thaksin Shinawatra, the former Thai prime minister, in a deal that highlights the global interest in owning football clubs in the English Premier League.

Within hours of the deal, the new owners displayed their ambition and deep pockets by signing Robinho, the Brazilian forward, from Real Madrid for a reported £32.5m. The player had been sought by Chelsea.

Manchester City confirmed that a memorandum of understanding between the two parties had been signed and Abu Dhabi would begin due diligence.

Few further details were disclosed but the Abu Dhabi group wasted no time in seeking a top signing on the final day of the transfer window ? bidding more than £30m for Tottenham Hotspur?s Dimitar Berbatov in an unsuccessful attempt to trump Manchester United, before making the Robinho catch.

?We see Man City as a top-four club,? said Sulaiman al-Fahim, who represents the new owner. ?The quality of the players we?re going to buy over the next four months is going to change the team and the image of the club.?

Mr Fahim, one of the more colourful characters in the United Arab Emirates capital, runs Abu Dhabi-based Hydra Properties and presents an Apprentice-style reality TV show called Hydra Executives, leading him to be dubbed by some people as Abu Dhabi?s Donald Trump.

Manchester City said: ?A further statement will be released when it is appropriate to do so.?

Some of the leading Premier League clubs, such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, West Ham and Aston Villa have been snapped up by overseas investors. Mr Thaksin last month jumped bail and fled into exile in the UK rather than face trial at home on corruption charges.

Mr Fahim told the FT he would meet the club?s management and Premier League officials this week to outline plans for the club?s development.

He also said he hoped to seal the transfer of a couple of players before the transfer window closed on Monday night.

The deal is one of the most high-profile private deals to emerge from the United Arab Emirates? capital, one of the richest cities in the world.

The Abu Dhabi government institution have gone on an extensive spending spree in recent years, recycling hundreds of billions of petrodollars on trophy assets and companies that it hopes will help diversify the oil-dependent economy. However previous investments have been restricted to UAE stocks and property.

A fan of Al Ain and Al Jazeera football clubs in the UAE, Mr Fahim declined to say who he supported in the Premier league prior to the deal. ?I am now a massive Man City fan,? he said.

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Gro Anita

35, Nøtterøy

Jeg er verdens heldigste! Giftet meg 11.11.11 i Dubai med MANNEN I MITT LIV, har to flotte barn: Oscar 07 og Hermine Victoria 10, og vi bor i drømmehuset vårt. Jeg elsker jobben min som flyvertinne, elsker mine venninner, elsker interiør og shopping og ferier og kafeturer og middager. Denne bloggen kommer nok til å handle en del om familielivet, "THE WEDDING" og meg generelt... Er verdens lykkeligste:-) For spørsmål: groanita77@hotmail.com

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