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Football

The way Man City rose to be the global football empire (Part 2)

Mansour is the half-brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MbZ). MbZ is considered the current head of the UAE, when President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has suffered health problems since 2014. The Al Nahyan family has not interfered with the management of Man City, which they assigned to their subordinates.

When Mansour bought Man City, MbZ sent Simon Pearce to be one of the directors. According to an investigation by Der Spiegel (Germany), Pearce is a PR expert of MbZ, responsible for implementing ghost sponsorship contracts for Man City. He represented Abu Dhabi in negotiations, but still needed Khaldoon to pass decisions. “OK, let’s go,” sometimes Khaldoon just needs to text.

Pearce and his Manchester City directors drew enough ways to manipulate the contract, dealing with Financial Fairness laws. Their secret activities are all codenamed. They are willing to resolve foreign affairs with tacit agreements.

The appointment of Guardiola is also an understatement. The contract between Man City and Guardiola was signed on October 10, 2015. The Spanish strategist earned £ 13.5 million ($ 17.6 million) in the first year, rising to £ 16.75 million in the following years. The unusual point is not in the salary, but at the time of signing. Meanwhile, Guardiola entered the new season for only two months, as Bayern Munich coach.

A few weeks later, a Sunday Mirror reporter wrote that City’s football director – Txiki Begiristain – met Guardiola in Barcelona. He released the news: “Begiristain and Guardiola are negotiating a contract”. This news is of course wrong. The contract has been signed.

Man City spokesman Simon Heggie immediately wrote to the leaders: “I have called and asked the reporter to remove the article.” A moment later, Heggie said the story had been removed. “I will correct it with other papers,” he added. This helps Man City control the time to announce the contract – February 2016.

Control is Man City’s motto. They control the pitch, and the media. The leaders understand that the team and the Abu Dhabi owners are always skeptical. With a professional PR team, Man City prevents a lot of unfavorable information targeting them. The British press – a country claiming to be the source of modern democracy and law – received a rave review of Abu Dhabi owners. But in the UAE, adulterers are executed and kissing in public will go to jail.

Categories
Football

The way Man City rose to be the global football empire (Part 1)

In November 2019, the price of City Football Group – the global empire that owns Man City – was about $ 4.8 billion, higher than any other club.

Pep Guardiola, in the eyes of football fans, never seemed to stand still. He does not always control his actions. Outside the boundary line, he paced back and forth, shouting to direct the player, shouting at the referee with every adverse and exciting decision after each goal. But when he met Mansour Al Nahyan – UAE Prince and president of Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG), Guardiola was like a different person.

“All or Nothing” is a documentary about Man City, which the crew has been with the team for a year. In the film, Guardiola is so polite that he is embarrassed whenever he has to talk to his boss. Viewers don’t even hear what they’re saying to each other. Just know they both still smile.

The film, produced by Amazon, features Man City’s trip to Abu Dhabi. This segment as to promote UAE tourism. There, the players were wearing uniforms, British actors worked in the laundry room, and President Khaldoon Al Mubarak always dressed like a gentleman. Khaldoon laughed spontaneously and stood pedestal next to Noel Gallagher – a crazy English artist Man City. Khaldoon is Mansour’s right-hand man, helping Abu Dhabi expand to Europe.

In August 2010, two years after acquiring Man City, Mansour first came to the Etihad Stadium. He laughed and waved to the crowd, while his subordinates were nervous. Even Khaldoon is the same. Tension disappeared when Man City defeated Liverpool 3-0. Mansour’s visit was considered successful. And that was the only time he attended the Man City match.

It is not uncommon for Mansour not to interfere in the management of Man City. Even Khaldoon doesn’t stick to financial details, or football tactics. In Abu Dhabi, Khaldoon manages Mubadala investment company and EAA executive consulting agency.

Mubadala is a UAE state-owned enterprise, specializing in investing abroad billions of dollars in oil. And EAA is the right hand of the UAE government, directing international relations strategy. The two companies explain why Mansour invests in Man City.