Abu Dhabi Group seals deal to buy Manchester City

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Abu Dhabi Group seals deal to buy Manchester City

ABU DHABI — The Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment (ADUG) has concluded the buy-out of English Premier League club Manchester City.

By Haseeb Haider

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Published: Wed 3 Sep 2008, 1:19 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:42 PM

“We completed the transaction on Sunday, the money has been paid and management has been taken over,” a jubilant Dr Sulaiman Al Fahim, a senior member of the Group’s management, told Khaleej Times.

The club has been purchased from former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who bought Man City last May — his assets were frozen and he fled to Britain last month to escape corruption charges in Thailand. He will, however, remain on board as honorary president without any administrative responsibilities.

Dr Al Fahim did not comment on the size of investment, but said it was several hundred million dollars. He termed the deal as a huge takeover which gives them all the mangement rights. The group said the deal was a ‘massive achievement’ that it hoped wpuld help make Abu Dhabi a global sports capital. About other investments his group is working on, Dr Al Fahim said that the Group has ambititous plans to buy more clubs, elsewhere.

“We can invest in only one club in United Kingdom, by law, ” he said. On plans to hire new players to make the team stronger, Dr Sulaiman said that negiotiations were going on with three well-known European players and that a deal with atleast one star player could be concluded any time. He did not reveal the names of the players.

Dr Al Fahim said that City could be lisited on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, bringing value to Abu Dhabi’s economy. Dr Al Fahim, who is also chief executive officer of Hydra properties, pledged to solve the club’s financial problems which have left Thaksin resorting to obtaining loans from former chairman John Wardle. “We will adopt marketing plans that reflect positively on the club and the company,” he said. He pledged to make City the biggest club in the Premier League. Sulaiman Al Fahim, a member of the group’s board, completed the deal at the Abu Dhabi Emirates Palace Hotel with Thaksin and Khalid Kadfour Al Muhairy, the legal chief of Emirates Group.

The Group said it would invest in the development of the club’s facilities but has demanded that manager Mark Hughes delivers Champions League qualification by breaking into the top four of the Premier League. After two wins in the first three matches of the season, City is third in the standings — one point behind leaders Chelsea. The English league is the richest European competition with more than $3 billion revenue.


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