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Vital City Zen: Reality Sheikh


The due diligence is almost done with and we can expect the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) to be officially named the new owner's of Manchester City Football Club next week.

After last week's worldwide frenzy of rumour, debate and intrigue that exploded across the front and back pages following the breaking news of the Arabian takeover, this week has been noticeably calmer.

Drooling sports hacks were heavily fed last week by outrageous, football world takeover threatening statements from Dr. Sulaiman Al-Fahim, the man who fronted the ADUG deal. His gobshitery, particularly with regard to City signing all the world's best footballers had thousands of us cringeing. City's globally obsessed Executive Chairman Garry Cook chipped in with 'nothing can stop us' nonsense for good measure.

At the height of these quotes, Vital MC contacted the club highlighting our concerns for the future, particularly what could happen to the MCFC Academy and the Academy graduates currently providing the backbone to City's side.

To their credit, City Communications took our concerns straight to the club's management and reassuring statements were made by both Mark Hughes and Garry Cook (see our weekly quotes section below).

We have since begun to get a clearer picture of the man behind the takeover and his courtiers have made several statements that point towards the youth focused, steady team building strategy that many Blues have been calling for a continuation of.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zahed is reknowned throughout the Middle East as a calm character. We can expect to see much more of him once Ramadan finishes at the end of this month and Dr. Al-Fahim fades into the background.

Sheikh Mansour has sent in his own communications man Simon Pearce to weigh up the situation at Eastlands and today's Independent reported that he has already held a meeting with Mark Hughes and City's Academy guru, Jim Cassell.

A courtier close to the Sheikh spoke to the UAE's National newspaper with regard to City's reknowned youth set up: 'The importance of building further on the success of this part of the club simply cannot be overstated. Do not forget that the most successful period of Manchester United's recent history was based to a large extent on graduates of their academy.'

And with regard to the nonsense that multi millions are said to be lined up for Mark Hughes to replace his entire squad: 'In Abu Dhabi, we prefer to go about business in an understated, pragmatic and patient manner. Brashness is simply not our natural game.'

So, Ched, Ned, Kelvin, Johnno, Harty, Stuzzer, Micah, SWP, Daddy Dick and Vlad, don't pack your bags!

But Garry 'Everyone is for sale' Cook, you could be up the road...


"The Academy is producing top-quality players, and we are not just filling the squad as a token gesture to the work that is done at Platt Lane because the quality of players coming through is sufficient to play in the Premier League, and that is what the Academy is always going to be judged on. That will continue, and we could have the means now to enhance that operation. The Academy has been extremely successful in recent years, so with more funds behind them they could produce even better players."

- 'Bluesy' Hughes on making our own Superstars.

'Don`t forget that we have one of, if not the, best youth team in the country at Manchester City. Mark`s coaching team are committed to that model, we talk about superstar talent but you should never take away from the fabric of the club, and that is developing the youth players.'

- Garry Cook has second thoughts.

"He is going to get a fantastic reception, his homecoming in the media has possibly been overshadowed a little bit by the Robinho transfer, but come Saturday I think you will see Shaun get an outstanding reception. "

- 'Leslie' Hughes on SWP's return.

'It`s not normal either to change Real for City, only for the money.'

- re Robinho, Chelski's Deco who hasn't moved for the money reveals himself to be a bell-end.


Early this morning, Sheikh Mansour's private jet touched down in Manchester after a transatlantic berserker with Elano, Jo, Robinho and Pablo Zabaleta on board. City's South American stars now have that extra bit of time to get ready to have a go at Chelsea.

Chelsea at The City of Manchester Stadium: Saturday, 13th September 1730 GMT

City Form:
Last six PL games: L,L,L,L,W,W
Chelsea Form:
Last six PL games: W,D,D,W,W,D


Johnny On The Spot?:

Fixtures against 'The Big Four' don't get any easier to face and this one will be no exception. Our young side will have to be on full alert with everyone on top of his game. Due to the Flying Bulgarian's knee injury, it looks as if we will have to wait a while before we see Martin Petrov and SWP working the wings in the same team. It will be interesting to see whether or not Bluesy decides to introduce the sublime talents of Robinho as a winger for this one. The midfield is where this game will be won and lost. The impressive Vincent Kompany will be a key player. Not only that, Pablo Zabaleta will provide us with an energetic transformation at right back from Spud's Vedran Corluka. With the feel good factor flowing through Eastlands and the crowd on a high, I think our Boy Blues will give Chelski a run for their rubles. So I'm sticking my neck out for a City win.

City 2 Chelsea 0

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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday September 11 2008

Time: 10:02AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Fine article JB ...I think the Sheikh will adopt exactly the same blueprint that is going on in Abu Dhabi. Whereas Dubai built their city and then planned it Abu Dhabi are doing exactly the opposite planning everything in great detail before building it. Mark my words (is that a pun in itself) they will do exactly the same with our Club taking us on the safe sure road to the top.
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 10:57:00

Cheers, alph. Certainly found the second week of this international break much more constructive!!
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 11:25:00

Well done JB again - great stuff! Hope your score prediction is right! You can get 29-1 on it!
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 16:15:00

I might just have a bit of that oliver!!
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
11/09/2008 17:40:00

I like Garry 'the invisible man' Cook only pops up when the coast is clear, as your excellent artilcle points out that Cook is more of a commercial man, his job is to sell the name Manchester City. In his first ever interview I recall him saying that he knew nothing about football and it appears between him and Dr. Al-Fahim they made some outlandish statements which is expressed very nicey in your Article. I personally have doubts whether My Cook will stay as CEO at the Club, I would lioke to keep him as CEO of the commercial aspect because his knowledge in this field is invaluable. The best Chairman we had was Mr Bernstein, diplomatic but strong, I wish Sheikh Mansour bin Zahed would invite him back to the Club.
Buzz Lightyear
Report Abuse
12/09/2008 05:53:00

Cheers Buzzer. I think Cook's days are numbered. He's attracted a lot of bad publicity with comments like his 10-14 teams no relegation PL idea. I see *rsehole Whinger at Arsenal is now kicking up a fuss over Dr. Al Fahim's excited statements. Notice how Al Fahim has all but vanished off the scene!
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
12/09/2008 08:05:00


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