Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Wednesday July 1 2009
His Highness Sheikh Mansour gave the first interview to The Blues new state of the art official site today. It's clear he means business...
As in the statement he issued some months ago that committed to The Blues fans and the MCFC Academy, the City owner has gone on to cement his belief in the club and it's supporters:
'...the potential is there to be realized and the passion of the City for the Club. In Abu Dhabi, our heritage and culture are inherent to our values, and the way we live our lives.
'I think it's the same in Manchester. You certainly see and hear that in the longstanding commitment of the fans for the Club. As I have said, it was very clear that Manchester City was a sleeping giant of English football and waking that giant I think is going to be rewarding on a number of levels.'
City now has a hierarchy which is arguably the most astute and professional we've had and Sheikh Mansour underlined that fact:
'My intention from the beginning is that Manchester City have the very best people at its disposal, both on and off the field, and to put together a board and an executive team that is worthy of both the heritage and future of Manchester City.
'I am very pleased with the progress that we have made in that regard in the last 10 months.'
Moving on, there was one in the eye for the assorted pontificators and learned experts who have been gloating that the new owner will leave the club in the near future:
'...I am also a long-term investor and that is the most important single fact for the club and the fans. It means we are here for the long haul and that we will always act in the best long term interests of the club and all of its stakeholders.'
Something that has stunned many of us, particularly those Blues alerting Planet Blue from our independent websites is the almost constant offering of olive branches from the club to the fans these past 10 months. Be it in the form of reduced ticket prices, invitations to Carrington and access to the players, kit designs, fans forums with players and boardroom representatives, it's been breathtaking:
'We knew that when we came in there was going to be a requirement for a lot of diligence and research - getting to know the stakeholders, understanding expectations, listening to fans.
'We are where we planned to be at this point, which is to be working - on and off the field - against a comprehensive plan and developing a smaller squad with an increased capability.'
Sheikh Mansour then went on to deliver a knockout blow to the foaming hacks in The Street Of Shame* and the like who relentlessly predict a new side called Manchester City Galactico Globetrotters:
'I have said previously that whilst we want to bring the best players in the world, we also want to see the academy continue to develop talent and give Mark Hughes the chance to bring home-grown players into the team.
'We are committed to building a sustainable structure for the future not just a team of all-stars. That means a balanced mix of multiple sources of playing talent.'
Finally, the declaration of a determination to succeed. Something Sheikh Mansour and his people are reknowned for:
'We continue to be very clear in regard to our expectations and ambitions: We are competitors. We are here to win and to build a club that will be in a position to win trophies. That said, we know that will take time, and this is where a patient and pragmatic approach is essential.
'We know what we want and are very clear on our internal targets. What we have done in the last ten months sets the tone of the way we will do things very clearly.'
Manchester City Football Club looks to be in very sound hands.
The Street Of Shame* copyright Private Eye
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Date:Wednesday July 1 2009
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