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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 21, 2008

City takeover by Abu Dhabi set for completion

Manchester City's incoming owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has appointed a new chairman and will complete his takeover on Tuesday.

Sheikh Monsour, who is a member of the Royal Family in Abu Dhabi, has named his trusted ally Khaldoon Al Mubarak as City's chairman.

The new owner has also reiterated the Abu Dhabi United Group's intention to invest heavily in new signings of manager Mark Hughes' choice but has stressed City will not become 'just a team of all-stars'.

Al Mubarak may be little known to City supporters however he has vast experience of running major projects and holds a senior policy advisory role within the government of Abu Dhabi.

He is also chairman of the body which will run the United Arab Emirates' first Formula One grand prix next year.

Sheikh Mansour will replace Thaksin Shinawatra as owner of City, and has stressed the purchase of the Barclays Premier League club is a personal venture rather than a state project.

Addressing supporters, he said: 'Like you, we are excited about the future of the club, and we hope the securing of Robinho as a Manchester City player during the transfer window is seen as a signal of our very real intent.

'It has been an exciting two weeks for all of us all.

'My intention is that Manchester City has the very best people at its disposal, both on and off the field. For that reason I have asked my friend Khaldoon Al Mubarak, to take on the position of chairman of the club.

'My request to him has been to put together a board and executive team that is worthy of the heritage and potential of Manchester City.

'Khaldoon and I have agreed that the we will not be making any more announcements for a while as we really now need to sit down with the manager, executive chairman and key staff and put together plans that will, over time, get the club to where we want it to be.

'We also want to make it clear that Mark Hughes is absolutely integral to our plans.

'We are lucky to have someone who we believe is the best young British manager; someone who has been successful on the global stage, the Premier League and of course as a player.

'We are ambitious for the club, like you, but not unreasonably so and we understand it takes time to build a team capable of sustaining a presence in the top four of the Premier League and winning European honours.

'We know a little of the history at City also and whilst we want to bring in 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.'

Former Manchester United striker Hughes only took charge at City during the summer and will be delighted to hear the new owners' confidence in his ability.

Sheikh Mansour added: 'We consider Mark Hughes to be one of the prime assets of the club. We will back his judgement in what players to bring in and we look forward to working more closely with him in the future.

'We are building a structure for the future not just a team of all-stars.

'I should perhaps also explain that despite what you may have read, I have bought the club in a private capacity and as part of my personal business strategy to hold a wide portfolio of business investments.

'I am a football fan, and I hope that you will soon see that I am now also a Manchester City fan.

'But I am also a long-term investor and that is probably more important to the club and to you because it means we are here for the long haul and that we will act always in the best interests of the club and all of its stakeholders, but especially you the fans.'

Former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin moved in at Eastlands last year, when his company UK Sports Investments Ltd joined the growing ranks of foreign investors in the English game.

Thaksin, who will stay on as honorary president of the club, added: 'The supporters of Manchester City have been wonderful to me. They have made my family and me welcome, and we have enjoyed meeting them enormously. They are passionate about their football club and deserve success.

'My financial position has changed in the last 15 months, and I thus felt it was in the best interests of everyone associated with the club that I hand over the reins to new owners who share similar ambitions and visions to my own for Manchester City.'

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