Sheikh Mansour reveals City aim
Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour has broken his silence and confirmed the Blues' number one target this season is to win the Premier League.
Since his takeover in 2008, the Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh has ploughed well over £1 billion into the club.
However, his public opinions on the project are virtually non-existent, with chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak and former chief executive Garry Cook left to outline their vision for City's future.
That has changed in an interview with the Al Ittihad newspaper, however. And he has made it clear that even though City look as though they will bow out of the Champions League next week following last Tuesday's defeat to Napoli, he still feels the main objective for the campaign is well within reach.
"We must not forget that our main objective is to win the English Premier League and if we achieve that, then it will have an impact on the team and the club as a whole and will show we can achieve anything,'' he said.
He greatly credits manager Roberto Mancini for the team's improvement, though without Sheikh Mansour's immense wealth, the plethora of stars at the Italian's disposal would not have signed for City. Yet the owner feels actually getting the players to City is only part of the job.
"Sometimes I meet a lot of Emirati and Arab brothers in London, and see them criticise the work of Roberto Mancini, but I think that his plans are going on the right path,'' he said. "We have to ask ourselves where we have been and what Manchester City have become now. To realise that what we have accomplished is great.
"Hard work is still required but we are all satisfied with what has been achieved, the success and development at this level. However you must have patience.''
It was revealed on Wednesday that the club spent £9.7 million on agents' fees alone in the year ending 30 September, 2011.
Not that City appear too worried, even though the spectre of UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations is hanging over all major clubs.
Much like their overall transfer spending, it is felt the agents' fees will reduce substantially over the next few years as City's squad starts to stabilise after three years notable for the vast number of players that have gone in and out of the club.
The policy is working though, with City five points clear in the Premier League and confirmed Carling Cup semi-finalists for the second time in three seasons, part of a campaign that included a staggering 6-1 win at Manchester United.
"We must be aware that these kinds of results can be a double-edged sword - it makes the others look at you differently and prepare themselves the best way they can,'' Sheikh Mansour said. "But those who want to win championships and trophies have to adapt to that and be ready to face the challenges.''