Forums / Manchester United
Order: Newest / Oldest
Why Sheikh Mansour Bought Manchester City?
19titles (Manchester United) 3 years ago
All this information when the simple truth is Mansour's cousins nephew owns a curry house in Levenshulme
Prophet88 (Manchester United) 3 years ago
RichManMe (Norwich City) 4 years ago
Interesting article. Do you have any sources for your information?    Cheers
[account-removed] 3 years ago
Yeah, I do. But its a lot of sources to put down. Some of it is making logical conclusions based on the facts. I can put down the links, but it would take ages for me. Anyways, I have taken a break from writing articles. I am busy with my clan, but I will start writing articles again, even if I am the only one reading it
Gunning4Glory (Arsenal) 4 years ago
Wow good work Khalid7. Have to say I didn't know most of this. Have you considered the possibility of money laundering? Football is a largely cash business so is a good target.
[account-removed] 4 years ago
Cheers Bob.

I havent found facts that can substantiate the possibility of money laundering. The money that oil rich Abu Dhabi has pumped into Manchester City, excuse the pun, is big in the football world, but comparing it to other industries it is a small amount.

I am damn sure Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), which an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, is the one pumping the money into City, and its a small small amount for ADIA, especially when you compare it with assets currently in their portfolio which is valued at $627 Billion according to Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, and this also makes it the largest sovereign wealth in the world. Oddly enough, Sheikh Mansour is a board member of ADIA, who would have guessed. Not the City fans of course, who think the Sheikh is investing in City through the kindness of him own heart or that he is an outstanding businessman but there are no facts/signs to prove such praise.

The link below ranks all the major sovereign wealth funds in the world.

BeefCurtains (Limerick) 4 years ago
Football aside, looks like the UAE 'stealth globalisation' machine is still on the prowl.    
Pioneercolonel (Manchester United) 4 years ago
@Khalid: You don't really expect anyone to read this article, do you? I believe they're facts but facts are a burden.
If you ask me they follow two reasons. Firstly so far as I know the Persian Gulf mini states, their Sheikhs suffer from Short penis syndrome. I saw with my own eyes five Bentley's, 4 ferraris, and a couple of other replicas of the same make in the parking lot of one of them. I believe that a good reason behind City saga is that they want to have a new toy to play with or like I said to overcompensate for the size .

2nd) putting aside the dick size problem, they Shikhdoms are good businessmen. And wasteful as they may be, they have managed to put their words in the tongue of the most succesful league in the world. This way they attract business and who knows may be throguh the panels that we don't see, they actually succeed in making money out of all this. One is for example through Ettihad airlines
[account-removed] 4 years ago

I agree its a lot to read. But I am writing articles because I have fun writing them, but mostly because I have fun reading stuff and getting information. Then I just write an article for anyone else interested in the information that I have gathered. Its essentially free information that I am providing to those reading the article after spending many days reading various sources to gather the information and sources. I have divided the article into pieces so that its easier to read for those who are interested in reading it.

I agree with point 1.). They have a short penis syndrome. Lived in the Middle East many years so I know what Sheikhs are like, but they are not all bad. Only most of them are idiots, but the ones in power are alright and pretty highly educated.

2.) agreed. I mentioned that buying City is of great benefit to Abu Dhabi, and I have mentioned this in the article. The money they are investing in City and have already invested, will easily be paid off through other means like the increased profile, tourism, business opportunities, etc that will come through their buyout of City
Redsince63 (Manchester United) 4 years ago
Interesting read, thanks for the insight and effort, one thing seems to be for sure and that's the fact that City got the top sponsorship/ownership for a long time to come.
With the base that's been built theres no reason why there succes shouldn't carry on in the sense of being a top 4 club.
As for complaints from City fans, I think they should see the whole article as a compliment and be thankfull somebodys answered all there own questions !
Cheers !
[account-removed] 4 years ago

Agreed. But this trend of Middle East royal families buying football clubs has only started in 2008. Now there are clubs owned by Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatari royal families. How many years down the line before even richer families like the Saudis and Kuwaitis join the trend. They will make the UAE and Qatar families look like beggars. If this is the road football is heading, then things will become bad for football around a decade down the road
Redsince63 (Manchester United) 4 years ago
@Khalid I most probably won't be around to see the end result, considering the fact that FIFA seems to pandying to the international gambling syndicates (lack of technology) then in the future it could be a massive clash between the Asian syndicates and the middle eastern money /power/influence the scenarios are limitless when you consider the fact that the majority of the middle east work force comes from SE /pacific asia. \
Man ! With your zest for writing maybe you can come up with a good thriller with the story line above lol
DavGaj (Manchester United) 4 years ago
Sometimes you run out of things to spend money on. This is a game to him
[account-removed] 4 years ago

Imo that is a remote possibility. But based on what I have read it seems he bought City and is using it for the benefit of Abu Dhabi as a whole. As per their Abu Dhabi 2030 vision
[account-removed] 4 years ago
1.) thanks for reading the article and feel free to comment if you wish
2.) This article has been posted in the Manchester United forums because it is far easier for me to respond to notice comments and queries by placing it here.
3.) @ Manchester City fans: please don't respond to this article, unless you are capable of removing your blue tinted glasses and seeing things objectively and with good use of logic and facts. Any comments considered troll worthy will be reported to the Mods.


Part 1- Why buy a Premier League club? Why buy Manchester City?

Part 2- Did Sheikh Mansour buy Manchester City for pleasure or business? Is this the start of a new trend in football?

Part 3- Why did Sheikh Mansour, a member of the Abu Dhabi Royal family, really buy Manchester City?

Part 4- Advantages of Etihad, Etisalat, Aabar and adtca in sponsoring Manchester City

Part 5- Dubai vs Abu Dhabi? How long does Abu Dhabi want to keep Manchester City?

Part 6- End of Article. Contents of Next Article.

Part 1-------------------------------part 1-----------------------------------part 1

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan is a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, and the half brother of the President of UAE, Emir of Abu Dhabi, Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. Not many people outside the UAE knew about him, and even fewer in European football were aware of him. But in 2008, after completing the surpirse purchase of Manchester City Football Club he made himself known to the European football world with his ambition and intentions for the club. Swiftly the purchase of Brazilian star Robinho was completed from Real Madrid and ambitious noises started coming out of the prince's camp that he was not done yet, far from it. He wanted to rule English domestic football and his desire to conquer European football followed next.

But why did he buy Manchester City? After all, there are other clubs in the Premier League and other club is various other top leagues in Europe. Out of the 4 top leagues, namely English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga, the best league to invest in was the Premier League. Why? Because:

1.) the Premier League is the most watched football league internationally and its viewership figures rise have been rising consistently for quite some time now. Its matches are broadcast to almost every country and the league has a large number of followers around the world, particularly in Europe, Asia and Africa. The other 3 big leagues are not as commercial and have other problems that the Premier League doesn't have to encounter, and the Premier League is only getting bigger and more popular internationally and commercially.
2.) The La Liga is a tougher league to win due to the presence of Real Madrid and Barcelona and the unequal distribution of domestic TV rights revenue gives the 2 historic giants an edge over all its domestic competitors. So to set up shop in a league with such adverse conditions is not the best choice in terms of competitiveness. The Bundesliga is a league that prides itself on the fact that most clubs are owned by the fans of their respective clubs. Historically, this league would be easier to win, but there would surely have been a lot of hostility from the German FA and other domestic German clubs, like Bayern Munich, had Sheikh Mansour decided to buy a German club that he could develop to become the worlds finest. The is also the fact that the Bundesliga is not in much demand by international viewers and the same can also be said of the Serie A and this has been the case for some years now.
3.) The Premier League is more open to a wealthy benefactor coming in and buying a club. The "fit and proper person test" that the league uses to judge whether a person can buy a football club is a not a perfect system and has had its fair share of successes (e. G. Manchester City, Chelsea) and failures (e. G. Blackburn Rovers, Portsmouth, etc). But the Premier League doesn't seem to be too bothered by the statistics and dangers of this flawed system of judgement and are still open to foreign investors buying clubs in the Premier League, as confirmed by Richard Scudamore, Premier League Chief Executive, that the league has a "ownership model neutral" stance.

So, logically, the Premier League was the best league for Sheikh Mansour to invest his money in. But why did he choose to invest in Manchester City?

Who knows for sure. Rumours were flying at the time that he was looking into buying Everton, Newcastle, other Premier League clubs, but Manchester City seemed to be the best choice. He happened to know City's former much loved owner Thaksin Shinawatra, former Thailand Prime Minister, and was told that he wanted to sell the majority of his shares. The Sheikh had conducted research on which clubs in the Premier League would be more feasible to invest in, but he found faults with all of them, including Manchester City. But the tipping point was the urgency with which Thaksin Shinawatra wanted to sell his City shares and this forced the Sheikhs hand and the deal was struck.

The club was now owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

What were the benefits of owning Manchester City? Plenty, such as:

1.) Manchester City owned a new stadium, and had lots of unoccupied land adjacent to it.
2.) This club was established in the Premier League
3.) The club was popular and engrained into the fabric of its local community.
4.) Their part of the city of in need of redevelopment and funding, especially due to the recession.
5.) Although the club was an establised Premier League club, it still had lots of ways to grow and in ways that previous owners had not done before. It had a lot of untapped potential that wasnt recognised and it could be built with the vision of Sheikh Mansour.
6.) The fact that the city is shared with more illustrious neighbours, Manchester United, was a good and quicker way of using the rivalry to catch up and get closer to the pinnacle of the sport.
7.) Etc

Part 2--------------------------------------------------------part 2-------------------------------------part 2

Now we know why he chose to invest his money into the Premier League out of the top leagues, and why he chose Manchester City as the club to invest it. But why is he investing money into football in the first place?

He could either be doing this for pleasure, or business.

Famous Scottish economist and philosopher, Adam Smith, who is also known as the "father of modern economics, once said:

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages".

So, what is Sheikh Mansour' self-interest in puchasing Manchester City? How does this deal help him?

When he bought the club in 2008, the Financial Fair Play rules were not even thought of. It was only in 2009 that UEFA conducted research into the state of football clubs finances across Europe, and after discussion with the European Club Association (a group of 201 European football clubs), UEFA decided that the Financial Fair Play rules were needed to protect European footballs viability and financial future. Due to the fact that he had bought the club before the FFP rules were even being discussed, its possible that Sheikh Mansour bought the club for pleasure and not business. But, we are trying to use the concept that Sheikh Mansour bought this clubs for business and trying to work out how this deal benefits him.

When he bought the club, his goal was clear, he wanted to win the Premier League and become a dominant force in not only English football, but European football as well. This signalled the start of various signings of quality players and ambitious plans off the pitch, such as the Etihad Campus.

But is Sheikh Mansour a Manchester City fan? The truth is we will never know, and the only one who does know if Sheikh Mansour himself. But it is possible to make an assumption based on the football culture in the Middle East. I am 22yrs old and out of all these years I have spent 18 of them in the Middle East, and now I am currently in the UK. In the Middle East, most football fans support a local team(s) from their country and/or neighbouring countries. But the quality of football in the region is not on the same level as it is in Europe, therefore, football fans in the Middle East support a European club of their choice as well. The vast majority of the time their chosen club is one of the very big clubs and very few choose to follow any of the smaller European clubs. 99 per cent of the fans here support one of the following teams:

-Manchester United
-Real Madrid
-AC Milan
-Inter Milan

However, ever since the Calciopoli there are a lot less fans of Italian clubs in the Middle East and most of them have switched to other teams. The other European clubs have next to no support/following. I will now detail the number of times I have seen shirts of other clubs (both original jerseys and fake jerseys) being worn in the Middle East.

Valencia- 1 (with Villa on the back)
Sevilla- 0
Tottenham- 0
Newcastle United- 0
Napoli- 0
Sampdoria- 0
Palermo- 0
Dortmund- 0
Bayern Munich- maximum 10
Paris St-Germain-0
Villareal-2 (all with Riquelme on the back)

Manchester City was also zero (0) till 2008, but after Sheikh Mansours takeover there were a few City shirts visible. After their FA Cup success, there were a few more shirts visible, and after their Premier League success, there were a few more visible, but it is a lot less than the traditional big clubs.

The shirts worn by football fans in the Middle East is a pretty easy and relatively accurate way of judging how much support a European club has in the Middle East. Therefore, it is almost cerain that there is next to no chance that Sheikh Mansour was a City supporter before his purchase of Manchester City. So since City is not his boyhood club and that he hasnt supported City ever in the past, what benefits does he gain by investing in Manchester City?

Football is the worlds favourite sport, and the Premier League is the most popular league in the world too. Ever since the Premier Leagues inception, much has been done to achieve this lofty status and steal this perch from other more popular leagues in the past, such as the Serie A and La Liga. Now, the Premier League is much more than a league of English clubs that play football. The league is now a great marketing tool due to its immense popularity (particularly in Asia, Europe, Africa and emerging markets like North America) that most individuals, companies, and now countries are interested in using to further their own business interests.

Football as a sport has been evolving since Day 1, both on-the-pitch and off-the-picth. There has been a growing development and trend in football since 2008 where football clubs are now being owned by countries (individual Emirates of the UAE are termed as countries here).

Manchester City---owned by Abu Dhabi (indirectly through Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan) since 2008

Malaga--------------owned by Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani (member of the Qatar Royal Family) since 2010

Paris St-Germain—owned by Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani (since he is the chairman of the board of directors of Qatar Investment Authory, and also the heir apparent to the throne of Qatar.  Owned since 2011

Getafe----------------owned by Dubai indirectly since the chairman of the company that owns Getafe (Royal Emirates Group) is Sheikh Butti Bin Suhail Al Maktoum, and is a member of the Dubai Royal Family. Owned since 2011

Football is big business now, especially in terms of marketing, and out of all the leagues it is the English Premier League that is the most popular and well marketed out of all the other big leagues.
The countries that now own these clubs are trying to utilise this to further their national business interests.

We are currently only focusing on Sheikh Mansour and Manchester City, because:

1.) it was the trend setter since it was the first club bought by a country (in 2008).
2.) it based in the most popular league currently (by viewership figures)
3.) unlike the other 3 clubs mentioned, this is the only club to win their domestic league since their respective takeover so they have a higher status in world football than the other 3 clubs.

Part 3------------------------------------------part 3--------------------------------------part 3

Ever since Sheikh Mansours takeover of Manchester City, the club has gained various Abu Dhabi based entities as partners and sponsors. A list of these companies is given below:

Etisalat-this is a leading telecommunications companies in the world and one of the largest operators in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Aabar- Aabar Investments PJS is an investment company headquartered in Abu Dhabi with investments all around the world. Its largest stakeholder is the International Petroleum Investment Company, which is wholly owned by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Aabar owns shares in major corporations like Daimler AG, Banco Santander Brasil, Virgin Galactic, etc.

Abu Dhabi Tourish and Culture Authority (adtca)- In managing the tourism industry of the emirate, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority works closely with tourism-specific stakeholders and is responsible for marketing the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. It helps in organising international events, supporting intellectual and artistic activities, as well as cultural events in Abu Dhabi in order to help the emirate become a major events destination.

Etihad Airways- this is the national airline of the UAE and within its short history it has already established itself as one of the world's leading airlines. Its based in Abu Dhabi and is a rival of another world class airline, Emirate Airlines(which is based in the rival Emirate of Dubai).

All the above mentioned companies are based in the the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Mansour's involvement, and more importantly the Adu Dhabi government and its royal family's involvement in Manchester City is all to with the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 project. The Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 project is about making "Abu Dhabi a sustainable, diversified, highvalue-added economy that encourages enterprises and entrepreneurship and well integrated in the global economy leading to better opportunities for all. " This is broken down into a long series of objectives and ways in which the ambitious objectives can be met.

The Abu Dhabi based entities listed above play their part in helping to achieve this goal, some more than others. In order to achieve its 2030 goal, Abu Dhabi will continue to diversify its economy and invest in those capital intensive and export oriented sectors in which the Emirate has or is capable of building a competitive advantage. Abu Dhabi's economy is very dependant on oil and its related industries and although it has an overall trade surplus, it has a big deficit in the non-oil sectors, and that's why diversification is necessary in order to Objective 1 of the Vision 2030, which is to Reduce GDP volatility due to its dependance on energy related industries.

The following sectors listed below are expected to provide the growth that will be necessary to achieve the Emirate’s agenda of economic diversification and to successfully target regional and/or global markets.

1.) Energy- Oil and Gas (Global)
2.) Petrochemicals (Global)
3.) Metals (Global)
4.) Aviation, Aerospace and Defence (Global)
5.) Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology, and Life Sciences (Global)
6.) Tourism (Global)
7.) Healthcare Equipment and Services (Global)
8.) Transportation, Trade and Logistics (Regional)
9.) Education (Regional)
10.) Media (Regional)
11.) Financial Services (Regional)
12.) Telecommunication Services (Regional)

The term "regional" used above means the target market is the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa.
The term "global" used above means the target market is every single continent and country on the planet.

Out of the sectors listed above, the sectors being listed below are the ones that best fit the profile of Manchester City's Abu Dhabi based sponsors.

1.) Aviation, Aerospace and Defence- Etihad Airways (based in Abu Dhabi and owned by the Adu Dhabi Government.
2.) Tourism- Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (adtca) (based in Abu Dhabi and formed under the Government of Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification strategy)
3.) Telecommunication Services- Etisalat (one of the most powerful telecommunications providers in its region and its headquaters is based in Abu Dhabi.)

Only one Manchester City sponsor has been left out, and that is Aabar Investments which is a diversified investment company because it doesn't fit into any of the sectors listed above.

Part 4-----------------------------------------part 4-------------------------------------part 4

Etihad's benefits out of sponsoring Manchester City

Etihad have currently sponsored Manchester City's jerseys, stadium name and the campus that has been planned near the Etihad stadium (Manchester City's stadium).

Benefits of sponsoring Manchester City's jersey.

The benefits are obvious, especially due to the popularity of the English Premier League to international TV viewers, and due to their participation in the popular and money spinning Champions League. By associating themselves with a club that is capable of fighting for honours on both the domestic and European front, Etihad will gain a lot of exposure to international viewers from all continents as per their plans and ambitions. This is very important for their company, but equally as important for Abu Dhabi as a whole due to their 2030 vision where the goal is to make their avaition industry and their flagship airline a player in the global market by 2030 at the latest. Both, Manchester City FC and Etihad, are entities that have a lot of scope for expansion and growth, so a partnership between the two makes sense, and is more beneficial to Etihad than sponsoring an already established top club. This bond between both entities will only strengthen as Manchester City get even more successful and fans and non-fans will further become aware of Etihad as a brand, which is one of their goals.

There are a lot of secondary benefits of Etihad as well by sponsoring Manchester City, such as, since the club is backed by a wealthy owner and with a proven track record of buying established stars, like Aguero, Tevez, etc, whenever a player with a big reputation is signed and holds the Manchester City shirt (which also has the Etihad logo) it is headlines in all football and most generalised sports websites and papers, and this has the capability of reaching consumers and football fans, even those that don't follow Manchester City and/or the English Premier League and/or the UEFA competitions.

Benefits of sponsoring Manchester City's stadium (Etihad Stadium)

The benefits for Etihad is being associated with it is due to its status as home stadium of Manchester City FC. Also, this is a stadium that potentially has an ambitious future and could in the future possibly become a UEFA Category 5 stadium (highest ranking) like other football stadiums like Old Trafford, Allainz Arena, Camp Nou, etc. This is best demonstrated by renovation work a couple of years ago, especially to the hospitality sections of the stadium, and is strengthened by the clubs desire to be a leader in all aspects of the sport. This sponsorship also ties in well to the Etihad Campus plans and helps build stronger roots with the local population around the stadium. Based on a survey conducted last year by VisitBritain (Britain's tourism agency) over 750, 000 tourists in the UK went to a football match. Old Trafford was the club stadium that topped the list with 114, 000 tourists and the figures for some other clubs stadiums were Anfield (89, 000), Emirates Stadium (88, 000), Stamford Bridge (54, 000) and White Hart Lane (38, 000). Although the Etihad Stadium didn't feature high up on the list, it can be safely assumed that if Manchester City continue to deliver success on the pitch on a consistent basis then this stadium will also be ranked high up and will also help deliver some of their hopes and plans for the Etihad Campus as well.

Benefits of sponsoring the Manchester City campus, also known as the Etihad Campus.

Readers of the detailed plans for this campus will be amazed by its ambition and desire to be the a leader especially in terms of its youth development, possibly becoming the sole industry leader since nothing of this scale has ever been attempted before. It helps strengthen the ties between the club and Etihad and success of this project will reflect well on the airlines as a visionary and market leader, among many other smaller benefits.

General benefits of sponsoring Manchester City's jerseys, the Etihad Stadium and the Etihad Campus.

Etihad has already accomplished one of its short term goals, which is becoming a profit making airline which it achieved last year. But its long term goals are best reflected in the part that it has to play in Abu Dhabi Vision 2030. By that year the airline has to the one of the market leaders globally and needs to be a highly effective and successful brand. Through its association with Manchester City and the continuing popularity of English Premier League and Champions League, it can achieve that goal and use the sport and the club as a tool to penetrate the global markets at a much faster rate. Its market brand awareness, effectiveness and value will also greatly benefit.

Its association with Manchester City and the City of Manchester also helps it achieve one of its long terms goals of making the Manchester Airport one of its major European hubs. This is a key goal for Etihad and Abu Dhabi in many ways. Peter Baumgartner, chief commercial officer of Etihad Airways, said: "Manchester has always been an important market for Etihad and the ties between Manchester and Abu Dhabi have never been stronger.

Manchester Airport already have plans in place to become a more important airport, as evidenced my their Manchester Airport City plans, and unlike its London based rivals such as Heathrow and Gatwick, Manchester Airport has property space and government backing to expand. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which is an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund which also happens to own Aabar, has already placed a bid to buy a 50% stake in Manchester Airport. Etihad has serious designs on becoming a bigger player in European aviation and that can be seen when they bought a big stake in Air Berlin, Germany's second largest airline. Although, Etihad is still a smaller player than Emirates, it has grown at a very impressive rate and has already managed to make a good name for its brand, and this can only keep improving as time passes.

Etihad becoming a major global airline and Abu Dhabi becoming an important tourist destination are very important goals, and the goverment of Abu Dhabi has already started major plans for expanding Abu Dhabi International Airport in order to be able to cope. In the region it also has to cope with rivalry from Emirates Airlines (hub: Dubai International Airport) and Qatar Airways (hub: Doha International Airport), but due to the major plans that all 3 airlines and airports have, the Middle East regions aviation industry has major potential for expansion and is capable of achieving its targets. The rivalry is intense, but friendly, and this can serve all 3 airlines and 3 airports interests.

Emirates Airlines is a major player in global aviation, but Etihad despite being far off can catch up if it maintains its incredible growth rate. Emirates Airlines has so far resisted the urge of joining an airline alliance and in although Etihad seems more open to join one at this present time, in the future they too could be in the position to resist the urge just like Emirate Airlines. The financial muscle that Etihad gets from Abu Dhabi should see them continue to expand at a fast rate and other airlines, especially in Europe will definitely see them as a growing threat, just like Emirate Airlines.

James Hogan, CEO of Etihad, has every reason to be confident that they can become a major force in global aviation by 2030, and they have already achieved another milestone, which is breakeven.

Aabar Investment's benefits of sponsoring Manchester City

Aabar Investment's benefit that it will gain out of sponsoring Manchester City is dubious since it is an investment firm with a highly diversified portfolio. Aabar Investments has a subsidiary company called Aabar Properties which is a real estate development firm and is is currently focused on supporting Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030 by developing an extensive range of properties predominantly located in Abu Dhabi. These projects are spread across a wide range of master developments including Al Raha Beach, Al Reem Island, Rawdhat and Saraya.

It would have made sense if Aabar Properties was the sponsor of Manchester City since through the clubs increasing profile in the world it could raise further awareness and interest for the properties and projects that it is involved in. Whereas, its parent company, Aabar Investments, is a investment company with a highly diversified portfolio and it doesn't make any commercial sense for it to be sponsoring Manchester City.

Oddly enough Aabar Investments in owned by International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) which is also an investment company that is 100 per cent owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi, and its Chaiman is the Manchester City owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan. IPIC don't generally get involved in the day-to-day activities of the companies that they own, but they do get involved in their affairs on a strategic level, and it is highely likely that Aabar Investments was told to sponsor Manchester City under instructions from IPIC, since Sheikh Mansour is the Chairman of IPIC. That is the only possible reason why an entity like Aabar Investments would sponsor Manchester City.

Etisalat's benefits of sponsoring Manchester City

Etisalat is a big player in the telecommunications market in the Middle East, Asia and North Africa, and its goal as per Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 is to be a dominant player in all these 3 regions by 2030. This company is owned by the UAE government, whose head is the leader of Abu Dhabi. Etisalat could gain a lot of brand awareness and some competitive advantage against its regional rivals through their sponsorship of Manchester City. This relationship is also a growth relationship, just like the Etihad-Manchester City sponsorship.

Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (adtca)

This body is responsible for coordinating the various different industries in Abu Dhabi and preparing strategies for increasing tourism levels, Abu Dhabi brand awareness, increasing inward investment through tourism and making Abu Dhabi one of the premier destinations globally for tourists (both individual and business). Its mandate is to achieve its target by 2030 as said in Abu Dhabi Vision 2030. Their sponsorship of Manchester City helps them raise their and the emirate (Abu Dhabi's) profile, and potentially at a much faster rate depending on the success that Manchester City achieve on the pitch. Due to Manchester City being owned by an Abu Dhabi sheikh (Sheikh Mansour) and the project being undertaken there being world class and high profile for Abu Dhabi, this is an excellent partnership for adtca and this can be a very long lasting sponsorship.

Part 5--------------------------------------part 5------------------------------------part 5

Dubai vs Abu Dhabi

Middle Eastern countries, especially the individual emirates in the UAE have a friendly, but intense rivalry. In the UAE, Dubai has long been known as the most popular tourist destination not just in the UAE, but also in the Middle East. Dubai has long before seen the potential of sponsorships in increasing tourism levels, foreign investment and profile of Dubai. The other emirates, especially Abu Dhabi have been slow to realise this and have been playing a catching up game in this respect. The tourism levels and profile of Abu Dhabi is far less than Dubai, but all that could change by 2030 if Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 is successful. Although Dubai have been the first, and certainly the best at using sponsorships and various other tools to service their agenda, Abu Dhabi has taken a step ahead of them by buying Manchester City and using football as a means of achieving its goals. Abu Dhabi too has the potential of making their Vision 2030 successful due to the seriousness of their government to achieve it and the financial muscle that it has, which even Dubai can't match, as seen during the low points of the recent financial crisis when Abu Dhabi has to bail out Dubai when it got into financial trouble.

How long will Abu Dhabi want to own Manchester City?
First of all, it can't be disputed that Abu Dhabi owns Manchester City. This can be seen through the strong traces of related party transactions in its Abu Dhabi based sponsorships for the club, and the investment vehicle that was used to buy the club, Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment (ADUG). It was initially thought that Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) was the parent company of ADUG, but that has been denied by the Abu Dhabi royal family. But the Middle East is a different environment and the politics and ways of doing business here is different, as pointed out by a report from The Guardian, "in a society where patronage and royal decree are the driving forces behind business success, those closer to the deal suspect differently. " Thus it is widely suspected that ADIA is the parent company of ADUG and that the Abu Dhabi royal family is financing Manchester City, with Sheikh Mansour appointed as the royal family member to oversee operations, which is normal business practice in companies owned by Middle East royal families. All 4 of Manchester City's Abu Dhabi based sponsorships have strong links of related party transactions. Although denied, to most people familiar with the Middle East, there is little doubt that Manchester City is owned by the Abu Dhabi royal family (and not Sheikh Mansour) and that it is being used to service an agenda, Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.

All the signs show that Abu Dhabi has a long term interest in using Manchester City and football. They have bankrolled the club by buying them expensive established players and working towards building the infrastructure for them which should help them be a major player in football for the long term. If Manchester City continue to be successful and push for honours, then Abu Dhabi will continue to retain its interest in the club and football. But the FFP rules will be an obstacle that they won't want in their way if Manchester City have problems on the pitch which could be resolved by a quick and expensive transfer spending spree in order to keep Abu Dhabi's agenda on track. Many Abu Dhabi based and government owned companies have sponsored Manchester City and that is likely to continue for the long term, as per Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, and it is likely that more such Abu Dhabi based companies could become sponsors in the future. If Manchester City achieves its goal of becoming financially profitable and successful on the pitch, which is very likely, then there is a high chance that Abu Dhabi will continue to retain its interest in the club since they will no longer have to invest capital into the club, and can simultaneously use the club to service its agenda which is Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, and Manchester City is now yet another company that Abu Dhabi owns in order to reach this goal.

Part 6----------------------------------------------part 6--------------------------------part 6


1.) thanks for reading the article and feel free to comment if you wish.
2.) This article has been posted in the Manchester United forums because it is far easier for me to respond to comments and queries.
3.) @ Manchester City fans: please don't respond to this article, unless you are capable of removing your blue tinted glasses and seeing things objectively and with good use of logic and facts. Any comments considered troll worthy will be reported to the Mods.

Why I wrote this article:

1.) I am a fan of football and the English Premier League.
2.) I am originally from the Middle East and I am interested in the role Manchester City is playing in Abu Dhabi's plans.
3.) I am a Manchester United fan so I am obviously interested and keen to learn what other clubs in Europe are up, especially in the Premier League.

Next article

The next article will be about:

1.) how the trend of Middle East royal families buying football clubs in Europe is a worrying trend for European football, a trend started by Manchester City in 2008.
2.) how Manchester City's Abu Dhabi based sponsors show strong signs of related party transactions
3.) what the consequences are for European football if Middle East royal families keep buying football clubs and if they face no administrative opposition from bodies like UEFA

Kick4Life - changing lives through football