*Article submitted BEFORE 1pm statement from Bin Zayed Group claiming proof of funds shown, documents signed & sent to the Premier League *
Aaaand the Newcastle United roller coaster continues…….
The initial excitement following the announcement of Sheikh Khaled’s interest in the club has died down as the doom mongers, cynics and generally miserable g*** continue to try to rain on our parade.
The press are now claiming the Sheikh Khaled is not related to Mansour because Mansour lives in Abu Dhabi and Khaled lives in Dubai.
The rather peculiar thing about families in the UAE is that they are not so much decided by where you live, as who your parents are. A novel approach that might actually catch on elsewhere.
If it was done by location the fact that I’m now in the Philippines and my son is in Cyprus means Christmas just got a lot cheaper because I just lost 3 grandkids! The flaw in their cunning logic is that it hasn’t taken into account the motor car. It’s becoming quite popular in the United Arab Emirates and I believe that Sheikh Khaled has a very nice one. Or two. Or three…
If you are in any doubt, Google “Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s children”. It’s a rather substantial list, 30 plus I think, but in it you will find both Sheikh Mansour and Sheikh Khaled, and you will find confirmation that the Khaled who is actually Sheikh Zayed’s son did, in fact, found the Bin Zayed Group. 2 plus 2 does indeed equal 4.
Having chatted to the BZG yesterday, later in the day my golfing buddy also spoke to his man in the Diwan (a Sheikh’s Court, place of office, or public residence) who again confirmed the stuff that we’d had confirmed earlier. I mention this because we know where the Diwan is, and who it is, so if the alternative Khaled is indeed not related to Mansour, then now we’ve got 2 Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyans trying to buy Newcastle.
The way the UAE works, there is no way that anyone outside the immediate family would be allowed to open a company using Sheikh Zayed’s name. Zayed is revered not only by the Emiratis, as the father of their nation, but also by any expat who spent any time there during his rule.
So I’m not sure where the confusion is coming from unless, as I suggested previously, an objection has been raised by the FA and Bin Zayed Group are throwing down a few smoke grenades.
Again – regardless of what you are reading online you can be certain that Khaled is not buying our team “for fun”, or as Ashley did “to impose seemingly unending suffering on the region”. He wants to build the team into a global brand with a goal of winning domestic and European trophies.
Mansour took over Citeh in 2008 with the aim of winning the European cup, a goal he has so far failed to achieve, despite throwing 1.3 billion pounds at it over 10 years. Yes they may have managed to win a piffling 12 domestic trophies in that time and boosted annual revenue to 500 million pounds, but they have still failed miserably by not achieving the one thing they set out to do.
Newcastle United – trying hard to make a profit on transfers, no trophy’s, revenue around 150 million.
That said, Mansour’s managers have so far brought in 70 players in that 10 years and in a recent article in the Guardian 36 of them were considered to have performed inadequately.
The numbers suggest that Man City could have spent almost half a billion less and still been the powerhouse they are today.
So how much would it take to give us a crack at Europe? 200 million over 3 years?
The stories coming from the papers and the comments from the fans are helping keep things stirred up but what they are lacking is perspective. I know a few of you have spent time in the Middle East and will understand this, but for those who haven’t it’s a pretty straight forward situation. UAE pride would never allow anything with Shekh Zayed’s name attached to it to be anything less than very successful. If they say they won’t throw Manchester City money at it, that means they’ve learned from City’s mistakes. Rather than taking that to be a lack of ambition or resources it should instead be regarded as intent to be more efficient, but be in no doubt whatsoever – success is the name of the game.
As for those still insisting that this is some kind of Ashley PR stunt to sell tickets, I’d take a stab and say that the legal costs involved in this “prank” far outweigh any increased revenue he might get from a few extra season ticket sales. And of course, you have to remember that the UAE Royal Family play stooge for no-one.
So despite the stories about a lack of funds and expectation management, should the sale go ahead, we will still need to get a squirt of WD40 onto the hinges of the Trophy Cabinet.