10 ways that football has changed completely in the last 14 days
City awash with cash, Chelsea struggling for players, and England play well. It seems an age since the last Premier League round and in many ways it is. Welcome to a new era
By Ian Herbert and Glenn Moore
Saturday, 13 September 2008
1 The biggest club in world football is now Manchester City…
Because, in the wake of the Premier League sheikh-up of 12 days ago, billionaire owners have suddenly become so last year. Forget the £2.8bn net worth of Tottenham’s Joe Lewis or even Roman Abramovich’s £11bn, Sheikh Mansour will be ploughing in the Abu Dhabi royalty’s cash – not his country’s oil billions, as some seem to think – but that still means £550bn of loose change. Of course, richest owner doesn’t necessarily mean biggest club – City’s value, based on what the sheikh’s forking out is £210m; the old adversaries from Old Trafford are worth an estimated £900m and Real Madrid £646m. But we can be sure there’ll be ambition. City’s dynamic executive chairman Garry Cook wants the Arabs to make City the Virgin brand of Asia. Will the City global brand catch on? Yes, if they make quick work of becoming a global footballing force. No pressure there then, Sparky.
2 The most powerful person in world football is now a woman…
Her name is Amanda Staveley, and she’s the most well-spoken girl to have come out of Doncaster in many a year. Thaksin Shinawatra employed the 34-year-old to help sell him City because he knew of her connections with several royal families in the Gulf. It worked. She had received offers from several Gulf states before Sheikh Mansour’s front man, Sulaiman Al-Fahim came in and impressed her with his intellect and his willingness to move fast.