Sheikh Mansour

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Sheikh Khaled: ‘We have agreed terms’ in Newcastle pursuit


Manchester City boss Sheikh Mansour may soon be competing with his cousin.

UAE billionaire Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan says he is “in discussions” with Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley and that the sides have agreed terms.

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Early morning reports were met with skepticism, but Khaled has released a statement backing the reports.

From Sky Sports:

“We view it as an honour to have the opportunity to build on the strong support, history and tradition of the club.

“We have agreed terms and are working hard to complete the transaction at the earliest opportunity.”

Khaled was rebuffed in a bid to buy Liverpool for $2.5 billion last season, and has set his sights further north. Will Newcastle be the latest club to surge under foreign investment?

Report: Newcastle in takeover talks with UAE billionaire

Newcastle United takeover
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Reports out of Northeast England say Newcastle United supporters who want owner Mike Ashley out at all costs have new hope.

United Arab Emirates billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is said to be in talks with Ashley about a takeover of the St. James’ Park-based club, though there’s a lot of work to do for a deal to be complete.

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One report goes as far as to say Ashley has agreed to accept $444 million for the Premier League club.

Sheikh Khaled, 61, was educated at American colleges Boston University and Michigan State. He’s the cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and was turned down with a $2.5 billion bid for Liverpool last season.

From The Chronicle:

NUFC have confirmed some talks with Sheikh Khaled. But say there is still “some way” to go on a deal. Newcastle United refusing to make any further comment at this time.

Takeover talks are nothing new at Newcastle, and there does seem to be some heat to these reports, but Ashley and his crew have spun these stories of interest in the past. And with Magpies supporters waiting for news on Rafa Benitez‘s new deal, some will be way of a smoke screen for an inability to reach an agreement with the celebrated Newcastle manager.

Did Mike Ashley blow Newcastle’s chance at becoming Man City?

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Newcastle fans have been trying to get rid of owner Mike Ashley for years. With the Magpies struggling to recruit top talent on a consistent basis and failing to keep up with other Premier League teams on a monetary level, his ownership has been criticized regularly.

Turns out, they could have been rid of him years ago, but he ruined the opportunity to sell. Those prospective buyers turned to to Manchester City and transformed the club into one of the best in Europe.

According to lawyers defending former Newcastle vice-president Tony Jimenez, whom Ashley is suing for $4 million, Ashley had now-Manchester City owners Sheikh Mansour interested in acquiring Newcastle back in 2008, just a year after Ashley purchased Newcastle himself.

However, Jimenez’s lawyer Adam Johnson says that Ashley “refused to meet a potential buyer who went on to purchase Manchester City Football Club.” Then, Johnson claims that Jimenez lined up other potential buyers, but Ashley blew that when he “visited Dubai between September 13 and 18 2008 in order to meet them. Mr Jimenez says that on the evening of September 16 2008, Mr Ashley created a disturbance in a bar in Dubai. Although Mr Jimenez helped Mr Ashley minimize the impact of the trouble, it again ruined the potential sale of Newcastle United Football Club that Mr Jimenez had lined up.”

Ashley’s lawsuit claims that a payment of $4 million to Jimenez – which was initially intended to purchase a minority stake in a French golf course – was redirected to Jimenez by illegal means. Jimenez claims Ashley agreed to the transfer after Jimenez did work looking for a potential Newcastle United buyer, and even claims he’s owed another $9 million agreed upon after Jimenez’s work to clean up the Qatar incident.

Sheikh Mansour issues Man City statement

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Sheikh Mansour has written a note to Manchester City’s fans on the 10 year anniversary of him buying the club.

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A decade of huge change has followed since 2008, with City rising from midtable mediocrity to being one of the best teams on the planet under Pep Guardiola.

In that time Man City have won three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and three League Cups, as well as building one of the greatest squads ever assembled in the Premier League.

So, yeah, it has gone pretty well. Off the pitch, this week City released revenue figures of $650 million for last year as they continue to turn into a financial behemoth off the pitch.

As well as lauding the success of City’s first team, the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates also congratulated the City Football Group for their development of clubs in New York City, Melbourne, Girona, Yokohama and Uruguay, the Man City women’s team, youth teams and the stadium and infrastructure developments which have had a huge impact on east Manchester.

Read an excerpt of Mansour’s letter below, as the owner reveals that City will continue to buy top players and they’re only half way to achieving their goals.

It is believed he has only been to one game over the past 10 years, but Mansour remains strongly connected to the project.

So what do the next ten years hold?  I know you all remain ambitious and so do I.  It feels that we are only half way up our Everest. There is much more to do and there is much more to win. That is why you will continue to see us strive to recruit the very best talent into this club and its sister organisations in all functions and at all levels.

Khaldoon and I know that we will not get everything right all the time.  As we continue on this journey I would ask you to please always bear with us and please be assured that, even when we stumble, we will try to remain true to our values and to make you proud of what we do and how we do it on your behalf.

Over the last ten years I have learned a lot more about what it is to be a City fan.  I understood quickly why 40 points is important – and why inflatable bananas (and now sharks!) still make an appearance. And whilst I don’t have a Lamborghini, I was very tempted to get one a few years ago. It has been a most enjoyable education for me.

Manchester City reveal profit for first time under Sheikh Mansour

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For the first time since Sheikh Mansour took over Manchester City in 2008, the Premier League club have recorded a profit.

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In their financial report for 2014-15, which was released on Wednesday, City revealed that they made $16.5 million and that profit would have been even greater if they didn’t have to pay fine of $24.7 million to UEFA for breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. 

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What is the reason for this profit? Well, City’s annual revenue continues to grow and last year it was up to $542.3 million.

“The 2014-15 season marked a historic step in Manchester City’s journey,” said chief executive Ferran Soriano. “Manchester City is now a profitable, self-sustainable club competing at the highest level in world football.”

There are some other figures which point to losses elsewhere in the business, as City recorded losses of $87 million on “ordinary activities” before tax. You can read their financial report in full, here.

Of course, it could prove tougher for City to maintain a profit next season as they spent over $150 million on signing Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne this summer and have also expanded the South Stand at their Etihad Stadium home, plus opened the humongous City Football Academy (CFA) in December 2014 but all signs are pointing towards the Citizens finding a sustainable model as they have met the FFP regulations for this season and were not fined by UEFA.

Somewhere along the line City have cut costs and can still afford to pay some of the highest wages and transfer fees in global soccer, as record revenue levels wil only grow with increased TV deals set to kick in over the coming years.

Mind you, it always helps when the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Mansour, is bankrolling the club…