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Thu 11 Mar 2010 06:51 AM

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Capello hails Abu Dhabi impact on Man City

England football coach praises influence of EPL club's owner, Sheikh Mansour.

England football coach Fabio Capello has hailed the impact that Abu Dhabi owner Sheikh Mansour has had on the rise of Manchester City in the English Premier League.

Manchester City’s victory at Chelsea last weekend showed the club was a serious contender for a top four finish this season, Capello said during a visit to the UAE capital.

The Abu Dhabi-owned Premier League club has dominated the spotlight in recent weeks as a result of the feud between Wayne Bridge and Chelsea captain John Terry.

But City’s impressive 4-2 win at Chelsea proved the team now has the credentials to break into the Big Four, Capello said, citing the influence of owner Sheikh Mansour as a key factor in the club’s change in fortune.

“He [Sheikh Mansour] wants the first four. He’s changed [the club] a lot. The style is different. Now I think the team has more confidence that they can win against world teams,” he told reporters. “They played against Chelsea very, very well in the second half. I think this was a really important game for all the players because to beat Chelsea away is not easy for the best team in the world.”

Speaking during a press conference at the Laureus World Sports Awards, in Abu Dhabi, the England manager said the upcoming World Cup would be the “most important challenge of his life.”

However, the Italian-born manager admitted the controversy that has dogged the England captaincy in recent weeks had proved difficult.

Chelsea captain John Terry, who was initially named as skipper, was stripped of the title following allegations about his private life. He was replaced by Rio Ferdinand, who is currently injured.

”My job is usually to decide what happens on the pitch, not off the pitch,” he said. “It is a new experience.”

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Barney Stinson 10 years ago

The money that has been poured into Man City has done nothing but further ruin football. It artificially inflates the transfer market driving up wages and fees, which leads to clubs having to gamble the house to try and keep up. It's largely why Portsmouth are in trouble now. I welcome Michel Platini's vision for all clubs in European competition to be made to spend only what they earn in football revenues. The rules would also outlaw "sugar daddies" such as Manchester City's owner Sheikh Mansour from making huge gifts of cash to their clubs.

Mike Dillon 10 years ago

So City are now responsible for Pompeys plight, now doubt we are responsible for world poverty and the third world debt as well. For your information Barney, Real Madrid made the biggest transfers, £80 million for Ronaldo, £55 million for Kaka. Are they ruining football ?

Jaime 10 years ago

Thank you Sheikh Mansour you chose the right club.

MHN 10 years ago

I have several points to mention. Football was/ has been spoilt by money from the introduction of the 'Premier League' in 1992. It has escalated since to the point it is now. However, even though the abundance of cash that MCFC have been dealt is not helping it is by no means the reason for the financial predicament we now find ourselves. MCFC has spend lots of money but their most expensive player was of a similar price to that which MUFC paid for a defender a few years back but this was seen as acceptable. So, to say it's largely why Portsmouth are in trouble is slightly naive. I work in the upper ranks of ladies football and we are struggling to keep afloat, despite the clubs status. Saying that, we would appreciate a financial windfall of some description but I agree that we, as a club also need to be self sufficient and shrewd with regard to our financial circumstances to ensure stability and hopefully a better run club. The FA play a large role in regulating such. After reading the previous post it appears that the author has an axe to grind against the club itself for having the financial worth without carrying debt, unlike some of the other bigger clubs in the game. The directors at MCFC have also put an enormous amount of effort in to re-establishing a community feel at the club. This is in addition to always being in touch with the need and views of their respective fans. So, please do not use MCFC as a scapegoat to the financial problems football now faces - it has been building up for a long time.

Ryan 10 years ago

As a Man City fan, I clearly welcomed the purchase of the club by Sheikh Mansour who has made a significant impact both on and off the pitch. The club's fans and views have been taken on board and as much effort has been put into this aspect of the club as the playing side. From the position we were in to where we are is quite remarkable however Man City has always been a club in need of investment and has always had a solid foundation upon which to build upon e.g. large fan base, decent ground & league status. I take exception to Barney's comments as other teams have been spending significant sums for many years beforehand and continue to do so. Also to suggest a club can only spend what it earns is a ridiculous suggestion as it would not allow any club other than those already at the higher echelons of football to break into this 'elite league' of teams and therefore allow only continued dominance of the teams who win every trophy year upon year which quite frankly is boring to many a neutral. Portsmouth are in trouble because of financial mismanagement and this is nothing to do with Man City. Portsmouth's owners past and present must accept responsibility for their financial handling of the club. I do not see Bolton or Wigan facing adminstration because they clearly have owners who know how to run a club not spend way above it's limits. MHN, I agree totally with your comments. Funding at lower levels of football should be improved. The premiership is a global product attracting huge income and it is down to the Premiership and it's members to recognise this and allow a higher percentage of revenues to be dispersed to the lower levels, this should happen as a result of it's continued growth regardless and I hope this is the case for the benefit of all football in the country.

MHN 10 years ago

Wholeheartedly agree Ryan. I am a City fan and I can see the changes in place. I think most City fans are humble and wise enough to admit we have been poor and a complete laughing stock for many years, whether that be mismanagement, poor player purchases or lack of suitable coach/ management quality. These may be some factors that caused many people to talk about our club. The funny thing is......those same people are still talking but the reasons behind the verbal exchange, in my opinion, is because they know that City are now potentially a major threat to their little community at the top of the league. Funny how certain managers play second rate teams in, what certain fans call 'Mickey Mouse' cups, until they play City (one team in particular - NOT Arsenal). They are now delighted to have won the shoddy cup because the others are only going to get harder to win, therefore lets take what we can get. Funny how attitudes change, funny how many have NEVER been to a game, funny how most don't know how to get to Stretford. Hypocrite may be the word to describe those fans. Maybe Barney is one of these!!!!!

veronica chapman 10 years ago

i am a big football supporter since 1966 world cup, I believe if Manchester City players stay together there is room at the top within next 2 to 3 years. Not go chasing off for bigger money,you guys have,style,technique,loyalty and honesty, i notice you are polite to the opposition, and set a very good sports standard, wishing you your manager and owners good luck,in sharla as we say in arabic. Veronica Walkington Chapman