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Wed 10 Mar 2010 06:24 PM

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Euro football model 'cannot be sustained' - Man City chairman

Abu Dhabi chief says European football will struggle 'without new parameters'.

Euro football model 'cannot be sustained' - Man City chairman
FOOTBALL CHIEF: Manchester City chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak.

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak said on Wednesday that the European model of football - which has produced multi-million pound salaries and a growing gulf between the richest and poorest clubs - could not be sustained.

Asked about how the UAE could best build a football model, the Premier League club supremo said: "I am a fan of the American model. The European model cannot be sustained without new parameters, commercial parameters that allow competition, that allow revenue distribution, and that will allow talent to continue to prosper."

Under the US model, clubs playing in Major League Soccer have to abide by a salary cap for players. Currently, each MLS franchise is restricted to a cap of $2.3 million to spend on a squad of 24 players.

Under the European model, most of the revenues, including the lucrative TV rights, are shared largely among the most successful clubs who qualify for the biggest events and therefore demand more on-air time.

The chairman of arguably the richest club in the world made his comments during a live debate at the inaugural Abu Dhabi media summit called Going for Growth.

In December, the English Football League revealed that Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City spent the most money on agents' fees over the past year as the club signed up top players in its attempts to join the elite.

Funded by the ruling family of Abu Dhabi, the club has spent about $328 million on players since Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s takeover in September 2008 to the end of last year.

Between October 1, 2008 and September 30 this year, it paid agents 12.9 million pounds ($21.2m), the Premier League said.

In September 2009, it was reported that Premier League clubs' spending on new players dropped by 10 percent to 450 million pounds ($730m) during the close-season transfer window which shut on Tuesday despite the best effort of Abu Dhabi-owned Man City.

Even Man City's 120 million pounds spree failed to see the top flight match the record sum of 500 million pounds spent a year ago.

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Ali Kanda 10 years ago

I am agreeing with the chairman - why is it for only palyers to make the money, when invest in such big club why are they not to be making the most of the returns for the investor. I am most sure the investors were maybe miss led when requested to buy this club.

Furqan 10 years ago

Yes i can understand most sentiments where one person says they invested soo much and no return. Well every team regardless the premier league or la liga or serie A needs time to work. Firstly when the takeover took place the first thing it needed to do even before buying players was to get a new manager. Seriously i never liked Mark Hughes and i thought isnt meant for the premier league. Yes he was successful as a player but thats it. A managers role for such a big team is too much for him to handle. It will eventually work and already we have seen how once the team works together they can beat anyone. Now that the investment is set the result wil also show in time. I honestly have alot more faith in Roberto Mancini then mark Hughes. Also hoped it would be ex barca coach Frank Rijkaard or Jose Mourinho. No harm to ponder. Well they have the players and now they need to gel as a team more. Stil a long way to go...

Adrian Teller 10 years ago

If you don't want to pay then don't pay. Arsenal says the same thing, and although they are paying millions at least stick to their means. They don't use more than they earn. You can't complain about yourself since Man City itself is the one who is creating the problem. Who put a gun to your head? It drives me crazy when Man U, chelsea and Man city complain. Either stop paying or enjoy it like Real Madrid who hates the level playing field.

Bindiboy 10 years ago

football clubs are not money makers, if he has bought Man City to MAKE money directly from the club, then he has wasted that money and plenty of it, been already said but Man City are precisely the main club who has been splashing the cash but so far its not really dont much to buy results and ultimatly WONT make you profits...football clubs have always been rich mens play toys and always will be, dont scrimp to buy a football club to earn coz it aint gonna happen

Frank forsberg 10 years ago

Mr Furqan I can see you are a Man city fan. First because of the tax law it is understandable that new owners make the best of what they can in the first year of the ownership. Like Mr. Adrian Teller said, do what you think is best for you, but pretending you don't like it, is insulting to everybody. Second Mancini is a winner, so is Rijkaard, but if you want to bankrupt Abu Dhabi get Mourinho. Everytime a player is injured he will tell you buy me that player I don't care. Other teams will overprice the player because it is in the middle of the season and when the original player gets healthy he will sell one of them for two dollars. Ask Chelsea or Inter and you can't tell him no as he is like an eight years old little girl. He will be angry until he gets what he wants. So you're already paying Hughes, and since you're lobbying for Mourinho you will also keep paying Mancini as well and Mourinho will start troubles and you will end up paying him too plus the new manager after him. That is four guys simultaneously and your club chairman is complaing about money?