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Wed 7 Jan 2009 10:39 AM

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Sheikh Mansour tops new football rich list

Man City's Abu Dhabi-based owner topples Chelsea supremo in ranking on personal fortune.

Manchester City's new owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has toppled Roman Abramovich to head British football's new rich list.

Sheikh Mansour, a member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi, is said to have a personal fortune of $22 billion, according to the list, which has been researched and published by FourFourTwo magazine.

As exclusively revealed by Arabian Business, he bought Man City in the summer.

Meanwhile, Abramovich, Chelsea's Russian owner, has slipped to third in the list - his wealth is estimated at $10 billion.

He has also been overtaken in the list by Lakshmi Mittal, the 58-year-old Indian industrialist worth $18.6 billion who joined Formula One's Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore in investing in championship outfit Queen's Park Rangers.

At number 14 is Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley who visited Dubai with other club officials in Sept. 2008 in a bid to find a buyer for the club. The businessman, whose personal wealth is estimated at $1.2 billion, has since taken Newcastle off the market.

The list also reveals that David Beckham remains the richest player associated with British football but he only comes in at 38 in the overall list.

Despite the huge fortunes of the wealthiest owners, football finance experts fear British football's bubble may be about to burst.

Professor Tom Cannon told the magazine: "Season-ticket numbers will probably be down by about 10 per cent but renewals will be down by at least 15 or 20 per cent. That's where the problems will be as you go down the divisions."

Rich List Top 10

1. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Man City)2. Lakshmi Mittal and family (QPR) 3. Roman Abramovich (Chelsea) 4. Joe Lewis (Tottenham) 5. Bernie and Slavica Ecclestone (QPR) 6. Stanley Kroenke (Arsenal) 7. Alisher Usmanov (Arsenal) 8. Lord Grantchester & the Moores Family (Everton) 8. Dermot Desmond (Celtic) 10. Lord Ashcroft (Watford) 10. Malcolm Glazer and family (Man Utd)

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RNB 11 years ago

Yet the photo' superimposed on the ficticious bank note, on BBC web site, was Mr Al-Fahim! When will Western journalists get their facts correct?