'Much more to do ... much more to win', Sheikh Mansour tells Man City fans

Man City manager Pep Guardiola hailed Sheikh's Mansour's smart decision-making in bringing success to the Etihad Stadium
'Much more to do ... much more to win', Sheikh Mansour tells Man City fans
In the 1000-word letter to Cityzens (Man City fans), Sheikh Mansour looked back over the achievements of the club during the ten years, which included three titles, FA Cup, League Cups, and seven successive years of Champions League football.
By Neil Halligan
Sun 16 Sep 2018 03:53 PM

In an open letter to Manchester City fans, club owner Sheikh Mansour said they can look forward to another decade of success at the Etihad Stadium.

The current Premier League champions posted record revenues of £500.5 million ($652 million) in its recemt annual report, marking what was a record-breaking 2017/18 campaign on the pitch as Pep Guardiola's side eased to the Premier League title amassing 100 points.

The annual report also revealed that Sheikh Mansour has invested $1.7bn since he bought the club in 2008.

In the 1000-word letter to Cityzens (Man City fans), Sheikh Mansour looked back over the achievements of the club during the ten years, which included three titles, FA Cup, League Cups, and seven successive years of Champions League football.

Off the field, the club has achieved financial stability, reporting profits of £10.4million this year, a fourth consecutive year of profitability, with wages to revenue ratio falling to 52 percent.

"The last ten years has seen us become economically scaled and sustainable as we had planned and that economic success is crucially important because it underpins everything else we do on the pitch and in our communities," said Sheikh Mansour.

Affirming Abu Dhabi's continued involvement with the club, Sheikh Mansour said "there is much more to win" for Manchester City.

"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," he said.

"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."

Speaking to reporters last week ahead of the weekend's Premier League match against Fulham, manager Pep Guardiola hailed Sheikh Mansour's smart decision-making in bringing success to the Etihad Stadium.

“He’s the most important person to help all of us at Manchester City to make a step in front,” Guardiola said on Friday.

“Because not just with the money you can [be successful]. The money is so important but after they choose the right people, from the beginning 10 years ago to make a step forward.

“He follows us every weekend, every game. I was really impressed when I spoke with him. He knows absolutely everything, what happened here, the team, the way we play, or what happens with the club – he’s involved.”

City comfortably beat promoted Fulham 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday to stay within two points of early leaders Liverpool and Chelsea.

The letter from Sheikh Mansour in full:

Dear fellow Manchester City fans,

It is now ten years since I joined with you in supporting this wonderful club and I wanted to mark that anniversary by writing to you directly, just as I did when the acquisition was completed and we began this journey.

We have come a long way since 2008 and it has been quite a ride. The transfer of Robinho, our first signing; the 2011 FA Cup, our first trophy for 35 years; our first Premier League title secured by ‘that goal’, and now two more; three League Cups; seven straight seasons in the Champions League; and last season, an array of records and a style of play that brings joy to anyone that truly loves this great game.

Whilst the last ten years has seen many things transformed and evolved in the way that I had hoped, and we planned for, one thing has remained constant - you have continued to be the best fans.

I want to take this opportunity to say that I am incredibly proud of the fact that the fundamental character of this Club and its supporters has not changed in the last decade. The qualities of loyalty, warmth, humour and humility which clearly stood it in good stead during its more challenging times, are still very much in evidence today and are essential to our success.

Equally important to me and the Board, has been the progress made beyond the senior first team. Our women’s team has won four major domestic trophies and joined the European elite, reaching the Uefa Champions League semi-finals for two consecutive seasons.

Our youth system has seen more than 100 young men secure a career in professional football in the UK and overseas, nine of which have appeared in Manchester City’s first team.

We have also established ten disability teams in Manchester. These teams, as with all of our other squads - male and female, at both youth and senior levels - train together at the same facilities at the City Football Academy, underpinning their aim for parity in playing the game we all love.

Our development has taken your club and its values to multiple cities around the world. Physically we have clubs in New York, Melbourne, Yokohama, Girona and Uruguay and additionally several offices around the world.

We are also proud to be in the hearts of new fans in every country around the world. In a physical sense, we are the most global and at the same time local of football organisations.

Importantly, all of our sister clubs are linked via City Football Group - a Manchester headquartered global network sharing values, knowledge, and best practice while at the same time having direct and positive impact on our extended family of communities, wherever they are in the world.

Off the field every metric indicates that acquiring City was a very good business decision. In 2015, the investment led by China Media Capital saw City Football Group valued at $3bn, and this year, at Manchester City we have broken through the £500m revenue barrier and made a profit for the fourth consecutive year.

The last ten years has seen us become economically scaled and sustainable as we had planned and that economic success is crucially important because it underpins everything else we do on the pitch and in our communities.

I want to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to the Chairman, the Board, the Executive leadership team and every employee for creating such value over the last ten years.

I have always said that football has a much bigger role to play than any normal “business”. I believe that through football we can help empower better lives for people. Not many organisations get to do that directly.

Whether it be the simple joy of watching our beautiful game; helping combat obesity; improving fitness levels in children; supporting the battle to alleviate depression; combatting anti-social behaviour; or sometimes just giving people a new sense of direction after a trauma or when they have lost their way. Football and football clubs not only have the power to do this, they have the responsibility to do so.

That is why I am so proud that we have been able to continue and expand on the work of City in the Community whose programmes address all of these challenges and more, because if we are not a positive part of Manchester and the other cities in which we live then we have failed.

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.

That said, what I have always known is that players and management will come and go from our Club, but you the fans are permanent. I will not forget that. I hope you have enjoyed these last ten years and I promise the next ten will be no less exciting.

I am truly honoured to be one of you.

Yours,
Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan

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