Just 10 years after he bought struggling Manchester City, Sheikh Mansour has the satisfaction of knowing his billions have transformed the club from perennial underachievers into the kings of English football.
Inspired by Pep Guardiola’s managerial genius and the brilliance of Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and company, City’s record-breaking Premier League title triumph last season signalled the club have entered a golden era.
But City’s status as England’s pre-eminent force is not just a testament to the guile and skill of their manager and his star-studded squad it is the culmination of an investment plan that has shaken the league to its foundations.
Over the past decade, Mansour has bankrolled a spending spree of around £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) that ended Manchester United’s reign as the dominant team in town, while turning City into a domestic giant with three Premier League titles, three League Cups and one FA Cup in their trophy cabinet since the takeover.
Guardiola’s current crop are targeting more glory as they bid to become the first Premier League club to successfully defend the title since United in 2009 while mounting a sustained challenge for City’s maiden Champions League crown.
Under Mansour and chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, City have stopped thinking like corner shop owners and now run their business like a global corporate giant.
“Every club you sign for they give you the same pitch, ‘we’ve got a big project, big ambitions, we want to achieve this and that, we want to kick on’,” said long-serving City captain Vincent Kompany ahead of the 10-year anniversary of the takeover on Saturday. -AFP