Manchester City is the world’s wealthiest soccer club today following a takeover by members of Abu Dhabi’s Royal Family. The Abu Dhabi United Group is a branch of the country’s sovereign wealth fund. The move by the oil-rich consortium has eclipsed that of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who transformed Chelsea FC when he took control in 2003. Abramovich has spent around one billion dollars on new players since then and Manchester City’s new owners claim they will dwarf that figure.
It’s not yet known how the move will impact the price of Manchester City tickets. The buzz in Manchester today is all about how City will finally emerge from the shadow of their great rivals Manchester United. Man U. was bought by Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer in 2005, and the takeover was conducted largely on credit.
The cost of Manchester United tickets has proved not to have been affected by the debt; the cost of Man U. season tickets resides at eighth spot in the English Premiership in contrast to their Champions status.
Now, a UEFA inquiry into the financial condition of European soccer will be conducted by UEFA head Michel Platini. The focus for the inquiry will be clubs that try to “buy success on credit” and eventually collapse, according to Platini. “There have always been rich and poor clubs, the rich get richer and the poor want to take their place,” Platini told the British Guardian newspaper. “We should have more balance, and we will see what can be done.”
Frenchman Platini is not a particularly celebrated figure in British soccer society but he denies that this investigation is aimed exclusively at British clubs.