(Pakistan Point News - 11th Jun, 2023) ABU DHABI, 11th June, 2023 (WAM) – The memorable 2008 message from His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, owner of Manchester City FC, to the club's fans - “we are building a structure for the future, not just a team of all-stars” – continues to be the guiding principle that drives the team’s unprecedented success. Being crowned this season’s champions of the Premier League and the FA Cup, as well as winning the UEFA Champions League, the most coveted football championship in the world, are the remarkable outcomes of the club’s deliberate and measured development over the past 15 years.
Beyond smashing records on the football pitch, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed's vision has enhanced the lives of Manchester's community.
“Football plays an active role in all societies around the world. Through it, we are focusing on empowering a community, contributing to its quality of life.”
This wise vision and long-term investment have put the team on the world football map as one of the top clubs globally. Since acquiring the club, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed has led the Sky Blues to win more than 20 titles in the last 15 years, breaking many records on its way to the top.
This achievement heralds a new chapter in the history of Manchester City FC, a club that has been in existence since 1894.
“Manchester City’s transformation under the ownership of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been a long-term strategy. We set ambitious goals and achieved many of them sooner than anticipated in the last few years,” noted Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Manchester City FC.
The FA Cup trophy win in 2011 marked the club’s first title in 35 years. This victory sparked a new era of dominance for the team in the world of English football. In the past 12 years, the team has won seven Premier League championships, six League Cup titles, three FA Community Shield championships, three FA Cup titles, and one UEFA Champions League title, the first-of-its-kind in the team’s history.
The club’s local momentum transferred seamlessly to the UEFA Champions League, a coveted title that the team repeatedly failed to secure, despite reaching the quarter-finals and semi-finals previously. Even with their effort in their first-ever final appearance in 2021, luck shied away from the Cityzens. This setback did not dampen the spirit that His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan worked hard to instill. The team’s commitment to never give up and relentlessly pursue its ultimate goal propelled them forward to an unprecedented victory in the UEFA Champions League. Their challenging journey saw the team overcome FC Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals and deliver an historic performance against the record holder, Real Madrid, in the semi-finals.
Manchester City set a high bar in the 2018/2019 season, winning all domestic titles in a single season. Under the guidance of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and in conjunction with the successes on the field, the club began its development work, leaving a clear mark on both the club and the city. Its efforts focused on improving its academy, with 77% of its young athletes from the Manchester area, making it one of the top academies in England.
This was followed by the club’s most important regeneration and infrastructure project: The City Football Academy, consisting of 16 indoor and outdoor pitches and state-of-the-art entertainment facilities.
Additionally, the Etihad Stadium has undergone expansion to increase the seating capacity to over 50,000, with further plans to bring the capacity to more than 60,000 seats by 2026. Currently Manchester City FC welcomes an average of 52,800 spectators to every home game – a 99% occupancy rate.
The astute leadership of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan extends beyond the realm of sports to the community as well, through initiatives like the "City in the Community" programme, reaching approximately 20,000 people per season, ranging in age from two to 80 years old. Offering 4,000 hours of free football and sports activity per season, participants engage in a range of activities from sports to education and health awareness.
This major shift in the club has had a ripple effect throughout the city, generating thousands of new job opportunities and fostering growth across the Etihad Campus, including the Etihad Stadium, City Football Academy, Connell Co-op College, East Manchester Leisure Centre, and Manchester Institute of Health & Performance (MIHP). The next phase of growth is the proposed development of the Etihad Stadium to transform the campus to create a 365-day-a-year entertainment destination.
In 2008, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed had said, “We are aware that the club has a significant role in the community going back years…we will make sincere efforts to back these initiatives and ensure that Manchester City loses none of its role in Manchester beyond football and we want the club to continue to contribute to the community it represents.”
In light of these developments and upward trajectory, His Highness is able to guide the club through a sustainable plan, increasing its revenues considerably.
Since the 2014/2015 season, the club has recorded profit for five consecutive seasons. It also recorded revenues exceeding 41 million Euros in the 2021/2022 season.
“Manchester City has reached sustainable success both on and off the pitch. This is a testament to the deliberate business strategy established in 2008, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This season’s success marks an important milestone in the club's long-term development,” said Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
In 2008, the Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment acquired Manchester City FC. The club has made its way to glory, winning many titles in recent years, and becoming the first club in the history of the game to win all four men's English football competitions in a single season. According to HH Sheikh Mansour, Manchester City FC is not solely an English club, it is the club of the UAE and Arabs, achieving one victory after another.
Remarking on the future, His Highness Sheikh Mansour says, “I am proud of the club and particularly its fans, who has remained unwavering over the past decade. The qualities of loyalty, perseverance, and support during difficult times remain steadfast to this day and are essential for our success”.
Manchester City FC was ranked the most valuable football club brand in the world, topping the 2023 Brand Finance Football 50 Report for the first time. The report indicates a 34% positive growth in Manchester City’s brand value since the Covid-19 pandemic, surpassing Real Madrid, and becoming the first English club to do so in six years.