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Manchester City chairman looking forward to ‘next 10 years’ under Sheikh Mansour

City have enjoyed a golden decade since they were bought by the Abu Dhabi sheikh, winning three Premier League titles and four domestic cups.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, right, celebrates the Premier League title with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, right, celebrates the Premier League title with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak

By Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport

Manchester City’s “journey” under Sheikh Mansour is far from complete, chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has promised.

City have enjoyed a golden decade since they were bought by the Abu Dhabi sheikh, winning three Premier League titles and four domestic cups.

This season’s success has been the greatest, with City winning the title under the inspirational guidance of Pep Guardiola with a record 100 points.

Al Mubarak told City TV: “We will continue through this journey. It’s 10 years and we’re excited about what’s been accomplished, particularly this year – what a way to celebrate 10 years.

“But it’s a long-term plan. His Highness Sheikh Mansour is committed in the long term. This journey continues. Now it’s about the next 10 years, continuing to work with a strategy and a vision.”

The early years of the sheikh’s ownership were typified by lavish spending on players. It took three years for the project to yield silverware but Al Mubarak believes the doubters have now been proved wrong.

He said: “I remember (for) many years, we’d see a lot of ‘it won’t last, it’s unsustainable, financially unfeasible, they’re not going to be successful, they cannot unseat the big powers, they won’t be able to compete in the Champions League’.

“I’ve heard all of that, time and time again but I knew it could be done. We had the right people involved (and) the support of the fans. At no point have I felt the fans were not 100 per cent behind the ownership.”

Al Mubarak is determined that the club never lose touch with their roots.

He said: “We have to stay humble. This is a humble team, the origins of this club is always humble. I’d like to think the way we’ve acted throughout this year has been humble.

“I hope they will see us as being close to the club, close to the fans and humble in our failures and humble in our success.”

The only major downside from City’s outstanding past season – which included winning the Carabao Cup – was falling short in the Champions League. City were knocked out by Liverpool in the quarter-finals.

Al Mubarak said: “There have been so many great things but the one disappointment that will stay with us is that we could have done better in the Champions League. We should have (done better).

“The positive thing is that that is going to give us so much more hunger, knowing how close we were this year.”

Under the sheikh’s ownership, City have also become part of a wider group that includes other clubs around the world, including Major League Soccer side New York City FC.

New York City are currently managed by former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira, who took up the post after working in other positions within the group.

Vieira was recently linked with the vacancy at Arsenal and he has also been the subject of reports suggesting he could take over at Nice.

Al Mubarak said: “I’m very proud of Patrick. When he was ready for the next challenge New York presented itself and he’s started his journey as a first-team coach.

“He’s done well and I have a strong belief he’ll be a great manager. I hope he continues to be part of this group and he has my commitment always.”

Press Association

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