To say it’s been a tumultuous weekend for Manchester City soccer fans is an understatement. (If you aren’t a soccer fan, consider them the Mets to Man U’s Yankees.) First, a prominent businessman from the United Arab Emirates completed a $375 million purchase of Manchester City from the previous owner, the ousted former Prime Minister of Thailand. Then, they outbid Chelsea and the other big names, getting Brazilian star Robinho from Real Madrid for an English-record $58 million.
So what does Sulaiman Al-Fahim, the so-called “Donald Trump of Abu Dhabi,” attend to do for an encore? How about claiming that he’s willing to spend $240 million to sign Cristiano Ronaldo during the January transfer window? As the DAILY MAIL reports, it’s all part of Al-Fahim’s master plan to make Manchester City the top club in the world:
“Ronaldo has said he wants to play for the biggest club in the world, so we will see in January if he is serious,” Al-Fahim said.”Real Madrid were estimating his value at $160 million but for a player like that, to actually get him, will cost a lot more, I would think $240 million. But why not? We are going to be the biggest club in the world, bigger than both Real Madrid and Manchester United.”
This would be basically like if some Russian oil magnates bought the Kansas City Royals and announced plans to acquire Alex Rodriguez in the off-season & pay him whatever it took to have him suit up in Royal blue next season. Laugh if you want, but if past history is any indication, the only thing quicker than the condemnation from “traditionalists” accusing foreigners of ruining baseball would be A-Rod looking for a house in KC.
With Al-Fahim apparently willing to spend money like Montgomery Brewster, it will be interesting to see if that translates to success for the perennial also-rans Manchester City. Will he be George Steinbrenner or Peter Angelos in terms of getting return on his big-money spending? Only time will tell.
The winner in all of this? Ronaldo, or more specifically the working girls of Manchester, who doubtlessly just raised their prices in anticipation of new money coming into the market. That’s an example of “trickle-down” economics if I’ve ever heard it.