Saudi Arabia's "Mr. Deep Pockets" buys UK's Manchester City club

London, Sept.2 : A multi-billionaire Arab consortium has reportedly purchased the Manchester City football club and launched audacious transfer bids for Real Madrid Brazil ace Robinho and for the Spurs' star Dimitar Berbatov.

City also revealed they had lodged bids for Valencia striker David Villa and Stuttgart's Mario Gomez.

The buyers, Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment, are reportedly worth between 650 billion and 800 billion pounds - compared to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's 11.7 billion pounds.

The takeover deal was struck late on Sunday with City's previous owner, the controversy-dogged ex-Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Dr Sulaiman Al Fahim, the Arab world's answer to Sir Alan Sugar, fronts the group.

The 31-year-old said: "Our goal is simple - to make Manchester City the biggest club in the Premier League. We are trying to be in the top four this season and will buy whatever is needed."

The property developer said of his group: "We have a deep pocket, we really have. It is very deep."

Al Fahim is a former child chess champ who fronts his own Apprentice-style reality TV show and is known for getting what he wants.

Al Fahim began working as a boy in his dad's pharmacy, was investing on the stock market at 14 and buying property at 15.

Ten years ago he was devastated when his parents and brother died in a car crash. He moved to the US, married and had three kids.

Story first published: Tuesday, September 2, 2008, 16:27 [IST]
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