September 1st was the end of the latest transfer window and what a day it was in Manchester. Who would believe that a $60 million transfer of Bulgarian Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham to Manchester United would be overshadowed by events at Eastlands 3 miles away.
Not only did City break the British transfer record with a $65 million payment for Real Madrid's Robinho, BUT it was announced that under-siege Thai owner Thaksin Shinawatra had sold out to the company representing the Abu Dhabi Royal family, led by 31 year old Dr.Sulaiman Al Fahim and taking the Brazilian from under the nose of Roman Abramovich and Chelsea FC.
BLUE MOON is the the theme tune of Manchester City who have under achieved for years and years with disastrous chairmen and boards. Their last trophy was the League Cup back in 1976. I used to remember watching them at their old Maine Road ground. One FA Cup 3rd round tie against Blackpool was abandoned due to a pea-souper fog. I returned for the rearranged match in mid week afternoon (no floodlights then) which they won. The most exciting time in my opinion is when Malcolm Allison and Joe Mercer and their revolutionary new coaching ideas produced a very watchable team. They toured the USA in the late 1960s and played the Oakland Clippers and other clubs.
On the last transfer day they had offered $60 million for Berbatov but the moody Bulgar had already set his sights on Old Trafford and the transfer was completed in the final minutes before midnight. What can the Wigans, Blackburns, West Hams think of all this. How do they compete? Abu Dhabu is one of those pocket sheikdoms, part of U.A.E - United Arab Emirates. Their national team made it to Italia 90 and I saw them beaten by eventual winners West Germany in Milan. They are now 109th in the FIFA World Rankings, between Ethiopa and Malawi, and Al Fahim who has his own reality show on Arab TV, has promised to make them a World Cup contender, and Manchester City Champions of Europe. Meanwhile DIC, another Emirates company, out of Dubai, have renewed their interest in troubled Liverpool FC.
Next day, to nobody's suprise. manager Kevin Keegan left Newcastle United in a huff. There is confusion, sacked or resigned, which would mean a difference in about $12 million compensation. He was mad that 22 year old James Milner was allowed to leave for Aston Villa, and Michael Owen has still not signed a new contract. Former Millwall, Swindon and Leeds United boss Dennis Wise was brought in by owner Mike Ashley and 'underminded' Keegan two months after Keegan was brought in, but works out of London.. 'King Kev' has only been at St.James' Park for 8 months, second time around, and Kevin had been running his pet project SOCCER CIRCUS, up in Glasgow. He has now left the Tyneside circus.
Finally, farewell and thank you to THE LAST KING OF BAVARIA. Oliver Kahn was the star of a Tuesday evening 'Thank You' match between FC Bayern Munchen and the German National Team at Allianz Arena.