Arabs join the fantasy league: Mega-rich Abu Dhabi group take over Man City and splash £32.5m British record fee on Robinho

Manchester City have been taken over by an Arab group backed by Abu Dhabi's royal family who immediately pledged to transform them into the biggest club in the world.

The Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) bought the club for £210million yesterday in a deal that looks set to shake up the order in world football. The takeover could now see the club challenge local rivals Manchester United.

The club's new owner, multi-billionaire Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim intends to make City a world force and immediately signalled his intentions with the dramatic signing of Brazilian star Robinho last night.

Abu Dhabi United Group

Bold ambitions: Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim (right) has bought Manchester City for £210million

The 24-year-old Real Madrid striker was widely expected to join Premier League rivals Chelsea, but the Abu Dhabi group splashed out a British record £32.5million to land him ahead of the transfer deadline.

ADUG's ambition also saw them launch an audacious bid to sign Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov from under the noses of rivals United. However, the Bulgarian stuck with his 'dream move' and chose to join United in a £30million transfer.

Manchester City

Traditional welcome: Manchester City fan Paul Ricci salutes the new owners outside the City of Manchester Stadium

Al-Fahim, nicknamed 'the Donald Trump of Abu Dhabi' has already pledged to solve all the club's problems and clear any pending payments.

Robinho

Buying big: Robinho joined Manchester City for a British record £32.5million

Seen as Abu Dhabi's answer to Sir Alan Sugar, Al-Fahim is richer than Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and the City takeover is expected to trigger the biggest spending spree since the Russian billionaire bought the London club for £140m in 2003.

The surprise deal was agreed after a series of negotiations took place over the last three weeks between the mega-rich group and City's owner Thaksin Shinawatra.

A statement from ADUG said: 'The investment services and development in Abu Dhabi has successfully completed the huge takeover of the English club Manchester City, one of the most prominent and oldest English clubs.'

The statement added that former Thailand prime minister Shinawatra will retain a role as 'honorary president of the club without any administrative responsibilities'.

The statement also added that the deal was considered a 'massive achievement for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi'.

Dimitar Berbatov

Cheeky: City made a bid to snatch Dimitar Berbatov from under the noses of rivals Manchester United

It continued: 'By engaging into sport's investment, Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment aims to reinforce Abu Dhabi's position as a capital of both sport and economic (development).

'The company believes this step will open new horizons for the talented and gifted nationals...to develop their skills.'

Outlining their bold plans, ADUG pledged to break up the Premier League 'Big Four' of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool and qualify for the Champions League by next season.

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