Khaldoon Al Mubarak Exclusive Interview The Chairman on success Guardiola transfers and more


Man City


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Sherman here we are again round five or six of our they leave come on ten bite is it done thank you for inviting us to your home you moved house since we last saw him we've tracked you down so it really is no escape and we got into business how satisfying was the season a Grand Slam of English trophies well it's never been done before you cannot be but extremely satisfied we set a lot of targets at the beginning of the season and to go compete in every competition that we participate in and to win every single one of them apart from one I think is exceptional is absolutely exceptional I'm so proud of what's been accomplished it's it's really tremendous a credit to every part of this organization every member of this organization is part of the success is it possible to compare the 200 points and the 98 points and which gave you most pleasure different pleasure I think you know 100 points that season was as you know exceptional historic the records we set in that season but you look back at this season and getting 98 points which was so much harder so much harder from every aspect because we were playing again in all competitions this year we managed to win effectively three plus one three plus one I'll call it three plus one and to do so with essentially a competitor that that was you know head-to-head with us till the last minute of the season this was an incredibly difficult season incredibly challenging so it's a different type I mean last year if you remember it for a hundred points we kind of breezed through the last last two months in terms of the Premier League this year was different now this year there was no breezing through this was essentially since January first every game was a final every game was a final so the level of stress and pressure that we had to live with for a couple of months was it was quite quite and I mean you feel that tension as well I mean the players can do something about it I guess certain the stands none of those can do you actually feel that tension yeah I do feel it but I think I'm a lot more cool about it now I think over the years I've learned to deal with it a lot better and and this year particularly we were in a good standing in the Carrabelle cup and I knew that we handled that well FA Cup was the same I think wasn't as much pressure going through that in the Champions League it was challenging but it was it was okay the Premier League was different the Premier League if you had told me back then that we would have to have won 14 games in a row to win the league yeah that would have been different type of pressure I I knew it was gonna be tight but I didn't expect to be honest that the way it was gonna play out that we needed to win every single one of those last 14 Premier League games to actually win the league how much interaction in that time did you have with pepper he's real luck I work very closely with pepper it closely with oil with the team and Pep was very throughout this period I would say very focused extremely focused almost a machine has done this before in the Premier League has done this before in the Spanish league and the German league so we were you know many of our players have dealt with that for that pressure we have a lot of you know players as you know who were there in 2012 and that season in that game so we have a lot a wealth of experience and that's helped us all out this season so enough without background how disappointing was it to go out of the Champions League not necessarily that stays but in the way we I mean listen cup competitions are different you know leagues are marathons and in a marathon ultimately the best team wins most of the time to get 100 points followed that up by an by 98 points that's that's consistency and that's you know that's that's how you win league's Cup competitions are different there's a there's a whole different set of things that have to fall in place in a cup competition you need to be excellent every game and you need an element of luck you need an element of things you know working out you know you need to have the right calls made to your advantage that day not the calls made against you you need that penalty to go in when you rather than missing that penalty you need that two inches that we did everything there's no question in my mind we did everything in that series in these two games against Tottenham nevertheless the result ended up the Tottenham going through and that happens that happens in Cup competition and that's that's the thing I think that I've and I think we should all come to grips with is when it comes to the Champions League we will keep trying and we will win it and I assume the priorities won't change them I assume it will be go for all for trying we know for you know I had a conversation with the iottery I think on on the was it the first year we signed them and he was telling me about the mindset that he was coming from from that great Barcelona team he played with two to City and you know you have to remember when he came this was really the beginning of our success that was the first FA Cup won back in 2011 and then and then the Premier League the following year and he told me that the mindset they had in Barcelona was a mindset that you need to win every game Viera friendly be it any competition the mindset was we have to win every single game we play and they were you know the entire team entire organization all the players were programmed for that and we didn't have that mentality that we didn't have that mentality that the mindset we have today is treating every game as a game we have to we go in to try to win every game and play one game at a time and to try to win every competition we compete it that's that's the my turn and to do that of course you need to build squads improve squads change squads a little the same players probably won't be here next season nor absolutely last season how far advanced are plans for next season in terms of transfers advanced very advanced you know Chris we have a system now this this this club now is amateur club this organization is a mature organization we plan early we execute quickly and and I think relatively well there is no surprises the way we approached every pre-season is consistent we know our requirements early on we start you know our scouting very early we start you know the conversations between the football director the manager we start the budgeting process early by the time the season is over before the season is over we know exactly what we need and we've already started planning and we've already started the the necessary approaches that's actually one of the things we get credit for would not we'll come to it later but I did credit a lot of credit for an awful lot of things they cease but that is one thing everyone talks about is that city or an organized Club everything's in place from top to bottom everyone knows what they're doing any runs like clockwork and that's not an accident no it's not an excellent question it's not an accident you know it's it's no secret you you you see the correlation between good organization good planning good investment and results there's the direct correlation and if you look at particularly the last two years six trophies six door fees and in the last 24 months that's a result not of the last two years it's as a result of the previous four or five years to get to that point where you can do so I go back to that winning mentality that winning mindset the appreciation by everyone involved and what needs to be done and that hunger that is continuously there women this organization is not designed to be to sit down and just be content it's always about looking at the future it's always a lot about winning it's all about getting better you look at the list of all these players that we've that we've invested in brought in into the organization they came in as young players highly talented and had a value that maybe at the time was considered maybe high but as shown clearly over the last you know months and years that we've invested very wisely and that the value is appreciated significantly and in some cases quite significantly so I think we've invested well and I think you should expect the same you should expect the same because it's the same system it's the same people as the same organization and we'll keep doing that so that leads me to the profile of the silence the days of signing ready-made superstars age 28 29 30 they'd gone forever you'll see a consistency of what we've been doing over the last couple of years which is buying younger players with with a high potential we've done that and as you've seen also we've renewed the contracts of most of these players but you look at the you know Gabrielle who Zeus you look at Sonny you look at Edison you look at sterling you look at Bernardo silver in LaPorte I mean these players have not peaked we signed them we make sure they have long-term contracts with us we manage that contractual relationship I think extremely well and the timing of these renewals extremely well some of them we've renewed a year after signing on why because they've deserved it and I think that's very important in managing our people is they are fairly compensated to what they deserve within the marketplace now it doesn't mean just to answer your question that we wouldn't sign a 26 or 28 year old know if that is the need I mean if you look at what we did last year ringing in riyad mahrez I mean your matters fall into that category and yes we needed another talented experienced player in his peak or get it our approaching to speak and and that's what we needed and that's what we got so we will do that too but the strategy in general is more focused towards investing in the younger players so one of the other end of that spectrum Vincent Kompany who waved goodbye can you describe what he's meant to the club over the last ten and a bit years 11 years so with Vincent you know I have a very special place for Vincent and my my heart and relationships within this club because Vincent was I'll be the first player I interacted with when I first became chairman of this club Vincent had just been signed he was young but you can tell from they wanna do something special about about Vincent and he's been a giant to this club the word legend yeah I don't use it lightly but he's truly a legend what he's accomplished for us you know as a captain as a player as a leader as a leader both on and off the field Vincent is really you know mr. Manchester City and I think it's a massive loss there's no question about that there's some player is always in the history of any club that are irreplaceable and and Vincent is irreplaceable but time is time and and players reach a point in their career where they have to make a decision Vincent came to me after the Leicester City game and and I think in that moment he that's when he made up his mind that what he wanted to do was it was to end his career on a high we knew and he knew that the probability of finishing with with that trouble was gonna be it was gonna be high and in his mind he wanted to leave on top at the peak of his of his performance you know FinCEN sees himself certainly in his career going into coaching and I think having that opportunity to go back to his home team to coach on their left and to play as a player coach I think was a was a very unique opportunity and for that time so I think for him the stars kind of lined up and it made sense from a footballing sense I think he made absolutely the right decision and I told Vincent whatever you decide I'm behind you 100% and I need ultimately took that decision so so we will miss him we will miss him no doubt about that we will give him I think the right tribute his testimonial will be in an amazing event that I'm looking forward to and this club will respect Vincent in the way he deserves and and I'm confident the story of Manchester City and Vincent Kompany mmm it's far from over I was gonna end with that is it goodbye or over no no it's not goodbye it's certainly not goodbye the Vincent will be part of this is part of the family will be always be part of the family and and this journey continues and I have a feeling for sure the good feeling that we will be seen Vincent back here in some capacity at some point in the future something you you might not have a such a good feeling about despite the success this year we see still seem to be the center of a lot of negative commentary from in England and from around Europe every day there seems to be a new negative spin on something we've done seen yet a bus was talking about how gas money and oil money were driving up the the prices of footballers or distorting the market and how do you feel when you I mean it tires the the fan in Manchester an old it hires them well let me let me answer this in into into two parts in football I think people know what teves is about I think he sees himself or he plays the role of a politician so I think he plays to his constituency whatever that might be so he says what I think he wants to say and what Ryles his constituency but take him too seriously because people the others credibility what that comes with with people and I think he distorts facts you know he talks about what did he say that we were distorted the market or is another driving driving driving prices done I mean you know there's a there's a hypocrisy in this statement that is ironic well number one let's look at the Spanish league the time of breaking records on on player acquisitions I mean who started that let's let's go back to the real world records Figo Zidane I mean these huge jumps and these transfers I mean were these what they happen you know you have to look back at the history of La Liga it's a league that is dominated by two clubs and mr. Chavez should look back at history and how you know distortion has happened throughout the ages then you look back at the transfers I mean in the top-ten transfers of all time Manchester City has not a single player and that not a single one so I don't really take that seriously and I ask for our fans to always put it in context always look at facts and and I think people with with glass homes shouldn't be throwing rocks and let's let's always stick to facts I'm happy to talk to anyone as long as the conversation is about facts but once we start talking about any window and then talking about theories and I have no time for them and I mention of oil and gas in particular things that have another connotation you know I think there's something deeply wrong in bringing ethnicity into this into the conversation I mean this is this is just ugly I think the way he's combining teams just because of ethnicity I find that very very disturbing to be honest you know Chris I will not accept for this club to be used as a diversion tactic on poor investment decisions from other cops people make decisions they gotta live by them we've managed ourselves well and and we will be judged by facts and facts alone I mean this is a we're one well-run club I mean that's a fact it's a well-managed waste revenue ratio that compares to some of the best run clubs and in his league and La Liga but frankly in all of European football we've crossed the five hundred million pound revenue milestone who at this club our investments you look at all our investments in the last couple of years has been consistently outperforming in terms of players and in terms of performance on the pitch you look at the results again so I think that there's nothing for me to be ashamed of let's see it's the opposite let's let's go back into Toulon to Manchester ten years ago chef Mansour made a commitment to this club and to the city and you look at ten years on did he make that promise and did he fulfill that promise absolutely yes you just have to walk around in Manchester and ask the people of Manchester and by the way both sides on I've heard that from Manchester United fans a real appreciation to what what's been done in Manchester we've not taken money out of this game we've consistently reinvested in this game and grown this business is this bad for football it does appear that mr. Chavez has a special place for Manchester City in in most of his commentary well listen I don't think it's just an attack on on Manchester City I think there's there's a there's a there's a clear attack on the Premier League and that's been consistent coming from that way I mean let's not forget this is the best league in the world and if you look at this season there's no better testament to the statement where the two European competition the Champions League and the European Cup are being the finals are being competed by English teams ef4 Premier League teams competing in the two European finals that's a fact and that bothers a lot of people in many places and I find it very strange you know coming back here in the UK and in England is we have to be protecting that we have the best league in the world we have the most commercial league in the world we have the most successful clubs in the world economically commercially I think in terms of a global presence this is this is a special league and going back to mr. T bus that's why this attack is not just on Manchester City this attack is against this league and I hope people start seeing that and start I know people don't want to defend Manchester City but for God's sakes start defending this league nevertheless for each of the trophies we've won this year four of them we have investigations looking at the club how are they panning out and do you feel uncomfortable about any of them and more importantly how disappointing is it that it seems from the outside looking in that some Premier League teams have also been pushing for these either sanctions or or inquiry so am i uncomfortable no I think I respect regulatory bodies doing their job and any regulatory process that asks questions we have to I think professionally respond to which is what we've done we are dealing with each one of these entities as per the process we have clear answers I believe quite comfortably if the the process is going to be judged on facts then unquestionably we will prevail if it's not about facts and it's about other things then it's a different conversation but I certainly hope that a these regulatory bodies ultimately will make decisions based on facts now having said that just going back on you know this wave that we are we are dealing with I think listen it's it's you know I'll be philosophical about this we've dealt with this before I mean with UEFA this is not the first time we're going to go through the appropriate steps and we're confident in our position we're very comfortable in our position I'm not I'm not concerned about that because facts will prevail but having said that you know in in sports in general and and you know that Chris you know with success you know there's a certain level of you know jealousy and we called whatever that comes that's part of the game you know when you know when Manchester United dominated the Premier League for many years they know what they had to deal with for so many years that's part of the game it's not easy for our competition we know that you know by the way the football world is very small and what comes around very quickly so you know what someone somewhere in a leadership leading position in any club says something or brief something guess what we know about it but the reality we didn't buy the most expensive player in the Premier League wouldn't buy their most expensive goalkeeper we didn't buy the most expensive defender we didn't buy the most expensive midfielder we didn't buy the most expensive striker so when people throw that what you know they throw at us I go back let's look at facts look at the facts let's talk about facts