City owners eyeing bigger picture

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Manchester City is just one part of a much bigger picture for owner Sheikh Mansour, according to executive chairman Garry Cook.

The Blues' Abu Dhabi-based owners may have failed in their attempt to lure Kaka to Eastlands from AC Milan but their efforts to turn City into one of the biggest clubs in the world continue undeterred.

And it seems Sheikh Mansour is not just interested in throwing buckets of cash at the football team. "The owners didn't buy a football a team, they bought an enterprise," said Cook.

It has long been rumoured he wants to use land around the City of Manchester Stadium for building projects. And Cook confirmed there is a grand plan that goes far beyond Mark Hughes' team.

He added: "One day people will see the team will only be part of a much bigger vision.

"But for now we think about the football team and we think about the players we are signing. They are an integral part of the operation, they will be maintained and that's where we will focus."

Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong is next on Hughes' hit-list after Monday's capture of Craig Bellamy from West Ham.

And, for all the doubts that remain over the Welshman, Cook insists he has Sheikh Mansour's full confidence.

"People say 'is Mark going to stick around?'," observed Cook. "He is the manager of the football club and is more than competent at his job.

"We are providing the tools he requires because he feels he needs more to go out and win games. Everyone knows what the rules are. If you are a striker and you don't score for three years you will probably find yourself elsewhere."

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Manchester City
Mark Hughes
Craig Bellamy
Premier League
Mark Hughes

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