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Man City take-over is football´s future, says Hamann

SoccerNews in Bundesliga, English Premier League 10 Sep 2008

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Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamann says the partial takeover of the Premier League club by a rich investor is the future of European football.

Sulaiman al-Fahim has invested heavily in Manchester City since he bought Brazilian Robinho from Spanish giants Real Madrid for 42 million euros (59 million US dollars) on Monday September 1.

Fahim, one of the wealthiest men in the world, has made no secret of his desire to make City bigger than Real Madrid and Manchester United.

Manchester United and Chelsea contested this year's Champions League final and both joined Liverpool in the semi-finals the previous season.

Hamann says with Premier League clubs supported by exceptionally wealthy businessman, such as Roman Abramovich at Chelsea and Malcolm Glazer at Manchester United, English clubs will only continue to dominate in Europe.

“That is the model for the future,” the 35-year-old told German website Sport1 in an interview.

“The fans here are overjoyed, it can only be a good thing for the players and the club.

“But if things continue, the gap between Germany and England, Spain and Italy will only grow wider.

“English teams have dominated the Champions League in recent years and will probably continue to do so,” he said.

Hamann, who won the last of his 59 Germany caps in 2005, says Bundesliga clubs would make an attractive investment, but “few businessmen will pay 49 percent for a football club, but have no say in how the side is run”.

In the Bundesliga, only Bayern Munich have the financial resources to recruit big name stars on salaries competitive with the rest of Europe.

And Hamann says there is a real danger the price paid for players and the salaries they are paid could explode in the coming months with clubs willing to hand control to foreign investors to buy Premier League success.

Manchester City are reportedly interested in signing both Germany strikers Lukas Podolski, from Bayern Munich, and Stuttgart's Mario Gomez with a host of other stars set to join.

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