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The training ground of Manchester City was very poor when I joined the club-Vincent

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Manchester City defender Vincent company sheard his awkward experience when he joined Manchester City

The Belgian defender had just completed his £6million move from Hamburg when he realised that Mark Hughes' sales pitch about the direction the club was going was not entirely accurate. “Everything about the deal was done at the stadium,” recalled Kompany. “I looked around the City of Manchester Stadium, as it was back then, and I couldn't help but be impressed with what I saw.
“When Mark told me what his plans were for the team, I couldn't pick up the pen fast enough to sign. But then they took me for a look around the training ground at Carrington and I wondered what I had let myself in for. “To be honest, it wasn't fit for purpose. It was a dump. “I remember there was a punch bag in the gym – and only one boxing glove. And even that had a big split in it! “The rest of the place wasn't any better. “But then, within days, came what I can only describe as a revolution. And the rest, as they say, is history.” It was September 1, 2008 when Sheikh Mansour agreed to pay Thaksin Shinawatra £200million for the club. Shinawatra, the former prime minister of Thailand, was on the run spending the assets that remained unfrozen when he was charged with corruption in his homeland. Garry Cook, the Nike marketing mastermind who had left behind a dream job in charge of the Michael Jordan brand to take up Shinawatra's invitation to run the club, had been forced to ask ex-chairman John Wardle for three separate loans to pay the wages.
Cook, right, admits City were "on our knees" before Sheikh Mansour, centre, bought in More money was being borrowed against future ticket sales in a bid to meet transfer payments. Cook still has the Power Point presentation he made to senior executives of the Abu Dhabi United Group in his bid to persuade them to choose City ahead of three other Premier League clubs. “We were on our knees,” admitted Cook, who spent the next three years working alongside Sheikh Mansour's appointed chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
“I can't stress enough how close the club was to going over the precipice, but in some ways I think Sheikh Mansour saw the task of taking over a football club that shared a city with Manchester United and was at its lowest financial ebb as a great challenge. “It is incredible to think how far City have come since those dark, dark days.” Mansour has invested more than £1billion investing in a club, a team and Manchester itself. Three Premier League titles, three League Cup triumphs and an FA Cup win have put City at the top table of European football. In Pep Guardiola, the Blues have the most coveted coach in the game and shattered a fistful of records on the way to a thrilling championship last season. The club's stunning state-of-the-art training ground, built just across the road from the Etihad Stadium, is the best of its kind and is home to a successful women's team as well as the Academy. Clubs in the United States, Australia, Japan, Uruguay and Spain now make up part of a global City Football Group. But the rise of the Blue Moon has not always been a smooth ascent. Abu Dhabi's poor human rights record and the morality of lavishing the country's wealth on an English football club are both valid criticisms. Inside the game, City's threat to the superiority of clubs who have dominated for decades led to the introduction of Financial Fair Play Regulations that were deemed by many to be nothing more than a crass attempt to maintain the status quo. The facilities City now enjoy are a million miles from the shambles when Kompany signed
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