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September 2008 Review: When Manchester City became Manchester Dhabi and Newcastle United went for sale

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The summer transfer window was extended by a day to let clubs complete their deals on a Monday, and this ‘last day’ was memorable for many reasons.

Abu Dhabi United bought Manchester City from Thaksin Shinawatra, and before everything had been sorted out legally they were making bids for top strikers across Europe, with Dimitar Berbatov, Fernando Torres, David Villa and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar just a few of the confirmed targets.

They eventually got the star signing they wanted with Robinho making a last-day move from Real Madrid to Manchester City, sans medical and at the time ‘getting one over Chelsea’ since Robinho had been a target for the London club for most of the transfer season.

Manchester United signed Berbatov for a record 30m fee but while Manchester was buying 60m worth of strikers (with the Premier League spending more than 500m overall), elsewhere in the Premier League we saw Curbishley leaving West Ham and Keegan leaving Newcastle citing lack of control over transfer dealings.

West Ham replaced Crubishley with Zola, but not before conducting a very public chase for Bilic, while Newcastle, who had by now been put up for sale by Mike Ashley, brought on Kinnear as ‘caretaker’ manager. Kinnear would not better than Big Sam or KK but in a sign of how low expectations were at Newcastle, he would be hailed as a ‘great signing’ before long.


Chelsea fans were seen shifting allegiance to the blue half of Manchester.

Arsenal were losing the easy games and winning the tough ones, leading many people to doubt their title credentials as early as September.

Tottenham were in freefall despite spending money to strengthen the squad in areas that didn’t need strengthening, and everyone from Ramos to Levy was under scrutiny, although in the end the chairman would cover himself and lay all the blame at the feet of his manager and former players – the same manager who was, in January and February, heralded as the best manager Tottenham would ever have.

Roy Keane (then Sunderland manager) and Jack Warner got into a public slanging match, with Keane calling Warner a clown.

Liverpool’s star players kept getting robbed with no clue as to who was behind the robberies – although we did have some ideas.

Uefa rebranded the UEFA Cup as the ‘Europa League’. Bleh.

Also Read

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