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GCC: Football caught up in political crossfire

For some Gulf-based owners of Europe’s biggest ‘oligarch’ clubs, the 2017/18 football season has started well. Having spent over £770m ($1bn) assembling their squad, and millions more luring storied manager Pep Guardiola to the Etihad stadium, Manchester City’s Abu Dhabi owners must be delighted at the club’s inspired start to the season – they are top of the English Premier League and undefeated so far in the Uefa Champions League. Such is the glamour and kudos of owning a club, other Gulf investors are set to compete with Chinese and other billionaires to buy potential champion clubs.

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