Stand by for the Man City scooter and energy drink

The vision of Manchester City's future, which is believed to have helped persuade the club's new Arab owners to take the plunge, projected the team as a brand of Virgin proportions with cars, scooters, restaurant chains and energy drinks all carrying the "City" name.

An 83-page document, believed to have been prepared by City's executive chairman, Garry Cook, ahead of the club's sale by Thaksin Shinawatra, sees a new City brand which could hardly be further removed from the current image of a club with a tendency to implode at crucial junctures.

In its new commercial climate City's aim must be to become "the Virgin of Asia and the world," it is envisaged, with a range of new commercial spin-offs including Citycars, produced in association with the Indian car maker Tata and a range of energy drinks in partnership with Red Bull, called City Powered, City Energy and City 24/7.

Other products include City mobile-phone cards distributed in association with China Mobile, a City fashion range, a range of food outlets called City Eating and a range of Citycard credit cards. Other possible links could produce City Mini Coopers, City helmets, City buses and a City Training facility in partnership with Manchester's Ricky Hatton.

The entrepreneur at the helm of the City takeover, Dr Sulaiman al-Fahim, said last week that the brand-building expertise of Cook, developed during a career with Nike in Portland, Oregon, which saw him become president of the Nike Jordan brand, was key to the club's future and the document certainly has all the hallmarks of the executive chairman's philosophy.

Cook believes that the Premier League is 10 years behind the United States in terms of merchandising, and that even Manchester United, the pre-eminent exponents of brand building in the Premier League, have, in his words, "not scratched the surface." Cook believes City's merchandising operation has been shockingly poor. "You look at our brand and it's Thomas Cook," he said recently. "There's something not right about watching us in a bar in Beijing or Bangkok or Tokyo and seeing 'Fred Smith's Plumbing, call 0161 ...'"

City's vision, seemingly grander by the day, does not appear to be causing the Manchester United chief executive, David Gill, too much lost sleep. Gill acknowledged yesterday that the kind of £135m bid for Cristiano Ronaldo which Fahim has talked about trying in January would be put to the Glazer family but that it should also be taken with a "pinch of salt".

"I think it's a fan's-type comment," Gill told the BBC. "It's interesting when Alex [Ferguson] mentioned the Dimitar Berbatov signing in advance that complaints were made to the Premier League. He [Fahim] mentioned [Fernando] Torres and [Cesc] Fabregas [too], so I think we will treat that with a pinch of salt. I have never met the gentleman. It [£135m] is a fantastic amount of money and would turn the industry upside down so I can't believe he is serious at those sorts of levels. We are not in the market to sell our best players."

After a turbulent week in which the apparent interference of wealthy owners gave rise to two managers quitting, Gill drew a line between United and other clubs. "Alex Ferguson has been here 20 years, made the decisions, decides who he will let go," Gill said. The model of chief executive and manager working together, minus a director of football, will remain unchanged at the club, he said. Gill also indicated that United spending for this season is over, once the £32m deal to make Carlos Tevez a permanent player is concluded.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments