Elano handed £40,000 fine by Hughes

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The Independent Online

Mark Hughes has fined Brazilian midfielder Elano a week's wages of £40,000 for publicly demanding more time on the field at Manchester City.

The player's comments were "inopportune" and "a mistake", Hughes said yesterday. "Elano is an emotional guy and he wants to play every game," he added. "But sometimes I will make decisions that will affect players personally and professionally. It's not all about your own situation." In one of the more challenging weeks in his footballing life, Hughes has also fined Elano's compatriot Jo, who went out on the town when he was supposed to be recovering from tonsillitis.

With all that to deal with since returning early on Thursday from his first meeting with his club's new owners – not to mention preparations for tomorrow's trip to Hull – Hughes could at least reflect on the success of his Middle East trip. A sense is emerging that the emiracy want City to be one component part of a group of cultural assets, which also includes Abu Dhabi hosting a Formula One grand prix next year, rather than a totemic emblem of Arab riches. While neighbouring Dubai, for instance, would probably be looking for plenty more players of Robinho's stature, the Abu Dhabi way seems more understated and that is why Hughes's wish to buy more modest players will prevail in January. Dr Sulaiman al-Fahim, the original Abu Dhabi figurehead, is not in a position to hold any sway, though his vision for the club saw things developing in the "Robinho" direction.

Responding to reports that Jose Mourinho had been earmarked for his job, Hughes said different "agendas" were at work trying to destabilise him.

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