The day that Sheik Mansour of Abu Dhabi bought Manchester City remains etched in memory.
One moment, City were about to sink into oblivion under the reckless control of Thaksin Shinawatra; the next, a club employee was blinking hard with disbelief as she faxed a £32million transfer request to Real Madrid for the registration of Brazil forward Robinho.
In the following days and weeks, English football began to wonder if its familiar landscape – one with Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool at its center was about to change forever, indeed it has. Two years on, it is finally threatening to happen. City’s progress to the top of the English game has been relatively slow.