Dubai could give Sven a lifeline

So it looks like Dubai Holding will soon be getting its hands on Liverpool Football Club, as we report elsewhere in this magazine this week.

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By  Ben Dawson Published  December 10, 2006

|~||~||~|So it looks like Dubai Holding will soon be getting its hands on Liverpool Football Club, as we report elsewhere in this magazine this week. But what does this all really mean for the club? Well, the deal is being channelled through Dubai Investment Capital (DIC), which already owns the Madame Tussauds Group as well as the Travelodge Hotel chain and the London Eye. However, anyone who thinks that DIC boss Sameer al-Ansari is looking just at the numbers should think again. Apart from being more than ready to splash out around US$900m on the club (including US$400m for a new stadium), my spies tell me that al-Ansari is himself an avid Liverpool fan. And that he may not be averse to giving the club some “advice” on how things should be done on the pitch. All of which could spell bad news for the current Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez. Despite winning the Champions League two years ago, Benitez has failed to make any impact on the English Premiership, and this season there have been public calls for him to step down. By pure coincidence, I am assured, former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson was in Dubai last week. The now jobless Eriksson is thought to have met up with Dubai Holding officials during an evening out at the Fairmont Hotel. I wonder what the conversation was about. THINK DIFFERENT This year’s Cityscape was a roaring success, in my view the best ever. Congratulations to all the exhibitors for putting on such a great show. It’s hard to pick my favourite, but for sheer creativity I would have to plum for Omniyat Properties. The company’s latest venture is to build a home called the iPad. Constructed in the shape of an iPod, apartments inside this building will not just have the ability to rotate, but at the click of a button can even change colour. Best of all, the building will be directly linked to a number of cameras across the world, which means that you can change the view in your living room from Dubai to a live feed from Sydney Harbour at the click of a button. Pure genius. THE US$10M SHOW I have more details on the rumours that rock stars U2 may perform in Dubai next year. You will recall that in March this year, Robbie Williams practically took over the emirate, and got paid in the region of US$1m to perform a one off show. The concert was put on by The One founder Thomas Lundgren. Now Lundgren has got the rock bug and has spent several weeks trying to see if he can get U2 to appear in Dubai. My spy tells me: “This has been going on for a while, and there seems to be some progress now. Like all these things it comes down to money. But if you assume Robbie got paid around US$1m for one night’s work, you can multiply that figure by ten when it comes to U2. Whether the deal can be pulled off in time for U2 to appear in March nobody knows – it is more likely they would appear sometime late next year.” You read it here first.||**||

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