Page 86 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine VII

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Innovative new scheme
Over in the United Arab Emirates, there was also something new for fans to get excited
about, as City launched its first ever free international membership scheme for
supporters – called Sky Blue. A series of “Fan Zone” events were announced at Abu
Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City that would allow members to come together and enjoy
games live on the big screen. One of the first saw almost 200 supporters gather for the
huge Premier League clash with United at their famous Old Trafford stadium.
It was an afternoon that would go down in history, as Roberto Mancini’s side
demolished the opposition 6-1. As the goals flew in, Sky Blue members of multiple
nationalities celebrated and danced around the Fan Zone. These events would take on
a life of their own throughout the season as Sky Blue membership went from strength
to strength. More than 5,000 have already registered.
Vieira praises fans’ passion
Patrick Vieira – football legend, former City star and now the Club’s Football
Development Executive – was a special guest at the Fan Zone for the Liverpool game
and was taken aback at the level of support in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
“InManchester we are all obviously aware of the links between the club and Abu Dhabi,
but it is not until you come here to watch a game with fans that you appreciate the
amount of passion they now have for City,” said the Frenchman, whose glittering career
has seen him and team-mates winning the English Premier League, the FA Cup, the
European Championships and the World Cup.
“I was so impressed by how much they knew about the team and football in general,
and what was fantastic to see was the mix of people with so many nationalities in the
Fan Zone. City has always been supported massively in Manchester,” he continued, “
but now it is going to the next level with an international profile – and Sky Blue is a big
part of that.”
Travel to Manchester
In addition to Fan Zones in Abu Dhabi and other competitions and events, Sky Blue
members also had the chance to travel toManchester to watch the team in action at the
Etihad Stadium. With discounts of up to forty percent on Etihad ticket and travel
packages, supporters were able to make the trip throughout the season.
His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan with Roberto Mancini