Manchester City Owners Buy Majority Stake in Indian Super League Side Mumbai City FC
The City Football Group, owners of Manchester City among other teams across the globe, bought a 65 percent majority stake in the Indian Super League side Mumbai City FC.
Mumbai City FC and Manchester City (Photo Credit: news18)
New Delhi: Premier League champions Manchester City owners acquired a majority stake in Indian Super League (ISL) side Mumbai City FC, the announcement of which was made by Football Sports Development Limited chairperson Nita Ambani, at a press conference in Mumbai on Thursday.
Manchester City is the crown jewel of the City Football Group (CFG), which is owned by Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The group bought 65 percent stake in the ISL's Mumbai City. The remaining 35 percent of the stake will remain with Bimal Parekh and Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor.
News of the acquisition was announced in front of the club's fans by CFG's Chief Executive Officer, Ferran Soriano together with Nita Ambani.
"Today we welcome a global footballing powerhouse to India, the ISL and Indian Football. I am proud to announce that the City football group has acquired majority stake in Mumbai City FC. For the first time, a European football club has acquired majority stake in an Indian club. What a big day for Indian football, what a dream come true for all the fans of Manchester City and Mumbai City FC.
"I wish the team (Mumbai City FC) all the very best as they usher into this new era of Indian football. I want to thank City football group for their belief in Indian football. I look forward to the coming years with great excitement as a fan, believer and supporter of Indian football," Ambani said as she made the landmark announcement.
"The deal will see Mumbai City FC benefit from the Group's commercial and football know-how, whilst at the same time delivering a new and exciting element to the CFG global commercial platform," a statement from the City Football Group and FSDL read.
— Mumbai City FC (@MumbaiCityFC) November 28, 2019
The deal was announced at a glittering press conference just a day after CFG agreed to sell a $500 million stake to US private equity firm Silver Lake, making it the world's most valuable football group with a $4.8 billion price tag.
CFG owns stakes in seven teams - New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay, Girona FC in Spain and Sichuan Jiuniu FC in China.
Mumbai City, which is co-owned by Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor, has had the likes of Freddie Ljungberg, Nicolas Anelka and Diego Forlan as their marquee players in the past.
"I am super thrilled with this development and with this partnership, we hope to replicate what Manchester City has done in the Premier League and improve further. Our aim at Mumbai City is to become the best club in Asia and this is a step in that direction," Ranbir said in a video played at the press conference.
Soriano announced City's intent to stay and invest in Indian football for the next decade and said they will help the Indian players develop at a better pace.
"Indian players are going to become stars. We will help Indian players develop faster and with a purpose.
"The power is here, we just have to help with coaching, technology and opportunities and this is our aim for the long term and we are here to stay for the next decade or so and see Indian football flourish," said Soriano.
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