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Manchester City Executive Visits India As Owners Look to Expand Reach

Like many of the powerhouses of European football, English Premier League table toppers Manchester City are now exploring the Indian market. City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano is in India and the City Football Group are looking to expand their reach in terms of global investments.

News18 Sports

Updated:January 6, 2018, 2:53 PM IST
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Manchester City Executive Visits India As Owners Look to Expand Reach
Manchester City players celebrate their goal at Old Trafford in the Manchester derby. (Image: AFP)
Like many of the powerhouses of European football, English Premier League table toppers Manchester City are now exploring the Indian market. City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano is in India and the City Football Group are looking to expand their reach in terms of global investments.

CFG are expected to buy a club in China which would then bring six international clubs under their umbrella and India is a market of great interest to the group even though there isn’t a concrete plan to speak of as yet.

Soriano, was present at the Indian Super League match between Jamshedpur FC and Mumbai City FC on Friday night in Jamshedpur in the south eastern state of Jharkhand.

Jamshedpur, coached by former Man City boss Steve Coppell, had Sunil Bhaskaran, a vice president at Tata Steel and chairman of the Tata Football Academy, give Soriano a full tour of the stadium.

“This is spectacular. Atmosphere is great and we saw some very good football. I am very impressed," Soriano said.

Soriano said recently that he expects football to become the biggest sport in all countries all over the world, including the cricket crazy India and the United States.

“I think this is a land of opportunity. There is enough evidence that India has talent and they can be coached to get to the top. For Indian talent to grow, coaching is very important. You need good coaches to come to India who can also coach other coaches here,” he said.

Soriano also impressed upon the fact that CFG want to create a strong foothold all over the world in a bid to maximise commercial avenues and develop football. A plan like that is likely to involve more than one club per continent.

“We think India is a major opportunity for football because there is talent and passion and we are very positive about the development of football in the country. That’s why we are here. We want to watch some ISL games, meet people and want to see players,” Soriano added.

The City Football Group added Girona in Spain as the sixth club after Man City, Major League Soccer franchise New York City FC, Australian A-League outfit Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay to join the CFG stable in a £3.1 million takeover last year.

Apart from that City have a partnership with the likes of NAC Breda, and Atletico Venezuela in Holland and Venezuela along with another partnership with an academy in Ghana. For the City Group, countries like Malaysia, Vietnam and South Africa are also on their radar.
| Edited by: Abhimanyu Sen
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