City Football Group – Which clubs do they own?
Since the Abu Dhabi United Group’s takeover of Manchester City in 2008, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) based private equity company, owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, have kept on acquiring more football clubs. A further eight clubs from around the world have been added to the City Football Group.
Manchester City are the company’s flagship club, but City Football Group also owns stakes in clubs in the United States, Australia, India, Japan, Spain, Uruguay, China and Belgium. Here are the nine clubs that comprise the City Football Group.
Which clubs make up the City Football Group?
Manchester City F.C.
In 2008, Abu Dhabi United Group completed the takeover of Manchester City – a club that had just finished 9th in the Premier League the season before and had been without a trophy in 32 seasons. On the same day that the takeover was agreed upon, Real Madrid’s Robinho joined the club for a record of £32.5m, showing the clubs ambition to win the Premier League.
After the takeover, the club changed their internal workings with the ambition of rising to the top of European football as quickly as possible. Though Man City has not succeeded in winning the Champions League yet, with 4 Premier League titles, the takeover can be considered a big success.
New York City FC
New York City Football Club currently competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference. In 2015, New York City played theor first game at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx. The club came into existence as MLS’s 20th franchise in 2013 and debuted against Orlando City SC on 8 March 2015. The City Football Group is the majority stakeholder in the club.
Melbourne City FC
The group’s ownership of the club was announced at the beginning of 2014 with a deal which saw them own 80% of the Australian club and bought the remaining 20% from a consortium of businessmen allied to Australian rugby league club Melbourne Storm. Melbourne City Football Club competes in the major Australian competition, the Hyundai A-League.
Yokohama F. Marinos
City Football Group were announced as a minority shareholder of the Yokohama F. Marinos (YFM) in 2014, marking the first City Group investment in a J-League Club. At the end of 2019, the Club became J-League Champions for the fourth time and the first time since 2004.
Montevideo City Torque
At the beginning of 2020, the club announced that it had changed its name to Montevideo City Torque, with an accompanying change in team badge, reflecting their links to Manchester City and the other clubs of the City Football Group. The Uruguayan football club, on the same day of the name change, announced the construction of a new youth academy with the intent to help develop South American talents.
In 2017, City Football Group acquired 44.3% of La Liga club Girona FC. Another 44.3% is held by the Girona Football Group, led by Pere Guardiola, brother of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and agent of Luis Suarez. Girona FC were founded in 1930 and, with the City Group partnership, has the ambition to achieve sustained La Liga status.
In 2019, City Football Group announced the acquisition of its first club in the up-and-coming Chinese football league. By acquiring Sichuan Jiuniu FC of China League Two, it made its first investment in China. The Chengdu-based club was acquired in partnership with UBTECH, which is an artificial intelligence and humanoid robotics company headquartered in Shenzhen, and China Sports Capital, a global sports industry investment fund.
Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City Football Club is an Indian football club based in Mumbai, Maharashtra which competes in the Indian Super League. City Football Group was announced as majority stakeholder of Mumbai City in 2019 after acquiring 65% of the club. Founded in 2014, Mumbai City is yet to achieve any significant success in the Indian top-flight but hopes to win silverware in the coming seasons.
In 2020, Lommel SK became the ninth and latest club to join the City Football Group and the third European football club to be acquired, besides Man City and Girona. City Football Group acquired an unspecified majority of the shares of the club. Lommel SK is competing in the Belgian First Division B (second tier) but has the ambition to become a first division club. Promotion to the first division is the first goal for Lommel.
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