City Football Group, owners of Manchester City FC, have announced a $400 million investment from a Chinese consortium that will give them 13% stake and values CFG at $3bn, with Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the chairman, insisting this will a leverage the incredible potential that exists in Chinaa .
Along with the Manchester club, CFG also own New York City FC, a start-up Major League Soccer franchise, and Melbourne City FC, of Australiaa s A-League, plus it retains a minority shareholding in Yokohama F Marinos of the Japanese J-League.
Al Mabarak hopeful of leveraging potential in China
The Chairman of CFG is positive about exploiting the talent in China and believes these are minor steps that will lead to the transition of Chinese football.
As reported by the Guardian, Al Mubarak said: a Football is the most loved, played and watched sport in the world and in China, the exponential growth pathway for the game is both unique and hugely exciting. We have therefore worked hard to find the right partners and to create the right deal structure to leverage the incredible potential that exists in China, both for CFG and for football at large.a
a The deal will create an unprecedented platform for the growth of Chinese companies”
The move came after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Manchester City FC during a four day stay in Britain in October. Former City defender Sun Jihai, who made 130 appearances for the club between 2002 and 2008, was inducted to the Manchester-based National Football Museuma s Hall of Fame, while the Chinese was also appointed a club ambassador in China in September.
A statement on Citya s website said: a City Football Group today announced a partnership with a consortium of high profile Chinese institutional investors led by Chinaa s leading media, entertainment, sports and internet dedicated investment and operating company CMC (China Media Capital) Holdings.
a The deal will create an unprecedented platform for the growth of CFG clubs and companies in China and internationally, borne out of CFGa s ability to provide a wealth of industry expertise and resources to the rapidly developing Chinese football industry.a
The deal would mean that new shares will have to issued in CFG for the consortium, with the current shares being owned by Abu Dhabi United Group, the company privately owned by Sheikh Mansour, who will no longer be the sole owner of CFG.