Football

Manchester City owner acquires stake in Mumbai City FC

Landmark event: FSDL chairperson Nita Ambani with City Football Group CEO Ferran Soriano at the Hero ISL press meet.

Landmark event: FSDL chairperson Nita Ambani with City Football Group CEO Ferran Soriano at the Hero ISL press meet.  

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It’s a landmark occasion that celebrates the remarkable rise of Indian football: Nita Ambani

The City Football Group (CFG), owner of English Premier League champion team Manchester City, acquired a 65% stake in Mumbai City FC (MCFC). For the first time ever, a club in India will form part of a group of seven football teams worldwide.

The acquisition announcement was made by Nita Ambani, chairperson of Football Sports Development Limited in the presence of Ferran Soriano, CEO of CFG. The majority owners also formed the City Football Group India (CFGI), to be helmed by Damien Willoughby, as the CEO. Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh, existing co-owners, will own the remaining 35% stakes.

Mumbai City, one of the teams competing in the Indian Super League (ISL), will benefit from the football know-how available with CFG, via operations of clubs in USA (New York City ), Australia (Melbourne City Fc), Japan (Yokohima F Marinos), Uruguay (Athletico Torque), Spain (Girona FC), China (Sichuan Jiuniu) and England (Manchester City).

Great endorsement

Nita Ambani said: “It’s a landmark occasion that celebrates the remarkable rise of Indian football and brings to life our vision for the beautiful game in India. It is a great endorsement of the increasing appeal of Indian football and for all football fans in India, this is a moment to take pride in our football, our culture and the opportunity we present to the world in developing the sport.”

She added: “The power and potential of our youth makes India the most exciting global opportunity in the world today, in every field, and especially in sport. On behalf of all Indian football stakeholders, I welcome CFG and thank them for their interest and belief in Indian football. I am sure Mumbai City and Indian football will benefit greatly from this historic partnership.”

Ferran Soriano, the CFG CEO, was present on behalf of group chairman Khaldoon Al Mumbarak.

Bright future

Soriano said: “We have been looking at this (investment in India) for years. We have been looking at football in India and this league (ISL) for years, have been sending people to come here and watch matches. I myself came and watched many games here and we are now convinced about the bright future for football in India.”

Mumbai City, coached by Jorge Costa and captained by Paulo Machado, competes in the ISL season six and home matches are played at the Mumbai Football Arena.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 7:40:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/manchester-city-owner-acquires-stake-in-mumbai-city-fc/article30109337.ece

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