The owners of Premier League champions Manchester City have agreed on a deal to acquire a majority stake in Mumbai City FC, according to a release.
Manchester City is the crown jewel of the City Football Group (CFG), which is majority owned by Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
“CFG will become the 65 percent majority shareholder of the Club, alongside existing shareholders, acclaimed actor and film producer, Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh who combined will hold the remaining 35 percent of shares. Completion of the investment remains subject to the approval of certain football bodies,” stated the release.
"The investment will showcase the interest of the world in Indian football," said a source close to Reuters, who asked not to be named as the talks were private.
With acquisition of Mumbai City FC, CFG has now eight football clubs under its umbrella. These clubs are English Premier League Champions, Manchester City FC, also comprises New York City in the US, Melbourne City FC in Australia, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay, Girona FC in Spain and Sichuan Jiuniu FC in China.
ISL chairperson Nita Ambani was present on the occasion when the deal was finalized.
FSDL chairperson Mrs Nita Ambani welcoming City Football group CEO Ferran Soriano in the Indian Super League.
“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,” said Ambani.
“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. 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,” she elaborated.
“We believe that this investment will deliver transformative benefits to Mumbai City FC, to City Football Group and to Indian Football as a whole. City Football Group is committed to the future of football in India and to the potential for Mumbai City FC within that future,” said Chairman of City Football Group Khaldoon Al Mumbarak.
Mumbai City, has had players likes of Freddie Ljungberg, Nicolas Anelka and Diego Forlan as their marquee players in the past.
In the ongoing season of the league, they are currently placed seventh in the 10-team ISL.
(with inputs from Reuters)Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.