City Football Group, the owners of Premier League champions Manchester City have acquired a 65% majority stake in Indian Super League franchise Mumbai City FC, the group officials along with Football Sports Development India announced in Mumbai on Thursday.
In a statement, the CFG said: “City Football Group has agreed a deal to acquire a majority stake in its eighth club, Mumbai City FC in the ISL, marking a major move into Indian football. CFG will become the 65% majority shareholder of the Club, alongside existing shareholders, Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh who combined will hold the remaining 35% of shares. Completion of the investment remains subject to the approval of certain football bodies.”
Commenting on the acquisition and the opportunities it brings to all parties, Chairman of City Football Group Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: “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.”
He added: “We are very much looking forward to playing an active role in Mumbai City FC’s fan and local communities, and working with our co-owners to further develop the Club as quickly as possible.”
The deal takes place just a day after CFG agreed to sell a $500 million stake to US private equity firm Silver Lake, making it the world’s most valuable football group with a $4.8 billion price tag.
The CFG who is majority-owned by Abu Dhabi based Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has majority stakes in seven football clubs across the world that include Major League Soccer side New York City FC and A-League outfit Melbourne City FC apart from Manchester City.
Mumbai City FC who are co-owned by Bollywood star Kapoor have been inconsistent performers in ISL having reached the playoffs only on two occasions in the five campaigns so far.
Notable names like Diego Forlan, Nicholas Anelka, Freddie Ljungberg have played for the franchise in the past. The team is currently coached by FC Porto’s Champions League winning captain, Jorge Costa and play their games out of the Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai.
Mumbai City FC currently sit seventh in the 2019-’20 ISL season after one win, two draws and two losses in their five games so far.