Friday, March 22, 2019

Manchester City owners target Indian club in CFG expansion

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Mar 2019

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Manchester City’s owners aim to buy a club in India this year, according to chief executive Ferran Soriano.

The City Football Group (CFG) expanded its portfolio of clubs to seven last month when it purchased Chinese third-tier side Sichuan Jiuniu.

New York City were established as Manchester City’s first sister club in 2013 and the CFG also owns or has shares in A-League team Melbourne City, Girona of LaLiga, Uruguayan outfit Club Atletico Torque and J.League club Yokohama F. Marinos.

“With all these developments we have to be patient,” Soriano told reporters.

“We have some interest in some markets and countries where there is a genuine football passion and opportunities, like China, but also India. So there might be other opportunities in Asia.

“We’ve been looking at India for nearly two years now. I’d say this year we’ll end up doing an investment in India.”

And former Barcelona vice-president Soriano explained that he sees scope for further expansion.

“As we see it now, there is a natural pace of growth that we will follow that takes us to more than seven teams, but not 100 teams,” he said.

“I cannot see 10 years ahead but the group might have two or three teams more. Is this going to change in five years and we’re going to have more? Maybe, I don’t know that.

“But to complete the vision that we had six years ago, I think we will have maybe two or three clubs more.”

Soriano’s restatement of the CFG’s global ambitions comes amid the latest round of allegations made against Manchester City and their owners by German publication Der Spiegel, which draw upon documents purportedly obtained by whistleblowers Football Leaks.

The articles include claims of City circumventing UEFA’s Financial Fair Play laws, making an illegal payment to the agent of their former youth player Jadon Sancho and the CFG engaging in third-party ownership practices.

City have offered an unwavering response to the allegations, issuing the below statement on several occasions.

“We will not be providing any comment on out-of-context materials purported to have been hacked or stolen from City Football Group and Manchester City personnel and associated people,” the statement read.

“The attempt to damage the club’s reputation is organised and clear.”

Last week, the CFG confirmed a 10-year kit manufacturing deal with sportswear giant Puma worth a reported £650million.

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