“We believe that this investment will deliver transformative benefits to Mumbai City FC, to City Football Group and to Indian Football as a whole.”
Manchester City owners City Football Group (CFG) have announced the purchase of a majority stake in Mumbai City FC.
It comes just a day after CFG announced the sale of a 10% stake to American technology investment firm Silver Lake for $500 million, valuing the group at just short of $5 billion.
The Indian Super League side become the eighth football club involved in the group’s network, also joining Melbourne City in Australia, New York City in the USA, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay, Girona in Spain and Sichuan Jiuniu in China.
It was announced on Thursday morning that a 65 per cent share has been acquired, while the club’s existing shareholders – including actor and film producer Ranbir Kapoor – will hold the remaining shares.
Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of CFG, said in a statement that the group believes the investment will provide “transformative benefits” for Mumbai City, CFG and to Indian football as a whole.
He added: “City Football Group is committed to the future of football in India and to the potential for Mumbai City FC within that future.
“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.”
While the deal provides clear benefits for Mumabi City and Indian football, it is also likely to benefit the rest of the CFG network, in particular flagship club Man City.
With the Premier League champions unable to play in countries such as India or the USA every week, CFG provides an opportunity to maintain franchises of the brand in such locations, enabling a constant market presence.
Deloitte’s Fernando Pons has stated that the CFG model is a leading example of ‘glocalisation’, a concept which implies adapting global products for local markets.
And while Man City merchandise isn’t sold by other CFG clubs – so that supporters of different British teams are not alienated – Pons states that followers of subsidiaries will almost certainly become MCFC fans.
A wider network of clubs improves their capabilities in terms of supporter base, and the larger their fan base the more revenue CFG will produce. With that in mind, it is unlikely that the group will stop at Mumbai, and – according to reports – CFG could make a move in Brazil and Mexico next.