Mumbai City goalkeeper Amrinder Singh has described City Football Group’s acquisition of his club as “momentous”, saying it will provide a massive boost to the sport in the country.
English Premier League champions Manchester City’s parent company City Football Group on Thursday bought a majority 65 percent stake in Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Mumbai City FC.
This is the first time a top European club has acquired a majority stake of a club in India, and the development is also expected to bring its renowned manager, Pep Guardiola, closer to the country.
“I feel this is a momentous deal. This is indeed a great moment for football in India and all the young players who are emerging to play the sport,” Amrinder said.
“We have seen in the last four or five years how rapid the progress has been in Indian football after the emergence of the ISL. I believe City Football Group coming to India can only take football forward in our country.”
With this deal, Mumbai City joined an elite list of clubs who are under the ownership of the Abu Dhabi based CFG which includes Premier League champions Manchester City and six other clubs around the world.
All of CFG’s clubs have achieved remarkable branding and have seen booming business off the field.
Manchester City have improved leaps and bounds to be recognized as one of the best teams in the world under Guardiola and Mumbai City will hope to achieve a step up in terms of quality, with a global reach for the club already guaranteed.
There could be a possibility of Mumbai City players also being part of an exchange programme which would allow them to train at some of the CFG-owned clubs across the world and thus, improve their skills further.
Coach Jorge Costa, who won the UEFA Champions League with FC Porto as a player, believes that with CFG coming on board at Mumbai City, good times are around the corner for football fans in Mumbai.
“I am very proud to be part of this. I am very happy and excited. This will be wonderful for Mumbai City and also for ISL. I think they can bring us a lot of expertise to help the club first and then the ISL,” he said.
“I think we still have a lot of work to do to improve the quality of ISL. Comparing to last year we are improving. It is a gradual process,” said the Portuguese coach.