The owners of Manchester City, City Football Group (CFG) have revealed plans to expand their portfolio of football clubs and allied businesses globally with prime interest in the Chinese markets.
Tom Glick, CFG’s Chief Commercial Officer, while speaking on a CNBC Talk Show, has said that China is now seen as a lucrative football market because of increased support and push from the government, increasing number of kids learning to play the sport at recreational level, enhanced infrastructure, leagues with good attendance and viewership as well as improvement in national team performance in the recent years, according to cnbc.com reports.
Glick also said that the group, possibly in future, will enter interesting football markets and healthy leagues in Asian countries especially India, Japan and Korea.
The group currently owns football-related businesses in major cities around the world. The football business interests include clubs, academies, technical support and marketing firms. Its portfolio includes its flagship Premier League club Manchester City, Major League Soccer franchise New York City FC, Australian A-League outfit Melbourne City, Spanish LaLiga side Girona, Japanese J-League outfit Yokohama F Marinos and the Uruguayan Primera Division’s club Atletico Torque.
The group boasts of majority holdings in three clubs and stakes in a total of 24 teams in Manchester, New York and Melbourne.
La Liga side Girona became the latest addition to CFG’s portfolio in August 2017 when it acquired 44.3% stake in the club with another 44.3% being held by the Girona Football Group, led by Pere Guardiola, brother of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
Abu Dhabi United Group holds 87% stake in the CFG, with the China Media Capital consortium holding the remaining 13%. Alongside its commercial headquarters in London, CFG operates from Manchester, Abu Dhabi, Girona, Melbourne, Montevideo, New York, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo.