CFG, which owns Premier League Champions Manchester City, has agreed to take 65% stake and become the majority stakeholder in Mumbai City FC. The deal was agreed on Thursday, marking a major move into Indian football. CFG will become the 65 per cent majority shareholder of the club, alongside existing shareholders, Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor and film producer Bimal Parekh who combined will hold the remaining 35 per cent of shares. This is the for the first time ever an European team has acquired majority stake of an Indian football club.
The completion of the investment remains subject to the approval of certain football bodies. News of the acquisition was revealed in front of the Club's fans by CFG Chief Executive Officer Ferran Soriano together with Chairperson, Football Sports Development Limited and Reliance Foundation Nita Ambani.
The CFG's operations will now include eight football clubs and football related businesses in 13 offices around the world. The Group has expanded significantly since its inception in March 2013, and now employs more than 2,000 staff and has more than 1,500 footballers who play over 2,500 games every year. Through its Cityzens Giving campaign, CFG has also supported community programmes spanning six continents, including Mumbai in its 2019 edition.
Welcoming the City Football Group to the Indian Super League (ISL) Nita Ambani said: "It's a landmark occasion that celebrates the remarkable rise of Indian football and brings to life our vision for the beautiful game in India."
"It is a great endorsement of the increasing appeal of Indian football and for all football fans in India, this is a moment to take pride in our football, our culture and the opportunity we present to the world in developing the sport. The power and potential of our youth makes India the most exciting global opportunity in the world today, in every field, and especially in sport," she added.
Commenting on the acquisition and the opportunities it brings to all parties, Chairman of City Football Group Khaldoon Al Mumbarak 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."
The investment will showcase the interest of the world in Indian football.
"This will also provide opportunities for foreign players to come to India and experience the football in the country. We have a scouting network around the world with more than 60 people in the team. The opinion of our people is that India has talent which needs to be coached and there will be opportunities," added Al Mumbarak at the event.
Ambition is to make Mumbai City FC the best club in Asia
"I am super-thrilled for this day. All of us at the Mumbai City FC, the ambition is to make it the best football club in Asia and today I am thrilled to announce City Football Group's association with Mumbai City Football Club," Ranbir said in a video message after the announcement was made at Famous Studios.
"With this tie up, we hope to replicate what Manchester City has done in English Premier League and that is to win everything in front us. City Football Group's interest in India shows the growth opportunities the country presents in football," said Ranbir.
"City Football Group is committed to the future of football in India and to the potential for Mumbai City FC," Chairman of City Football Group Khaldoon Al Mubarak said.
"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."
With agency inputs