City Football Group, which owns the likes of Manchester City, New York City FC and Melbourne City FC, acquired a majority stake in Indian Super League side, Mumbai City FC. The deal was announced by the chairperson of Football Sports and Development Limited, Nita Ambani today at Mumbai.
“I am delighted and proud to announce that City Football Group has acquired a majority stake in Mumbai City FC. For the first time ever, a European club have done so with an Indian club,” said Nita Ambani.
“We have been looking at football in India for many years now, sending people and scouts to watch games, I myself have watched many a game with the fans,” said Ferran Soriano, the Chief Executive Officer of City Football Group.
When asked what drew the global giant to Mumbai City FC, the CEO had a frank answer. “The best explanation I can give is that Mumbai is a fantastic city. I think the city has a good footballing culture, it only needs an opportunity to grow, and we are intent on providing that,” Soriano told the media.
The size of the country and a massive football following also played its part, he admitted. “We want to be profitable, achieve financial stability and it is a challenge- it will take a few years for sure but we have done it in other countries so I am confident we can achieve it.”
The new owners also intend to continue the trend of lending their resources to clubs co-owned by them. There will be an intermingling of ideas, technology, and exchange programs for coaches and youngsters alike to understand the success formula of a Manchester City, insisted the Spaniard.
Soriano and Damian Willoughby, who will head the City Football Group’s India operations also had ideas on how to connect with the fans. “We have to win the hearts of football fans in Mumbai and the only way to do this is play beautiful football, something we do across all our clubs,” they said.
“Good football first, winning second,” stated Soriano.
Feature Image Courtesy: Twitter / @MumbaiCityFC