Marking a major development in Indian football, the City Football Group (CFG) has sealed a deal to acquire a majority stake in its eighth club, Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League (ISL).
The ISL is one among the two co-existing premier football leagues in India along with I-League.
NorthEast United FC (NEUFC), co-owned by actor John Abraham, is also one of the leading football clubs in the ISL.
CFG will become the 65% majority shareholder of Mumbai City FC, alongside existing shareholders, acclaimed actor and film producer, Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh.
Kapoor and Parekh combined will hold the remaining 35% of shares.
The acquisition was revealed on Thursday in front of the Club’s fans by CFG chief executive officer, Ferran Soriano along with the chairperson of Football Sports Development Limited and Reliance Foundation, Nita Ambani.
The deal will see Mumbai City FC benefit from the CFG’s commercial and football know-how, whilst at the same time delivering a new and exciting element to the CFG global commercial platform.
During its match in the sixth ISL played at Sarusajai stadium in Guwahati on Wednesday, Mumbai FC played 2-2 draw against NorthEast United FC (NEUFC).
Established in May 2013, City Football Group is the world’s leading private owner and operator of football clubs, with total or partial ownership of seven clubs in major cities across the world.
CFG is best known for its ownership of English Premier League Champions, Manchester City FC, also comprises New York City in the US, Melbourne City FC in Australia, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay, Girona FC in Spain and Sichuan Jiuniu FC in China.
CFG’s operations will now include 8 football clubs and football related businesses in 13 offices around the world.
Through its Cityzens Giving campaign, CFG has also supported community programmes spanning six continents, including Mumbai in its 2019 edition.
The announcement comes in a busy period for CFG. Just prior to closing this deal to acquire Mumbai City
Welcoming the CFG to the Indian Super League and Indian Football, 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 said.
“I am sure Mumbai City FC and Indian football will benefit greatly from this historic partnership,” Nita Ambani 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,” he added.