The City Football Group have acquired Mumbai City FC – the club from India’s economic capital. City Football Group is valued at £3.7 billion and Mumbai City become the eighth football club owned by the group with English Premier League Champions Manchester City the crown jewel of CFG.
The Indian Super League was founded in 2013 and some huge names such as Diego Forlan, Del Piero, Nicolas Anelka, Robert Pires, David Trezeguet and Elano took part in it. Since its inception, the ISL had more viewership than the I-League – the older counterpart of association football in India.
Mumbai City FC were one of the seven clubs to take part in the inaugural edition of the ISL. The league had 10 clubs take part in the 2019 edition.
- CFG’s investment on Manchester City is for the future. Football is growing in India – a cricket crazy country and the economic potential of the ISL is only rivaled by the Chinese Super League.
- Mumbai being the economic capital of the country makes an investment on Mumbai City an obvious choice. Mumbai is already home to one of the top sports brands in the World. Mumbai Indians that takes part in the Indian Premier League.
- The project at Mumbai City is still under construction and CFG could move the club in positive direction. Mumbai City are yet to win the Indian Super League. Chennaiyin FC and Atletico de Kolkata are the most successful clubs in the league having won the competition twice.
- Mumbai City’s home stadium is the smallest in the league with a capacity of around 8,000. In contrast, Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium has a capacity of 85,000. In the next decade, CFG might have to consider expanding Mumbai City’s stadium or moving them back to the DY Patil stadium where the club played their first two seasons.
I am super thrilled with this development and with this partnership, we hope to replicate what Manchester City has done in the Premier League and improve further. Our aim at Mumbai City is to become the best club in Asia and this [CFG buying 65% stake in the club] is a step in that direction.”– Bollywood actor and Mumbai City’s co-owner Ranbir Kapoor
Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu played in the Europa League recently for Noewegian club Stabaek. Man City CEO Ferran Sorriano highlighted their goal of improving the quality of Indian players and confirmed CFG’s investment in Mumbai City is for the long-term and to help Indian football prosper.
“Indian players are going to become stars. We will help Indian players develop faster and with a purpose. The power is here, we just have to help with coaching, technology and opportunities and this is our aim for the long term and we are here to stay for the next decade or so and see Indian football flourish.”
FSDL chairperson Nita Ambani welcomed the move and called it a landmark occasion.
Today we welcome a global footballing powerhouse to India, the ISL and Indian Football. I am proud to announce that the City football group has acquired majority stake in Mumbai City FC. 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.– FSDL chairperson Nita Ambani
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.”
City Football Group’s Chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak said the move will bring transformative benefits to Indian Football, City Football Group and Mumbai City. He also elaborated on CFG’s commitment to helping Indian football as well as the local communities grow.
“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.– CFG chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak
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.”
There is a good chance of Mumbai City getting groomed properly by the CFG and if it happens, Manchester City’s youngest sibling could potentially be its biggest sibling along with New York City FC.