City Football Group

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City Football Group Limited
TypeHolding company
IndustrySports
Sports services
Founded2013
FounderHH Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Khaldoon Al Mubarak
Headquarters
Key people
Khaldoon Al Mubarak
Ruigang Li
Brian Marwood
Ferran Soriano
Tom Glick
Egon Durban
RevenueDecrease GB£544.426 million (2020)
Decrease -GB£165.861 million (2020)
Decrease -GB£205.179 million (2020)
Total assetsIncrease GB£1,530 million (2020)
OwnerAbu Dhabi United Group (75.1%)
China Media Capital Football Holdings Ltd (12.4%)
Silver Lake (10.4%)
Vega FZ (2.1%)
Number of employees
1,229 (2020)
SubsidiariesManchester City F.C. (100%)
Melbourne City FC (100%)
Montevideo City Torque (100%)
Lommel S.K. (99%)
New York City FC (80%)
Mumbai City FC (65%)
Girona FC (44.3%)
Sichuan Jiuniu F.C. (29.7%)
Yokohama F. Marinos (20%)
Troyes AC (100%)
City Football Academy
City Football Marketing
City Football Services
City Football Japan
City Football Singapore
City Football China
City Football India
CFG Stadium Group
Goals Soccer Centers
WebsiteOfficial website

City Football Group Limited (CFG) is a British-based holding company that administers association football clubs. The group is owned by three organisations; of which 78% is majority owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG), 10% by the American firm Silver Lake and 12% by Chinese firms China Media Capital and CITIC Capital.[2][3]

The brainchild of CEO Ferran Soriano, CFG's ambition is to be the "first truly global football organisation".[4] The group derives its name from Manchester City F.C., its flagship football club and acts as the club's parent company. CFG also owns stakes in clubs in the United States, Australia, India, Japan, Spain, Uruguay, China, Belgium and France.[5]

History[edit]

Location of City Football Group clubs in Europe

Founded in 2013, City Football Group is the realisation of a business vision by former Barcelona Economy Vice President Ferran Soriano. Soriano first conceived of the ideal of a global football entity while at the Catalan club, beginning with the creation of Barca-branded overseas academies.[6] Soriano contacted Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber about creating a Barcelona-branded MLS franchise and the pair progressed as far as looking into several locations to place the team,[7] but ultimately these plans were curtailed when Soriano and seven other members of Barcelona's board chose to resign in protest of then-President Joan Laporta's leadership.[8]

After a four-year break from football management, Soriano was hired in late 2012 to replace Garry Cook as CEO of Manchester City following the latter's resignation.[9] Soriano revived his ambitions of creating a global football business entity, beginning by resuming dialogues with Garber.[7] Their discussions resulted in the announcement of New York City FC as MLS' 20th expansion side less than one year later in May 2013. In the process of managing the creation of a second football team City Football Group was created,[10] designed to be the holding company to which both Manchester City and NYCFC belonged. CFG expanded at the start of 2014 when it partnered with Rugby league side Melbourne Storm to acquire a controlling stake in A-League franchise Melbourne Heart for 12 million Australian dollars.[11] The club would subsequently be rebranded to Melbourne City FC and their badge changed as part of CFG's early attempts to synergise their investments with Manchester City as a brand,[12] and the club's colours would slowly be changed to sky blue with their red-and-white stripes retained as away colours.[13]

In the weeks following their purchase of Melbourne City, CFG indicated their intentions of investing in women's football by rebranding Manchester City's female affiliate as Manchester City Women's Football Club[14] and successfully lobbied for the team to be added to the top tier of the FA Women's Super League, promising to invest in women's football on a scale never before seen in England. Later the following year CFG would grow again with the purchase of a 20% in Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos, the traditional company team of group sponsor Nissan.[15]

In April 2017, after a near three-year spell pause gap in its expansion, City Football Group announced the Uruguayan second-tier side Club Atletico Torque,[16] who would later be renamed Montevideo City Torque.[17] Several months later Torque would be followed in by Spanish second division club Girona,[18] a club with ownership links to incumbent Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

2019 saw the beginning of an increase in CFG's activity. The purchase of Chinese third division club Sichuan Jiuniu[19] was followed towards the end of the year by a second venture in Asia, when the group bought a controlling stake in Indian Super League franchise Mumbai City.[20] 2020 similarly would see two club purchases in European football, first of Lommel of Belgium[21] and then of Troyes of France,[22] with both moves notably seeing the purchased clubs rescued from financial difficulties[7] and linked to the economic damages wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.[23] In the same year they would also expand their business interests by taking sole control of US-based five-a-side football business Goals Soccer Centers, a business they had previously invested in, following the near-collapse of the company's owners due to an internal scandal.[24]

Principles and interests[edit]

Since its inception, commenters have been drawn parallels between City Football Group and Ferran Soriano's ideas spelled out in his 2011 book Goal: The Ball Doesn't Go In By Chance,[25] in which Soriano remarked that the natural evolution of club brands was to expand globally, and that doing so could include the creation of franchise clubs in foreign leagues.[26] His book continued to expound upon the notion that appealing to foreign fans who had no strongly-ingrained non-domestic allegiances was an important facet of business growth of sporting brands, and that giving those fans a domestic side to support alongside and affiliated to their European club could encourage more loyalty from them.[26] This idea would be termed "Disneyfication" by Professor Simon Chadwick,[27] an expert in Eurasian sport at Emlyon Business School and himself a confidant of Soriano.[7]

Branding and player development[edit]

Early growth in the group focused on teams sharing a common identity and an associated brand, which aligned with the traditional identity of Manchester City and was viewed as a key way of helping the Manchester club build up its foreign support.[7] This also matched Soriano's well-reported interest in placing City Football Group as a lynchpin in the opening-up of national markets in which association football has not previously been able to secure a strong presence, through the operation of and investment in franchises in those countries.[28][29]

The first entity to join CFG was the newly created New York City FC, with the club announcing that they would sport the familiar sky blue kit with white shorts which Manchester City have traditionally been associated with,[30] and the rebranded Melbourne City (originally named Melbourne Heart) similarly switched to sky blue after defeating challenges from fellow A-League club Sydney FC.[31] With the purchase of Mumbai City and the renaming of Club Atletico Torque to Montevideo City Torque, five teams in the group feature the word City in their name, and similarly all five wear sky blue kits. NYCFC's circular badge style would also be mimicked by Manchester City, Melbourne City and Torque.[32] Following from these changes it was reported that the company's aim was to own a team on each continent with the "City" brand in its name.[33]

Developments within Manchester City's academy would ultimately lead to a shift in strategy and focus of the group. Efforts to continue their success in bringing through youth talent led to the buying of promising players in the early teenage years, many of whom would go on to be sold for a large profit. This prompted Soriano and CFG's executive management to change their ambitions to put more emphasis on purchasing smaller clubs in strong existing football markets, with the intention of turning them into specialists centres for acquiring and training future stars from their local areas.[7] As a result, the emphasis on clubs sharing kit colours and having discernibly similar badges and names has been reduced. Outside of Manchester, the European clubs within CFG in particular have not seen any change to their identities beyond the use of sky blue as a change strip colour in Girona. Similar is true of Asian clubs Yokohama F. Marinos and Sichuan Jiuniu.

Collaboration between clubs[edit]

One of the core philosophies of City Football Group since its inception has been the mutual supporting of clubs through combined scouting and player sharing. While virtually all large European clubs operate an international scouting network,[34] financial demands make it impossible to access local knowledge in foreign countries to the same extent as a domestic club could. CFG clubs therefore provide invaluable services to each other by using their own local scouting networks to share information on players between clubs. With their combined knowledge, the group advertises that it has extensive information on half a million players around the world.[23] Possessing such a network then allows the local clubs to sign players early in their development, safe in the knowledge that the range of clubs CFG owns means that they can be placed at any of a number of sides as their development continues and the need for other challenges arises.[23] The player-sharing element of the City network was first advertised with the high-profile transfer of Aaron Mooy from Melbourne City to Manchester City - an early case of utilising the network to support revenue generation[35] - with the 2020–21 season seeing Manchester City send 14 foreign-sourced youth players out on loan, predominantly to other group clubs.[36]

In addition to internal player movements, CFG has also sought to foster movements of coaching staff within their network also; among the most notable relocations are French manager Eric Mombaerts, who has worked with Yokohama F. Marinos, Melbourne City and Troyes,[37] Manchester City Women manager Nick Cushing transferring to New York[38] and English coach Liam Manning transferring from the NYCFC academy to take over management of Lommel's first team.[39]

The second of CFG's core philosophies regarding club collaboration is on- and off-pitch technical information sharing. Based around the tactics of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola - long coveted for the Manchester job by Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain after their experience working with him in Barcelona[40][41] - all of City Football Group's clubs are given access to extensive databases of Manchester City's tactics and coaching methods, enabling them all to follow the group directive to use the same style of football, a style occasionally referred to as the City Way.[42] This synergy of tactical style extends beyond their first teams to the academies and women's sections. In addition to this, the clubs also share other information, such as medical, performance monitoring and player management.[7]

Investment in women's football[edit]

Four of City Football Group's ten clubs sport women's teams, with Montevideo City Torque expected to launch a women's team in 2021 and New York City FC having previously held discussions about an affiliation with Sky Blue FC in 2014.[43] In both Manchester and Melbourne, CFG (re)launched new women's sides in 2014 and 2015,[44][45] promising to invest in women's football in unprecedent ways. In both cities the women's teams would ultimately be given bespoke facilities which, in contrast to the standard for football clubs, shared training locations with their affiliated men's teams.[46][47] Similarly, both cities would see returns for their investment, with Manchester City Women repeatedly finishing amongst the top two and winning a series of domestic trophies[48] while Melbourne City's unprecedented investment in Australian women's football - an area which had previously been underfunded and largely forgotten in the country - earned the side plaudits for their forward-thinking[49] and would see their female side crowned Grand Final winners four times in five seasons.[50]

Team Player Console From To
Manchester City England Kieran "Kez" Brown Xbox One 2016 2018
Denmark Marcus "ExpectSporting" Jørgensen PS4 2017 2018
Germany Kai "Deto" Wollin PS4 2018 2019
England Shaun "Shellzz" Springette PS4 2018
Melbourne City Australia Marcus "SoccerStar007777" Gomes Xbox One 2017
Australia Josh "joshingwood" Wood PS4 2018 2018
New York City United States Christopher "NYC_Chris" Holly PS4 2017
United States Joseph "Joey" Calabro Xbox One 2017 2018

Esports[edit]

Looking to capitalise on the growth of esports and for City Football Group to be seen as always being at the forefront of innovation, CFG made their first venture into digital gaming by signing Kieran "Kez" Brown to represent Manchester City at FIFA tournaments and fan events as well as to make digital content for their social media profiles, in June 2016.[51]

Today, Manchester City is represented by current ePremier League Champion Shaun 'Shellz' Springette, alongside Ryan Pessoa.

In April 2017, New York City FC signed its first professional FIFA player in Christopher "NYC_Chris" Holly, who became the first FIFA player signed to represent a Major League Soccer club.[52] Similarly, Melbourne City became the first team in the A-League to acquire a professional FIFA player, signing Marcus "marcus_7170" Gomes in August of the same year.[53]

CFG owned clubs[edit]

Manchester City F.C.[edit]

The Abu Dhabi United Group was founded in the summer of 2008, as Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan looked to take over Manchester City Football Club from the former Prime Minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra.[54] The Abu Dhabi United Group was set up in order to facilitate the purchase of the Premier League club.

After its takeover, Manchester City launched into a complete overhaul of all departments, intent on rising to the top as fast as possible. On the pitch, the following seasons saw the team replaced under the management of Mark Hughes[55] and then a second time under Roberto Mancini as the lobbying of established UEFA Champions League clubs in the Premier League[56] forced the Manchester team to act quickly in order to achieve Champions League status before the newly implemented Financial Fair Play Regulations made it unviable for teams to spend outside of their earnings in an attempt to move up the table. Meanwhile, off the pitch City spent £10 million on revamping their Platt Lane academy base[57] as they formulated plans to produce a £100m training and academy facility on land opposite their stadium, studying training facilities around the world in an attempt to create the world's foremost development in its field.[58][59] This came in conjunction with the announcement in 2014 that they had received planning permission to increase their stadium capacity to over 62,000, making it the second largest club stadium in England.[60] Further investment came in the field of fan engagement, where City committed themselves to a policy of winning the global popularity contest with a mass display of social media.[61][62][63] Since the start of the 2016–17 season, Manchester City have been coached by former FC Barcelona player and coach and FC Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola.[64]

Under Mansour's leadership, Manchester City Football Club have currently lifted the 2010–11 FA Cup, 2011–12 Premier League, 2012 FA Community Shield, 2013–14 Football League Cup, 2013–14 Premier League, 2015–16 Football League Cup, 2017–18 EFL Cup, 2017–18 Premier League, 2018 FA Community Shield, 2018–19 EFL Cup, 2018–19 Premier League, 2018–19 FA Cup, 2019 FA Community Shield, and 2019–20 EFL Cup. City's best European result in that timespan was a final in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League where they finished as runners-up.

Manchester City Women[edit]

Although Manchester City Women had existed since 1988 (previously under the name Manchester City Ladies F.C.) they existed solely as an affiliate of the club until August 2012, with few shared resources and with CFG enjoying no control over the club's management. After four years of control of the men's side in Manchester, the Abu Dhabi United Group – progenitors of City Football Group – elected to bring the women's team under their aegis also, forming a partnership with the club which would effectively make it a department of Manchester City F.C.[65]

Very soon after taking control of the club, ADUG announced their intention to support their women's department as they had supported the men, relaunching the club as Manchester City Women's Football Club[14] and successfully lobbying for the team to be added to the top tier of the FA Women's Super League when it was expanded, fuelled by promises of levels of support and funding not usual in women's football in the UK. Their support was rapidly repaid, with their radically reshaped team producing a first major trophy in the 2014 FA WSL Cup[66] before narrowly missing out on a league triumph the following season.[67]

New York City FC[edit]

When Soriano was appointed Manchester City CEO in August 2012, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber reached out to him about a New York City team,[68] having previously held discussions with him in his former capacity as Vice President of Barcelona.[69] In December 2012, unnamed sources told the media that Manchester City were close to being announced as the new owners of the 20th team of MLS, and the brand name "New York City FC" was trademarked, although the club quickly denied the report.[70] Garber announced in March 2013 that he was almost ready to unveil the new expansion team[71][72] and on 21 May New York City FC was officially announced as the 20th MLS franchise. The team is 80% owned by CFG with the remaining 20% owned by Yankee Global Enterprises, the parent company of the New York Yankees baseball club.[73] Linking the club to its English parent, the new MLS side hired as its first employee former Manchester City, MLS and US national team player Claudio Reyna to serve as Director of Football,[74] while a statement of intent was made with the signing of home-grown rising star manager and MLS Cup winner Jason Kreis to serve as the team's first head coach.[75] In 2016, Manchester City's academy manager Patrick Vieira moved to New York City FC to manage New York City FC's first team.[76]

Melbourne City FC[edit]

The group's ownership of the club was announced on 23 January 2014, with the news that Manchester City had acquired the then-named Melbourne Heart for $12 million. After several days of talks in Melbourne and Sydney, City's senior executives completed the deal which saw them own 80% of the Australian club. City Football Group bought the other 20% that was held by a consortium of businessmen allied to Australian rugby league club Melbourne Storm.[11]

The takeover of the Australian A-League club came only days after an application to trademark the name "Melbourne City Football Club" was lodged on 16 January. Melbourne Heart's minority shareholders also registered the business name "Melbourne City FC" with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and bought the domain name "MelbourneCityFC.com.au".[77] In August 2015, City Football Group bought out the sports consortium to acquire 100% ownership of the club.[78]

Melbourne City Youth[edit]

As part of the expansion of the National Premier Leagues Victoria 1 (now known as NPL Victoria 2), Melbourne City had an application accepted to field a team based around their now-defunct Youth side in the competition along with five additional new entrants. On 6 December 2014 they announced the creation of their NPL team, which began competition in the 2015 season.[79]

Melbourne City Women[edit]

Following the success of their investment in Manchester City's women's team, CFG announced their continued support of women's football with the creation of a women's department in Melbourne in 2015 which was accepted as an expansion team in the W-League.[80]

Facing a league bereft of meaningful investment, CFG's support of their team produced a clean sweep of the board, with their women's team going unbeaten as they won both the league and the play-off series at the first time of asking in the 2015–16 W-League,[81] setting a series of club and player records as they went.[82]

Yokohama F. Marinos[edit]

On 20 May 2014, it was announced that City Football Group had invested in a minority share of Yokohama F. Marinos, creating a partnership with both the football club and car manufacturer Nissan.[15] City Football Group is estimated to hold 20 percent of Yokohama F. Marinos' existing shares, but through the establishment of a Japan-based subsidiary may seek to eventually own a controlling stake in the club.[83]

Montevideo City Torque[edit]

On 5 April 2017, CFG announced that it had acquired Club Atletico Torque, a club in Montevideo currently playing in the Uruguayan Primera División.[16]

Name change and return to the Primera División[edit]

On 22 January 2020 it was announced that Club Atletico Torque had changed their club name to Montevideo City Torque, with an accompanying change in team badge.[17] The name and badge were chosen to be reflective of their links to Manchester City and the other clubs of the City Football Group.[17] At the same time it was announced that the club would begin work on the construction of a new academy and administrative complex, intended to be one of the most advanced academy centres in South America.[84]

Girona[edit]

On 23 August 2017, it was announced that the City Football Group had acquired 44.3% of La Liga side Girona. Another 44.3% was held by the Girona Football Group, led by Pere Guardiola, brother of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.[18] Girona had previously been loaned a number of players by Manchester City while they were in the Segunda División, in what was seen by some as an attempt to attract Pep Guardiola to Manchester City.[85][86] In August 2018, Girona had two loanees, both 21 years old, from Manchester City.[87]

Girona B[edit]

In line with the Spanish standard of major teams operating B-teams as development squads for younger players, Girona owns a subsidiary team named simply Girona B, following the incorporation in 2011 of the formerly independent side CF Riudellots.[88] At the time of the purchase of Girona by CFG, the club operated in the Segona Catalana division, the sixth level of football in Spain. As an official B-team Girona B is ineligible for promotion to a higher division than any other Girona-affiliated side above them in the leagues. Nor is it eligible to play in any cup competition in which Girona themselves already compete.

Girona additionally operated a primary B-team – CF Peralada-Girona B – although this team was merely in partnership with Girona and neither Girona nor CFG had any ownership stake in the club. In 2019, the affiliation with Peralada was terminated as they were relegated to the Tercera División.[89]

Girona FC Femení A[edit]

Though they had operated a women's side since 2017,[90] Girona Femení A only came into being in 2020, when Girona purchased the women's section of local club Sant Pere Pescador, renaming them to match the club's identity.[91]

Girona FC Femení B[edit]

Although Girona FC operated a senior women's team for a number of years, financial constraints had forced them to cease operations at the senior level in 2013[90] and by 2017 the Catalan club operated just 3 junior teams with a total of 41 youth players in their system.[90] Barely two months before CFG bought into the ownership of Girona FC, the club announced an expansion of its female set-up, including the restoration of the senior women's team, to start competing in the fifth tier of women's football in Spain.[90]

Sichuan Jiuniu[edit]

On 20 February 2019, it was announced that the City Football Group as well as UBTECH and China Sports Capital had acquired Sichuan Jiuniu F.C..[92]

Mumbai City FC[edit]

City Football Group was announced as majority stakeholder of Mumbai City on Thursday 28 November 2019 after acquiring 65% of the club.[93] Mumbai City FC is a professional football club based in Mumbai, competing in the Indian Super League.

Mumbai City FC Reserves[edit]

Mumbai City FC Reserves were announced to be competing for the first time in the I-League 2nd Division, the third tier of Indian football.[94]

Lommel SK[edit]

City Football Group was announced as majority stakeholder of Lommel SK on Monday 11 May 2020 acquiring the majority (unspecified) of the shares of the club.[21] Lommel S.K. is a professional football club based in Lommel, competing in the Belgian First Division B (second tier).

Troyes AC[edit]

On 3 September 2020, City Football Group announced that they had purchased the shares of the former owner of Ligue 2 club Troyes AC Daniel Masoni, making them the majority shareholder of the Ligue 2 French club.[5][22]

Troyes AC Reserves[edit]

The development side of Troyes AC, known variously as Troyes AC Reserves and Troyes AC 2, play in Group F (Grand Est) of the Championnat National 3, the fifth tier of the French football league system.[95]

Troyes AC Féminine[edit]

ESTAC Troyes are represented in the women's game by Troyes AC Féminine, a senior side who compete in Grand Est Regional 1[96] (the third tier of women's football in France), having been denied promotion to Division 2 Féminine by the early closing of the 2019–20 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[97]

Future clubs[edit]

When addressed in interviews both internal and external, senior City Football Group personnel have made no secret of their continued plans for the expansion of the group, with group chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak commenting that "I would say that when the opportunity arises – and we are looking at opportunities – you can expect us to add to the number of clubs we have already within that organisation".[98] Although those personnel will rarely be drawn on the exact locations in which they are looking, it has been commented that CFG aim at the least to have one team on each continent,[33] with links to a potential Chinese team particularly strong following a £265m investment in the group by two Chinese companies,[3] while India has been suggested by Tom Glick, the group's chief commercial officer.[99] City Football Group were courted for investment by John Comitis, owner of Cape Town City F.C. and previous engineer of the working relationship between Ajax and Ajax Cape Town,[100] though CFG themselves did not comment on the link and no such partnership ultimately emerged.

CFG have previously been linked with investment into European sides AS Saint-Étienne,[citation needed] Estoril[101] and Boavista.[102]

It was reported on 13 July 2017 that Ecuadorian Serie A club River Ecuador F.C. had been bought by CFG following the club announcing that they had rebranded as Guayaquil City F.C.[103] No statement of confirmation was issued by CFG themselves, and after several days the main source advocating the link – MKT Esportivo – deleted their article following a wave of journalists denying the link on social media.

Shortly after investing in Chinese club Sichuan Jiuniu, Ferran Soriano admitted in March 2019 that CFG were considering investing in an Indian club by the end of the year, and that it was likely that a further two or three clubs could join the group within the next decade.[104] In the same press conference, however, he also admitted that CFG were not considering any further acquisitions of European clubs as their focus was on long-term investment in countries where football was likely to grow in popularity, such as in India, as opposed to established markets.[105][106]

On 24 May 2019, it was reported that CFG have expressed an interest to buy a Malaysia Super League club after Ferran Soriano visited Malaysia Sports Minister Syed Saddiq at his office in Putrajaya[107][108] This was refuted in the following days.[109]

In May 2020, it was reported that CFG also has expressed an interest to buy a Russian Premier League club.

Honours achieved under CFG ownership[edit]

The following senior-level trophies have been won by City Football Group teams while under the ownership and control of the group. Trophies won before inclusion in the City Football Group are not counted in this section:

List by club[edit]

Table of honours won[edit]

Team Seasons under CFG Domestic Continental Total
League Playoffs series Cup Super Cup Minor1 Cup Super Cup
Men's senior teams
Spain Girona 5 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Belgium Lommel 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
England Manchester City2 14 5 8 3 0 0 0 16
Australia Melbourne City 8 1 1 1 0 3
Uruguay Montevideo City Torque 5 0 0 2 0 0 2
India Mumbai City FC 3 1 1 0 0 2
United States New York City FC 7 0 0 0 0 0
China Sichuan Jiuniu F.C. 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
France Troyes 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Japan Yokohama F. Marinos 8 1 0 0 0 0 1
Women's senior teams
Spain Girona FC Femení A3 2 0 0 0 0 0
England Manchester City Women4 8 1 6 0 0 0 7
Australia Melbourne City Women 6 2 4 0 6
France Troyes Féminine 2 0 0 0 0 0
Men's development teams playing in senior competitions
Spain Girona B 5 ineligible 2 ineligible 2
England Manchester City EDS5 5 0 0
Australia Melbourne City NPL 7 0 0
India Mumbai City FC Reserves 3 0 0
France Troyes Reserves 2 0 0
Women's development teams playing in senior competitions
Spain Girona FC Femení B 5 ineligible 0 ineligible 0

1 Includes lower league titles plus any cups not available to top division clubs, but does not include cups considered non-competitive for statistics purposes (such as pre-season competitions or local FA tournaments habitually contested by reserve sides).
2 Includes titles won while under control of City Football Group personnel, but before the creation of the company itself.
3 Girona were acquired by CFG in 2017 and have operated a women's team for the whole of their time in CFG. However, the Femení A team only came into existence in 2020 when local team FC Sant Pere Pescador sold their women's team to Girona, allowing Girona to operate a women's team at a more professional level.
4 Although MCWFC have been affiliated to Manchester City since their creation in the 1980s, they only came under CFG control when the two clubs merged in 2014.
5 Although the EDS have operated as Manchester City's reserve team for considerably longer than CFG have owned the club, they only began competing in a senior competition in 2017–18 when they were given a place in the EFL Trophy.

Intra-Group matches[edit]

Though City Football Group has existed for a number of years, competing schedules and priorities have limited the number of occasions on which CFG teams have been able to contest matches against each other. The following record lists the games played between CFG teams while both have been under common ownership:

15 August 2017 Friendly Girona Spain 1–0 England Manchester City Girona, Spain
18:00 WET Portu Goal 13'
García Yellow card 62'
B. Silva Yellow card 73' Stadium: Estadi Montilivi
Attendance: 10,235
Referee: David Medié Jiménez (Spain)
27 July 2019 (2019-07-27) Friendly Yokohama F. Marinos Japan 1–3 England Manchester City Yokohama, Japan
19:30 JST Endo Goal 23', Yellow card 29'
Park Yellow card 36'
Report De Bruyne Goal 18'
Sterling Goal 40'
Nmecha Goal 90+2'
Stadium: Nissan Stadium
Attendance: 65,052

CFG partner clubs[edit]

Club Bolivar[edit]

It was announced on 12 January 2021 that Club Bolivar had become the first "partner" club for the group.[110] Club Bolivar is the most successful Bolivian club having won 29 domestic titles since it was founded in La Paz on 12 April 1925. The owner of the club Marcelo Claure is also part of the ownership group of Inter Miami CF alongside David Beckham as well as being COO of SoftBank Group with Masayoshi Son (CEO of Softbank) as well as Jorge Mas and Jose Mas from MasTec respectively.

Vannes OC[edit]

It was announced on 17 February 2021 that French fourth tier side Vannes had become the latest partner club for the group.[111] The two club were already linked after Vannes' President Maxime Ray had joined CFG to become a minority shareholder in Troyes AC as part of the 2020 purchase, though he agreed to have no operational role at Troyes as part of the takeover.[112]

Businesses[edit]

Goals Soccer Centers[edit]

On 25 July 2017, City Football Group signed a joint venture partnership with Goals Soccer Centres, a 5-a-side football pitch operator, to invest capital into the US operations of the company in order to expand across North America.[113] On 3 February 2020, CFG purchased the remaining 50% to take full ownership of the joint venture[114] – operating under the Americanised name Goals Soccer Centers – following the near-collapse of their partner as a result of historic fraud allegations.[115]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "CFG Announces US$500 Million Strategic Investment by Silver Lake". 27 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b "CFG Statement: 1 December 2015". Manchester City F.C. 1 December 2015. Archived from the original on 8 February 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Manchester City and the 'Disneyfication' of football". Financial Times. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  5. ^ a b "City Football Group add ESTAC Troyes as tenth club". cityfootballgroup.com. 3 September 2020. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  6. ^ "FCBEscola" [FCBSchool]. fcbarcelona.com (in Catalan). Archived from the original on 1 July 2008. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Special report: City Football Group. Part one – empire building". The Athletic. 9 December 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  8. ^ "Eight Barça Board Members Resign Amid Laporta Chaos". goal.com. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  9. ^ "CITY ANNOUNCE NEW CEO". mancity.com. 17 August 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Our Story". cityfootballgroup.com. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
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