City Football Group
|Founder||HH Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Khaldoon Al Mubarak
|Headquarters||Etihad Campus, Manchester|
|Khaldoon Al Mubarak
|Revenue||GB£368,703,000[dead link] (2015)|
|Total assets||GB£243,972,000 (2014)|
|Owner||Abu Dhabi United Group (87%)
China Media Capital/CITIC Capital (13%)
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||Manchester City F.C. (100%)
New York City FC (80%)
Melbourne City FC (100%)
Yokohama F. Marinos (20%)
Club Atlético Torque (100%)
City Football Academy
City Football Marketing
City Football Services
City Football Japan
City Football Singapore
City Football China
The City Football Group (CFG) is the holding company established to oversee the creation and administration of a network of linked clubs and other footballing operations. The company is run as a holding company under parent company the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) along with Chinese part-owners China Media Capital and CITIC Capital. The company's aim is to own a team on each continent, each with the identifier "City" in its name.
- 1 Clubs
- 2 Honours achieved
- 3 Affiliated clubs
- 4 Principles and interests
- 5 See also
- 6 References
Manchester City FC
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. 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 and then a second time under Roberto Mancini as the lobbying of established UEFA Champions League clubs in the Premier League forced the Manchester team to act quickly in order to achieve Champions League status before the newly implemented Financial Fair Play Regulations made it inviable 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 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. 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. 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.
Under Mansour's leadership, Manchester City Football Club have currently lifted the 2011 FA Cup, 2011–12 Premier League & 2013-14 Premier League, 2012 FA Community Shield, 2013–14 Football League Cup and the 2015-16 Football League Cup.
Manchester City Women
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.
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 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 before narrowly missing out on a league triumph the following season.
New York City FC
When Ferran Soriano was appointed Manchester City CEO in August 2012, Don Garber reached out to him about a New York City team, having previously held discussions with him in his former capacity as Vice President of Barcelona. 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 Major League Soccer (MLS), and the brand name "New York City Football Club" was trademarked, although the club quickly denied the report. However, Garber announced in March 2013 that he was almost ready to unveil the new expansion team.
New York City Football Club, LLC was registered with the New York State Department on 7 May 2013, and on 21 May New York City FC was officially announced as the 20th MLS franchise. 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, 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. In 2016, Manchester City's academy manager Patrick Vieira moved to New York to manage NYCFC.
Melbourne City FC
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.
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. Coincidentally, 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". In August 2015, City Football Group bought out the sports consortium to acquire 100% ownership of the club.
Melbourne City NPL
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.
Melbourne City Women
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.
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, setting a series of club and player records as they went.
Yokohama F. Marinos
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. 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.
Club Atlético Torque
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". 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, with links to a potential Chinese team particularly strong following a £265m investment in the group by two Chinese companies, while India has been suggested by Tom Glick, the group's chief commercial officer. 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, 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, Estoril and Boavista although any such plans - none of which have having been any more than brief reports of interest - would likely ultimately be seen as inviable due to UEFA's 'conflict of interest' laws regarding multiple club ownership.
The following trophies have been won by City Football Group teams while under the ownership and control of the group:
|Team||Seasons under CFG||Domestic||Continental||Total|
|League||Playoffs series||National Cup||League Cup||Super Cup||Champions League||Secondary Cup||Super Cup|
|Manchester City Women||4||1||n/a||1||2||n/a||0||n/a||n/a||4|
|Melbourne City NPL||3||0||0||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||0|
|Melbourne City Women||2||1||2||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||3|
|New York City FC||3||0||0||0||n/a||n/a||0||n/a||n/a||0|
|Yokohama F. Marinos||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||n/a||n/a||0|
1 Includes titles won while under control of City Football Group personnel, but before the creation of the company itself
- CFG have a partnership with the Ghanaian FA whereby each season their respective technical staff pool knowledge related to training players.
- As a condition for their continuing existence in Major League Soccer, New York City FC along with all MLS clubs are expected to either affiliate with or own and operate a club competing in the United Soccer League. Rather than opting to field their own B-team, NYCFC signed an affiliation deal with Wilmington Hammerheads of North Carolina. The affiliation was extended for the 2016 season, and ended when the Hammerheads self-relegated to the amateur Premier Development League on September 29, 2016.
- NYCFC signed a partnership agreement with Long Island Rough Riders of the Premier Development League in April 2016.
- NYCFC signed an affiliation deal with San Antonio FC of Texas in 2017, replacing their previous partnership with the Wilmington Hammerheads. Their association involves close cooperation on training and player scouting, as well as a league-mandated commitment for at least four players to be loaned to the USL side.
- CFG signed a collaboration agreement with Atletico Venezuela of the Venezuelan Primera Division in April 2017. The scouting agreement enabled both parties to share scouting data, and also included the provision of coaching support to Atletico. Venezuelan midfielder Yangel Herrera has signed for Manchester City from Atletico Venezuela and been loaned to New York City FC.
- City Football Group have a partnership with the Right to Dream Academy which allows them to cherry-pick the best talent from the academy once players graduate. Stories have circulated that City bought the academy and own it outright, though if this is true it has never been publicised.
Work permit clubs and other loanee partnerships
City have a series of agreements with clubs to whom they can loan youth players from non-EU countries who otherwise would need to serve five years of residence in the UK to earn an EU passport granting them the ability to play in England without needing a work permit. Primarily the countries of Benelux and Scandinavia are viewed as the shortest way of achieving this. Additionally, a focus on loaning academy graduates to clubs for competitive experience has seen them increasingly look to send a number of top talents to European partner clubs each season.
Principles and interests
The City Way
Mirroring CFG's dedication to an identifiable cross-club brand via similar kits is the principle of the City Way, a concept whereby all teams which play under their banner, regardless of continent or competition, can be seen to play according to a prototype style based on passing, possession and attacking philosophy largely derived from the tactics used by Barcelona when under the control of now-Manchester City trio Pep Guardiola, Ferran Soriano and Txiki Beguiristain. While the City Way has come to be understood to include a high press and rapid counter-attacks, it has also come to be characterised - particularly in the media - by an implicit acknowledgement that attacking proficiency usually comes at the expense of a somewhat unreliable defence, partly due to the circumstantial failings of the senior sides in Manchester, New York and Melbourne.
An additional key aspect of the City Way is its universal application, with not only the various CFG first teams following it but also women's teams as well as academy sides down to the lowest levels.
Looking to capitalise on the growth of eSports and for City Football Group to be seen as always being at the forefront of development, given the growing trend for football teams to recruit eSports teams and players (especially those specialising in the FIFA game series) 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.
- "Directors' Report and Financial Statements" (PDF).
- "City Football Group Limited - companycheck summary". companycheck.com. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- "MANCHESTER CITY ANNUAL REPORT 2012-13" (PDF). mcfc.co.uk. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "CFG Statement: 1 December 2015". mcfc.co.uk. 1 December 2015. Archived from the original on 8 February 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- Delaney, Miguel. "Manchester City ownership group plans Chinese Super League expansion". ESPNFC. ESPN. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- "Manchester City's new owners put national pride before profit". The Guardian. 1 September 2008. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
- "Mark Hughes defends Manchester City's summer spending spree". Daily Telegraph. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "Big-spending Manchester City boss Mark Hughes is always on the lookout". Daily Mail. 11 November 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "Manchester United at forefront of financial fair play bid - Whelan". BBC Sport. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "They can't beat City on the pitch so Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are ganging up on them and squealing to UEFA... THAT'S RICH!". Daily Mail. 2 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "Manchester City splash the cash on Platt Lane academy". Manchester Evening News. 7 August 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "Manchester City's £100m plan to be the Barcelona of the Premier League". The Guardian. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "Manchester City unveil 80-acre Etihad Academy plan". BBC Sport. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "Manchester City's Etihad Stadium expansion approved". 13 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Manchester City: The most social media-savvy club in the world". 2 September 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "Interview: The World’s Richest Soccer Club Is Like A Free Content ‘Startup’". 31 August 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "Manchester City sets the goal of being the world’s best-supported soccer club". 1 September 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "City announce formal partnership with MCFC Ladies". 28 August 2012. Archived from the original on 14 November 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
- "Manchester City Women's Football Club re-launched". 24 February 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
- "Continental Cup: Manchester City beat Arsenal to win first trophy". 16 October 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
- "WSL 1: Manchester City Women 2-1 Notts County Ladies". 4 October 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
- Bennett, Roger (28 May 2013). "Ambitious Garber ready for next challenge". Relegation Zone. ESPN FC.
- Lalas, Greg (February 11, 2009). "Garber: Barca/Miami Team Would Start in 2010". Goal.com.
- "Manchester City Said Close to Being Awarded MLS Queens Team". Bloomberg. 15 December 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- "MLS Commissioner Don Garber talks NYC2 progress, Florida expansion, Champions League schedule tweak". mlssoccer.com. 17 March 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- "Entity Information". NYS Division of Corporations, State Records and UCC. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
- "Major League Soccer announces New York expansion team: New York City Football Club". mlssoccer.com. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- "New York City FC name Claudio Reyna director of football operations". mlssoccer.com. May 22, 2013. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- "Jason Kreis named as Head Coach". nycfc.com. December 11, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
- "Patrick Vieira appointed as New York City FC Head Coach". nycfc.com. November 9, 2015. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- "Manchester City buy A-League's Melbourne Heart". theguardian.com. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- John Stensholt (2 August 2015). "Manchester City buy out wealthy Melbourne City investors". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
- "Fixture News: National Premier Leagues 1". melbournecityfc.com.au. 6 December 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
- "Melbourne City FC set to field W-League team in 2015". melbournecityfc.com.au. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- "W-League grand final: Melbourne City beat Sydney FC". ABC News. 31 January 2016.
- "Melbourne City roll on as records tumble". 22 December 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
- "Manchester City reveals plan to invest in Yokohama F. Marinos". The Japan Times. AFP-JiJI. May 20, 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Kano, Shintaro (December 31, 2014). "Soccer: Man City group to open Japan front, look to increase stake in Marinos". Kyodo News. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "CFG EXTENDS SOUTH AMERICAN FOOTPRINT". mancity.com. Manchester City. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
- "Man City bosses plot further expansion as Khaldoon Al Mubarak assures fans over future". Manchester Evening News. 8 June 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
- Hall, Joe; Dalleres, Frank. "Manchester City parent company eyeing China and India for next clubs, says City Football Group commercial chief Tom Glick". City A.M. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- "Cape Town City to play under Man City group?". iol.co.za. 1 August 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
- "Manchester City consider adding St Etienne to stable of partner clubs as trend of Premier League link-ups continues". Daily Mail. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
- "Figure at Center of FIFA Scandal Selling Team to Pay U.S. Fines". Bloomberg. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
- "Manchester City quer entrar no Boavista" [Manchester City to join with Boavista]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 30 January 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
- "Chelsea owner in row over conflict of interest". The Guardian. 27 August 2004. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
- "Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah to pay a learning visit to Manchester City". GhanaSoccernet.com. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
- "NYCFC Announce Affiliation with Wilmington Hammerheads". nycfc.com. January 16, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "New York City FC Announces extension with Wilmington Hammerheads FC". nycfc.com. February 4, 2016. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "Wilmington Hammerheads FC Awarded PDL Franchise". Premier Development League (PDL). September 29, 2016. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- "New York City FC Announces Long Island Rough Riders as PDL Affiliate". 21 April 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- "NYCFC Announce Affiliation with San Antonio FC". nycfc.com. February 9, 2017. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- "Manchester City make surprise double-deadline day signings after swooping for Yangel Herrera and Nabil Touaizi". The Independent. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
- "Yangel Herrera Joins New York City FC on Loan". NYCFC Official Site. 14 February 2017.
- "RIGHT TO DREAM ACADEMY (GHANA) HOSTS ARRINGTON TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT". arringtontrainingdevelopment.com. 9 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- "RIGHT TO DREAM: THE PRIDE OF WEST AFRICA". artefactmagazine.com. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- "Revealed: How Manchester City courted Guardiola’s brother to get Pep". Daily Telegraph (UK). 3 February 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- "Revealed: How Man City's partnership with NAC Breda will work". Manchester Evening News. 26 May 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- "New York derby: 'A spectacle unlike anything we've seen'". BBC Sport. May 10, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
- "Manchester City escape like champions as winning will saves Mancini again". goal.com. 11 November 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
- "MLS weekend preview: have NYC FC finally learned 'the City way'?". The Guardian. March 18, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
- "Manchester City vs Manchester United: Manuel Pellegrini rues missing out on signing Angel Di Maria". The Independent. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
- "CARLI LLOYD LOVING CITY LIFE". mcfc.co.uk. 7 April 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
- "Patrick Vieira is building a bright future at Manchester City... with a core group of English players". Daily Mail. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
- "Manchester City sign first e-sports player". BBC Sports. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
- "Christopher Holly Joins NYCFC as eSports Representative". nycfc.com. April 5, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.