City Football Group adds Chinese club to growing stable
The City Football Group added a seventh soccer club to its growing stable on Wednesday with the announcement that it, along with UBTECH and China Sports Capital, has jointly purchased China League Two side Sichuan Jiuniu FC.
In addition to English champion Manchester City, CFG owns MLS side New York City, Australia's Melbourne City, Uruguay's Club Atletico Torque, a joint majority stake in Spanish club Girona and a minority stake in Japan's Yokohama F Marinos. The group also has a "collaboration agreement" with Venezuelan team Atletico Venezuela.
"Today marks an exciting new chapter in the growth of City Football Group. China is an extremely important football market, which we have been focused on for some time," Ferran Soriano, Chief Executive Officer of CFG, said in a statement.
"We believe strongly in the future of football in China. We are making a long-term, sustainable commitment to grow and develop Sichuan Jiuniu FC and to nurture Chinese footballing talent. These objectives are equally important.
"Our immediate focus will be strengthening our football performance, using all of our experience and know-how, forging a strong relationship with our fans and building a strong presence in the community. We cannot wait to get started."
Third-tier Sichuan Jiuniu FC, which is based in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, and plays its home games at the 27,000 capacity Chengdu Longquanyi Football Stadium, begins the new season next month.
CFG is a holding company in which Abu Dhabi United Group owns an 87 percent stake with the remaining 13 percent held by the China Media Capital consortium.
China Sports Capital was established by CMC and venture capital giant Sequoia China in 2017 while humanoid robotics manufacturer UBTECH has been a commercial partner of EPL champion City since 2016.
China has invested heavily in the sport in recent years, boosting its domestic league by signing a number of high-profile, international players and coaches.