Manchester City owners looking at Malaysian club investment

Manchester City owners looking at Malaysian club investment
City Football Group (CFG), the owners of English soccer champions Manchester City, is eyeing a stake in a Malaysian team to add to its growing portfolio of clubs, according to the country’s sports minister.

Ferran Soriano, CFG Chief Executive, met Malaysian Sports Minister Syed Saddiq in Malaysia last week with topics of discussion including the ownership conglomerate investing in local soccer or possibly buying a club in the country.

CFG already owns or has stakes in clubs in the US, Australia, Japan, Spain, Uruguay and China, as well as flagship club Manchester City who recently completed a domestic treble by winning the FA Cup, having already secured the Premier League title and the League Cup.

Following the meeting, Saddiq told local reporters: “This is historic for Malaysian football when I know Soriano decided to come down to Malaysia to work with us. The meeting today is to see how we can work and collaborate closely to develop football.

“There were many things discussed — for example, the possibility of Manchester City buying one of the clubs in Malaysia. This is to ensure there is a long term plan to develop football here.

“From the Sports Ministry’s standpoint, there will be collaboration through youth football, may it be the Mokhtar Dahari Academy or National Football Development Programme.”

Soriano, who was leading a CFG delegation to visit local partners, confirmed to Malaysian reporters that the group is interested in exploring further options in the country.

“We see Malaysia as an opportunity for football — the level of enthusiasm of the fans is obvious,” he said.

“The development of Malaysian football and the league in the last year with investment by the government shows that there’s great opportunity.”

It appears that Malaysia is the latest Asian country being considered by CFG. Earlier this year it was reported that CFG wanted to buy an Indian soccer club. Last week the group made moves to step up that endeavour by employing the services of Kwanabler, an Indian sports agency.

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