Report: CFG targeting ISL’s Mumbai City as Indian addition
The Indian soccer club targeted for takeover by City Football Group (CFG), the owners of English giants Manchester City, is Mumbai City, according to the Times of India.
The Indian daily claim that CFG’s deal to invest in the Indian Super League (ISL) club is almost finalised and will be in place before the start of the 2019/20 season in September.
Apparently the two parties have been in talks for eight months, but it is unclear whether the CFG team wants to completely buy out the club or wants a partnership.
CFG executives reportedly attended a Mumbai game during the 2017/18 season and also watched Mumbai’s 2-0 defeat by back in October.
CFG Chief Executive Ferran Soriano admitted it was weighing up buying a soccer club in India earlier this week.
He told British reporters: “With all these developments we have to be patient. We have some interest in some markets and countries where there is a genuine football passion and opportunities, like China, but also India. So there might be other opportunities in Asia.
“We've been looking at India for nearly two years now. I'd say this year we'll end up doing an investment in India.”
CFG was set up in 2013 when Manchester City’s first sister club, New York City FC, was established. The group also owns or has shares in Australian side Melbourne City, Japanese outfit Yokohama F Marinos, Uruguay’s Atletico Torque and Spanish outfit Girona.
Soriano also said that he expects CFC to expand further after completing the purchase of an Indian club.
“As we see it now, there is a natural pace of growth that we will follow that takes us to more than seven teams, but not 100 teams,” Soriano added.
“I cannot see ten years ahead but the group might have two or three teams more. Is this going to change in five years and we're going to have more? Maybe, I don't know that.
“But to complete the vision that we had six years ago, I think we will have maybe two or three clubs more.”
Mumbai City have been facing financial strain and implemented a number of cost cutting measure this season. However, they have made it to the ISL playoffs and face FC Goa at home in the first leg of the semifinals at the Mumbai Football Arena on Saturday.
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