The holding Co. acquires the Chinese club Sichuan Jiuniu
City Football Group (CFG), owners of the English soccer giants Manchester City, have announced the purchase of third-tier Chinese club Sichuan Jiuniu.
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Premier League champions Manchester City have signed a new ten-year kit deal with German sportswear company @puma. The new deal will come into effect next season, with Puma replacing current sponsors @nike. The contract is worth a reported £650 million over the course of ten years. The £65 million per season is a big increase on the £20 million Nike currently pays the Manchester club. The Puma agreement covers Manchester City's ownership group, City Football Group, and its sister clubs; Melbourne City FC in Australia, Sichuan Jiuniu FC in China, Girona FC in Spain and Club Atlético Torque in Uruguay. @mancity's deal with Puma is the second-biggest in @premierleague history behind @manchesterunited's partnership with @adidas worth £75 million per season. #manchestercity #manchestercityfc #mancity #puma #nike #adidas #manchesterunited #manchesterunitedfc #manunited #manutd #premierleague #cityfootballgroup #melbournecityfc #melbourne #sichuanjiuniu #girona #gironafc #clubatleticotorque #football #soccer
The takeover is part of a joint investment with Ubtech, an artificial intelligence (AI) and humanoid robotic company, and the China Sports Capital investment fund.
CFG, which is owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a member of the ruling family in Abu Dhabi, has been seeking to invest in a project in China since it sold a 13-per-cent share worth £265 million (US$400 million) to domestic equity groups China Media Capital (CMC) and CITIC Capital in December 2015.
Jiuniu play at the 27,000-seat Chengdu Longquanyi Football Stadium and were founded in 2006 after former Chinese Super League (CSL) side Sichuan Guancheng disbanded.
Jiuniu become the seventh club in CFG’s global ownership portfolio, joining the likes of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) New York City and Australian side Melbourne City in addition to the reigning Premier League champions.
“Today marks an exciting new chapter in the growth of City Football Group,” said CFG chief executive Ferran Soriano. “China is an extremely important football market, which we have been focused on for some time. We are delighted to welcome Sichuan Jiuniu FC to our Group, alongside our partners, China Sports Capital and Ubtech.
“We see this as a natural extension of our existing activities. From our work together at Manchester City and across CFG, our relationships with CMC Inc., China Sports Capital and Ubtech make us very confident that we have established a strong ownership group which is well placed to oversee this club.
“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.“
As part of its expansion into China, CFG opened an office in Shanghai in March 2016 and then a hub in Shenzhen last year. They oversee the development of Chinese soccer players and also helped finance the launch of a youth academy in Beijing.
City also expanded their Chinese esports presence last year by becoming the first Premier League club to launch a FIFA Online team in China.