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Manchester City add J-League team to global group

Manchester City add J-League team to global group

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English Premier League soccer champions Manchester City have taken an ownership stake in Japanese J-League team Yokohama F Marinos (YF Marinos).

English Premier League soccer champions Manchester City have taken an ownership stake in Japanese J-League team Yokohama F Marinos (YF Marinos).

City Football Group (CFG) has acquired an undisclosed minority shareholding in the club from majority owner Nissan Motor Company.

The Marinos, three-time J-League champions, will join the City ‘family’ of clubs, which also includes New York City FC, who will debut in Major League Soccer next year, and Australian A-League side Melbourne Heart.

The deal, the first significant foreign investment in a J-League soccer team, will see the Marinos work with CFG to ‘create new global opportunities’.

According to a Nissan release announcing the agreement, the Marinos will gain access to a host of CFG resources, including training methods, medical care, sports science, management practices.

“The YF Marinos is an excellent soccer club with a rich history which has grown hand in hand with Nissan,” said Carlos Ghosn, the Nissan president and chief executive. “Together we see opportunities that CFG’s global soccer infrastructure will bring to the club and the excitement it will bring to the fans. This partnership will contribute to the growth of the club, the club’s hometown and Japanese soccer.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to play a role in investing and building on the ongoing success of YF Marinos,” said Ferran Soriano, chief executive of Manchester City FC and of City Football Group.

“We are proud to offer a collaborative and integrated approach to the football, marketing, media and commercial development of all the clubs in the City family. At the same time, we are proud that each of our clubs is firmly rooted and invested in its local community as well as connected and engaged with its supporter base. We are very much looking forward to starting our collaboration.”

Manchester City, recently crowned Premier League champions for the second time in three years, last week reluctantly accepted a UK£49 million fine and restrictions on their playing squad in European competition after falling foul of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations.