Mumbai City FC are the latest club to be acquired by the City Football Group (CFG) with the deal being announced in Mumbai on Thursday evening.
As reported by Goal in March this year, advanced talks between the Mumbai City owners and CFG had been ongoing for some time and a deal which is set to come into effect immediately has now been struck.
CFG, who own Premier League giants Manchester City, have diversified their investments across the world of football in the last five years or so with Mumbai City set to become the eighth different club to come under its aegis.
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The deal will see the group take ownership of the ISL outfit which had previously been co-owned by Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh. It makes Mumbai the third Asian club to be associated with CFG who have previously acquired minority stakes in J-League outfit Yokohama F. Marinos and most recently with Chinese League Two club Sichuan Jiuniu FC.
CFG will become the 65 per cent majority stakeholder in the club with Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh to hold the remaining shares. Damian Willoughby takes on CEO role of City Football Group India
CFG had made clear their intentions to make a foray into Indian football last year when its officials attended Mumbai’s first home game of the season. The officials had described India as a ‘land of opportunity’ during their extensive visit which lasted as long as 10 days.
“We believe that this investment will deliver transformative benefits to Mumbai City FC, to City Football Group and to Indian Football as a whole. City Football Group is committed to the future of football in India and to the potential for Mumbai City FC within that future," said Chairman of City Football Group Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
He added: “We are very much looking forward to playing an active role in Mumbai City FC’s fan and local communities, and working with our co-owners to further develop the Club as quickly as possible.”
Welcoming the City Football Group to the Indian Super League and Indian Football, Mrs Nita Ambani, Chairperson of Football Sports Development Ltd (FSDL), said: “It’s a landmark occasion that celebrates the remarkable rise of Indian football and brings to life our vision for the beautiful game in India.
“It is a great endorsement of the increasing appeal of Indian football and for all football fans in India, this is a moment to take pride in our football, our culture and the opportunity we present to the world in developing the sport."
City have now entered the Indian footballing landscape with a bang with Mumbai City joining the likes of New York City, Melbourne City and Girona under the CFG flagship.
Mumbai have been a part of the ISL since the league’s inception in 2014 with a play-off exit in 2016 and most recently in 2018 being their best finishes in the five seasons so far.