Mumbai City FC is all set to become the latest club to be acquired by the City Football Group (CFG) with a deal set to be announced before the start of the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) season, Goal can reliably state.
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.
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 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 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," CFG’s chief executive Ferran Soriano had stated then.
"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.”
In fact, CFG officials were already reviewing contracts of the Mumbai City players and officials last year when they had visited India.
True to their word, 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.