Manchester City ownership ready to add more clubs to group

ByJonathan Smith via ESPN logo
Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Manchester City and New York City FC owner Sheikh Mansour is ready to extend his football empire if the right opportunity comes along.

The Abu Dhabi billionaire controls the City Football Group, which owns the Premier League side and Major Soccer League club as well as Australian club Melbourne City and Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos.

And chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has revealed that they want to add more clubs to their portfolio if a suitable opportunity arises.

The multiple ownership has already been beneficial with the clubs loaning players between each other and Al Mubarek is happy with how their current stable of clubs is developing.

"We have four clubs and we are going through the development of the four clubs," he said. "These are developing well.

"We have an ambition as a football group to have an organisation that is global and that will have multiple clubs as part of it.

"I would say that when the opportunity arises and we are looking at opportunities you can expect us to add to the clubs we have already within the organisation."

Al Mubarak's statement will renew speculation that the City Football Group is to set up a franchise in China.

The City Group was wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group until it sold a 13 percent stake to China Media Group Holdings for 265 million in December.

China is a growing market in football and Manchester City are heading there on a preseason tour this summer to play friendlies against Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund while Chinese president Xi Jinping visited City's 200m Etihad Campus in October.

However, Al Mubarak would not speculate on where a fifth club would potentially be.

"It's too early to pinpoint [where] -- we're looking at opportunities," he added. "We'll see how it goes. At the right time, at the right place, we will tell you."