Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Chinese consortium stake in City Football Group part of a global power play

Chinese consortium stake in City Football Group part of a global power play
December 9, 2015

Last week’s announcement that a US$400 million stake in the City Football Group (CFG), held by a senior member of the United Arab Emirates’ royal family, had been sold to China Media Capital (CMC), a Chinese Government-backed investment conglomerate, highlights the importance of football in the two countries’ ambitions to project themselves on the international stage.

CFG, the owner of football related clubs and businesses including Manchester City FC, New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, and a minority shareholder in Yokohama F. Marinos, announced that the deal “will create an unprecedented platform for the growth of CFG clubs and companies in China and internationally, borne out of CFG’s ability to provide a wealth of industry expertise and resources to the rapidly developing Chinese football industry.”

The agreement, which values the group at US$3 billion, will see the consortium of CMC Holdings and CITIC Capital invest US$400 million to take a shareholding in City Football Group of just over 13%.

The announcement follows more than six months of discussions among the parties to find the optimum model and associated strategies for the partnership. The capital from the share acquisition will be used by City Football Group to fund its China growth, further CFG international business expansion opportunities and further develop CFG infrastructure assets.

The injection of funding into CFG also follows Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to watch Manchester City play clubb during a four-day state visit to Britain in October.

Commenting on the investment, CFG Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak stated “our belief is that we now have an unrivalled platform to grow CFG, our clubs and companies both in China and internationally, and we will be working hard with our new partners to realise the potential that this deal creates.”

Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan bought the then troubled Manchester City in 2008 for around US$400 million and has since expanded the club into the City Football Group.

According to James M. Dorsey, senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and co-director of the University of Wuerzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, the sale “puts to bed any suggestion that Sheikh Mansour’s original acquisition was an act of vanity.”

Dorsey added “the deal puts into perspective Manchester City’s earlier decision to appoint its former player, Sun Jihai, as its ambassador to China and to include him in the hall of fame at Manchester’s National Football Museum, a move that initially raised eyebrows in the British football community.

“China last year stressed the importance it attributes to football domestically as well as internationally with the unveiling of a 50-point plan to turn the country into a football giant. In a first step, Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao FC won the Asian Football Championship.

“The plan made football a mandatory part of China’s school curriculum, pledged to establish 50,000 football schools and multiple academies over the next decade, and to set up a football lottery that would help fund the sport’s development.

“The plan also envisions professionalization of the Chinese Football Association, by separating it from China’s ports bureaucracy but not from Chinese politics.

“The Chinese emphasis on football, alongside the hosting of mega events like various Olympic Games, further reflects President Xi’s personal passion, first expressed in 2011 ... for China to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, host the event and, ultimately win it.”

Images: Chinese President Xi Jinping with United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron are shown around the City Football Academy by CFG Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, meeting coach Manuel Pellegrini (top), coach Patrick Vierra and star player Sergio Aguero (middle). Images: courtesy of Manchester City Football Club.City Football Group.

25th November 2015 - PROLEISURE ESTABLISHES AUSTRALIAN BASE

24th August 2015 - ADIDAS TO SUPPORT GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

18th August 2015 - CHINESE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION TO BE INDEPENDENT OF GOVERNMENT

27th March 2015 - MELBOURNE CITY FOOTBALL ACADEMY UNVEILED

13th March 2015 - CHINA LOOKS TO FOOTBALL SUCCESS AND FUTURE FIFA WORLD CUP HOSTING


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Anti Wave International

Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Sport

 
 

PlayRope

Playrope Aqua-Fun, are the Australian & New Zealand exclusive distributors for Vortex Aquatic Structures International, the world leader in aquatic playgrounds and urban water landscapes.…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Parks / Play / Recreation

 
 

BioLab Australia Pty Ltd

BioGuard is Australia and New Zealand’s most trusted supplier of premium, innovative and affordable commercial water treatment systems and chemicals. BioGuard offers a comprehensive range of…

read more

Aquatics / Technology / Waterparks

 
 

BODY BIKE AUSTRALIA

BODY BIKE® International is a leading manufacturer of indoor bikes with a 20-year track record of creating the best indoor bikes. Stay connected with Body Bike Australia…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Goplay Commercial Playground Equipment

Goplay designs and manufactures specialised playground equipment for indoor play centres, hotels, food chains, clubs and resorts. If our years of experience and dedication have taught us one thing,…

read more

Play

 
 

QUAYCLEAN

Quayclean are a national cleaning and waste services partner with proven results in the understanding and delivery of cleaning needs and challenges faced by facilities including; major venues and…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Surfaces / Venues

 
 

Augmented Creative

Augmented Creative is an open organization of like-minded and highly dedicated, creative people who conceive, plan and execute visual solutions. We pursue new and innovative visual ideas to help…

read more

Arts / Attractions / Consultants / Design / Tourism

 
 

WATERPLAY Solutions Corp

Whether your goal is increasing your centre's revenues or creating an engaging environment, why not add play to your project? If you're looking for stylish aquatic play features, kid-tested…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Waterparks

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business