City Football Group (CFG), owners of English Premier League champions, Manchester City Football Club, has expanded its portfolio in football business by acquiring Chinese third-tier club, Sichuan Jiuniu FC.
City Football Group said the venture is the next step in CFG’s investment in China, having previously opened offices in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
A CFG statement said: “City Football Group, Ubtech and China Sports Capital have today announced the joint purchase of Chinese Club Sichuan Jiuniu FC, in the China League Two, in Chengdu, attended by government officials, the club’s fans and senior executives of the new ownership group.”
CFG already owns a number of clubs, including New York City, Melbourne City and Yokohama F Marinos but Sichuan Jiuniu FC will be the first in China.
Ferran Soriano, the CFG chief executive added: “Today marks an exciting new chapter in the growth of City Football Group. China is an extremely important football market, which we have been focused on for some time. We are delighted to welcome Sichuan Jiuniu FC to our group, alongside our partners, China Sports Capital and Ubtech. We see this as a natural extension of our existing activities.
“From our work together at Manchester City and across CFG, our relationships with CMC Inc, China Sports Capital and Ubtech make us very confident that we have established a strong ownership group which is well placed to oversee this club.
“We believe strongly in the future of football in China. We are making a long-term, sustainable commitment to grow and develop Sichuan Jiuniu FC and to nurture Chinese footballing talent. Our immediate focus will be strengthening our football performance, using all of our experience and know-how, forging a strong relationship with our fans and building a strong presence in the community.”
Ubtech, an AI and robotic humanoid company, has been a CFG partner since 2016. CSC is a fund established by CFG and Sequoia China two years ago. CFG said: “It focuses on investment opportunities from the commercialisation and innovation of the global sports industry where China market is of high relevance.”