Manchester City have announced that a Chinese consortium is investing £265 million to buy a 13% stake in the club’s patent company, in a deal that values the business at $3 billion, which puts it on par with rivals Manchester United who are valued at $3.05 billion.
Incredibly, Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan originally paid around £265m to purchase full ownership of the club in 2009 and has created the City Football Group that includes teams in New York, Melbourne and Yokohama.
”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 realize the potential that this deal creates,” City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said.
CMC Chairman Ruigang Li said the consortium envisaged ”unprecedented growth opportunities” from the investment that will benefit Chinese football.
”We and our consortium partner CITIC Capital also see this investment as a prime opportunity for furthering the contribution of China to the global football family,” he said.
It will be interesting to see how this cash infusion impacts Manchester City in the transfer market. There have been rumors of City wanting to sign Lionel Messi and pay him wages of £1m a week. Last week that idea was ludicrous, but after today’s cash infusion, City have the money to do that sort of deal without running into trouble again with Financial Fair Play.
This is a big deal for City. Despite being more success over the last three or four years, City have been seen as a smaller club than United. This deals puts them at a similar financial valuation as United, something that could entice more stars to spur the red side of Manchester for the blue side.