City Football Group: Which other teams will the Man City owners control?

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Manchester City have become a beacon of success in English football in the 21st century, rising to prominence as one of the most trophy-laden clubs in the world over the past decade.

Of course, a lot of this success has been down to their own takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group back in 2008, which has propelled the Citizens into football’s economic elite — they came top of the 2022 Deloitte Football Money League as the club with the highest revenue in Europe’s top divisions — and has enabled them to acquire elite-level talent to compete domestically and in European competition.

Nevertheless, their success doesn’t stop there. In 2013, the City Football Group was created, which has been used as a parent company to purchase majority and minority stakes in clubs all around the world to further the grip of influence and talent that Manchester City and the organization have at their disposal, alongside creating a network of talented players that are available to member sides.

Pep Guardiola’s City might be the flagship team, but there are many others under the City Football Group umbrella. The Sporting News takes a look at those clubs as the network continues to expand to all corners of the globe.

New York City

  • Founded in 2013 by City Football Group in conjunction with the New York Yankees baseball team
  • Created to have a second premier football/soccer team in New York City
  • Honors: MLS Champions 2021

New York City was founded in 2013, with Manchester City/CFG and the New York Yankees baseball team paying a $100 million expansion fee to admit the side into Major League Soccer. Their foundation came about as part of plans to have a second football club in New York City, with New York Red Bulls eventually becoming their main rivals on the field.

On the pitch, they have been successful by and large, qualifying for the MLS playoff finals in every season they have entered the Eastern Conference. However, their day of destiny was to come in December 2021, when former Celtic boss Ronny Deila guided them to MLS Cup glory in a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Portland Timbers.

Finishing fourth in the regular MLS Eastern Conference format, the Blues topped Atlanta United, New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union before their 4-2 penalty victory over Portland after the match finished 1-1.

Some extremely high-profile individuals have turned out for the club in recent seasons, including David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo.

Girona

  • Taken over by City Football Group in 2017
  • Popular destination for Manchester City players to be sent out on loan
  • Honors (since CFG takeover): Supercopa de Catalunya (2019)

Holding a majority 47 percent stake in Girona, City Football Group are largely responsible for most of the internal dealings that happen at the Spanish second-tier side.

Traditionally, they have been a bit of a yo-yo club in the lower reaches of football in Spain. Nevertheless, they did feature in La Liga for two seasons after gaining automatic promotion from the second tier in 2016/17.

Currently, they have three Manchester City prospects on loan in the form of youthful forwards Pablo Moreno, Nahuel Bustos and Dario Sarmiento. They are seen as an ideal destination to send out youngsters to learn their trade, due to the technical nature of Spanish football and its similarities with the way Pep Guardiola likes his players to function.

Melbourne City

  • Taken over by City Football Group in 2014 (changed name from Melbourne Heart to Melbourne City)
  • Purchased to further global influence of City brand and breed transcontinental success
  • Honors (since CFG takeover): A-League Men Premiership (2020/21, 2021/22), Australia Cup (2016), A-League Men Championship (2021).

Melbourne City are a prime example of the global influence the City Football Group aims to create, with their success in the past few years propelling them to the forefront of Australian football. They are currently defending champions of the A-League Men and will hope to replicate this feat in 2022. They face Adelaide United in the semifinals for the right to reach the Grand Final for the third year running.

Continental success is the message behind the creation of Melbourne City, whilst the trophy-laden dynasty of their English counterparts is bound to motivate the club to try to become the dominant force in Australia for years to come.

They are managed by former Leeds United man Patrick Kisnorbo, who is said to be turning heads on British shores due to his tactical methodology and winning mentality.

Yokohama F. Marinos

  • 20 percent minority stake of Yokohama F. Marinos owned by City Football Group
  • One of the most successful clubs in Japan
  • Four-time J1 League winners (1995, 2003, 2004, 2019)

The City Football Group holds a 20 percent stake in Japanese giants Yokohama F. Marinos, with the other 80% being owned by car company Nissan.

The J1 League side is regarded as one of the top sides in Asia, regularly competing for the summit of the Japanese top flight and in the AFC Champions League. In 2019, they won the J1 League for the first time in 15 years under the stewardship of Ange Postecoglou, who has since gone on to achieve Scottish Premiership glory at Celtic.

Extensive knowledge of markets globally has made the partnership between Manchester City and Yokohama F. Marinos a really smart move, with the likes of Ko Itakura and Ryotaro Meshino being signed from Japanese sides in the last few years and still on the books of the club.

Japan is a nation that has produced some great footballing talent for decades. Forging links in the region may prove to be very beneficial to the City long-term, particularly if they can gain more supporters in a lucrative market.

ESTAC Troyes

  • City Football Group bought majority controlling stake in ESTAC Troyes in 2020
  • Ligue 2 champions in 2020/21, showing the immediate impact of the takeover
  • Comfortably held their own in Ligue 1 in 2021/22, currently in 15th position
  • Honors (since CFG takeover): Ligue 2 (2020/21)

The City Football Group have also extended their arm to French football, acquiring a controlling stake in ESTAC Troyes back in 2020 when they were in Ligue 2.

They won promotion to Ligue 1 in 2020/21, winning the league by five points. In the following campaign, they have comfortably staved off the threat of relegation in the French top flight.

Much trading has gone on between ESTAC Troyes and their parent club since the takeover came into operation, with the likes of Luka Ilic, Erik Palmer-Brown and Issa Kabore joining from the English champions in the past year.

Lommel SK

  • Taken over by City Football Group in 2020, becoming the ninth club to join the network
  • They currently ply their trade in the Belgian second tier
  • Popular destination for Manchester City to send young players on loan

Lommel SK play their football in the Belgian second tier and have been under City Football Group ownership since 2020.

They are one of the most populous member clubs with regards to Manchester City players being sent out on loan, with Daniel Arzani, Thomas Agyepong, Aminu Mohammed, Kluiverth Aguilar and Enrik Ostrc all on the books of the club.

Mumbai City

  • Bought by City Football Group in 2019
  • Opened up access to players and further opportunities to develop the football club
  • Honors (since CFG takeover): Indian Super League Championship (2020/21), Indian Super League Premiership (2020/21)

Mumbai City were taken over by the City Football Group in 2019, becoming affiliated with Manchester City and incorporated into the global framework.

They have benefited enormously from this agreement, becoming the champions of India for the first time back in 2020/21 after finishing top of the Super League in the regular season.

Once again, the mantra behind the City Football Group has shown that its purpose is not only about networking around the world, but about breeding multiple successful sports enterprises in different continents.

MORE: Premier League 2022/23 kits: New jerseys for Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City and more revealed

Sichuan Jiuniu FC

Sichaun Jiuniu FC are a club that plays in the second tier of the professional pyramid in China. The City Football Group owns a minority 28 percent stake in the side, with China Sports Capital claiming the majority 54 percent ownership.

They are managed by former Barcelona assistant Sergio Lobera, who has close ties with Pep Guardiola.

Montevideo City Torque

  • Honors (since CFG takeover): Segunda Division winners (2017, 2019)

Montevideo City Torque are owned by the City Football Group, joining up in 2017 with a view to assisting Manchester City in their quest to sign talented South American players.

They achieved promotion to the Uruguayan top flight back in 2019 after suffering relegation, and they changed their name from Club Atletico Torque to Montevideo City Torque to reflect their links with CFG.

Montevideo City Torque’s squad is mainly composed of Uruguayan homegrown players, although there are others from wider South America.

Club Bolivar

Club Bolivar are not owned by City Football Group. Instead, in January 2021, the Bolivian side became the first official Partner Club of the organization.

According to CFG, the club, based in the capital La Paz, is “able to access a wide breadth of expertise, proprietary technology, best practice, and strategic advice developed by City Football Group over the past seven years through its multi-club structure “.

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