In what will be a major fillip to Indian football, it’s learnt that the owners of English Premier League (EPL) champions Manchester City are going to acquire a major stake in Indian Super League (ISL) side Mumbai City FC (MCFC), informed a source who was quoted in a Reuters report on Thursday.
Manchester City which play their home game at the Etihad Stadium is owned by the crown jewel of the City Football Group (CFG), which is majority owned by Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
“The investment will showcase the interest of the world in Indian football,” said the source, who asked not to be named as the talks were private. CFG did not respond to repeated queries of any confirmation and Mumbai City FC declined to comment on the matter.
CFG have organised an event in India’s financial capital — Mumbai — where it will outline the details of the deal on Thursday. Once Man City own a stake, Mumbai City FC will add to the already majority stakes in seven soccer teams in countries ranging from the United States to China.
Mumbai City, which is co-owned by Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor, has had the likes of Freddie Ljungberg, Nicolas Anelka and Diego Forlan as their marquee players in the past, and they are currently placed seventh in the 10-team ISL.
The deal is set to be announced just a day after CFG agreed to sell a $500 million stake to US private equity firm Silver Lake, making it the world’s most valuable soccer group with a $4.8 billion price tag.