City Football Group Confirm Purchase of Chinese Club Sichuan Jiuniu

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: The Manchester City badge on a board during the Group F match of the UEFA Champions League between Manchester City and FC Shakhtar Donetsk at Etihad Stadium on November 7, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

The parent company of Manchester City, the City Football Group (CFG), confirmed on Wednesday that it has  purchased Chinese club Sichuan Jiuniu FC.

As Jamie Jackson of the Guardian relayed, it is the seventh football club to be purchased under its umbrella, and the first from China.

In a statement, it's noted the purchase has been jointly made by CFG, Ubtech—which specialises in AI and robotics—and China Sports Capital, which is a fund established by CFG in partnership with Sequoia China in 2017.

Ferran Soriano, who is chief executive of CFG, said "today marks an exciting new chapter in the growth of City Football Group" and noted that China represents "an extremely important football market, which we have been focused on for some time."

In addition to the Chinese outfit, the CFG has acquired La Liga's Girona, Major League Soccer's New York City, the A-League's Melbourne City, Japan's Yokohama F Marinos and Uruguay's Club Atletico Torque.

As Rob Harris of the Press Association noted, links have been established between CFG and China since 2015:

Rob Harris @RobHarris

Manchester City sold 13% of the group for $400m to Chinese entities in 2015 weeks after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the club during a four-day state visit to Britain https://t.co/HdHn0mnZgz

CFG was founded in 2014 to administer ownership of football clubs to Abu Dhabi United Group, which completed a takeover of Manchester City in 2008.

Following the purchase, the Premier League side have been able to establish themselves as a superpower of European football, winning three top-flight titles, including last season's record-breaking 100-point haul.