Abu Dhabi-based City Football Group – owners of Manchester City Football Club – are considering the possibility of buying a club in India, according to its CEO.
Ferran Soriano was quoted by the BBC as saying that the group founded by deputy prime minister of the UAE, Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and CEO of Mubadala Development Company, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, is looking into a range of new markets, of which India is one.
“We have some interest in markets and countries where there is genuine football passion and opportunities, like China, but also India. So there might be other opportunities in Asia,” he said.
“We’ve been looking at India for nearly two years now. I’d say this year we’ll end up doing an investment in India.”
As well as Manchester City, of which Al Mubarak is chairman, City Football Group owns or has shares in New York City FC in the US, Melbourne City in Australia, Yokohama F Marinos in Japan, Atletico Torque in Uruguay, and Girona in Spain.
In February the group – founded in 2013 – also bought a stake in Chinese third-tier side Sichuan Jiuniu FC.
“As we see it now, there is a natural pace of growth that we will follow that takes us to more than seven teams, but not 100 teams,” Soriano is reported as saying.
“I cannot see 10 years ahead but the group might have two or three teams more. Is this going to change in five years and we’re going to have more? Maybe, I don’t know that.
“But to complete the vision that we had six years ago, I think we will have maybe two or three clubs more.”