Owners of the English giants Manchester city has announced the purchase of a third-tier Chinese club
The takeover is part of a joint investment with with robotic tech (UBTECH), an artificial intelligence (AI) and humanoid robotic company, and the China Sports Capital investment fund.
Chief executive officer of City said in a statement on Wednesday: “Today marks an exciting new chapter in the growth of City Football Group. China is an extremely important football market, which we have been focused on for some time.
“We believe strongly in the future of football in China. We are making a long term, sustainable commitment to grow and develop Sichuan Jiuniu FC and to nurture Chinese footballing talent. These objectives are equally important.
Our immediate focus will be strengthening our Football performance, using all of our experience ad know-how, forging a strong relationship with our fans and building a strong presence in the community”.
CFG, which is owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a member of the ruling family in Abu Dhabi, has been seeking to invest in a project in China since it sold a 13-per-cent share worth £265 million (US$400 million) to domestic equity groups China Media Capital (CMC) and CITIC Capital in December 2015.
Jiuniu play at the 27,000-seat Chengdu Longquanyi Football Stadium and were founded in 2006 after former Chinese Super League (CSL) side Sichuan Guancheng disbanded.
Sichuan Jiuniu becomes the seventh club to join CFG’s global conglomerate.
Alongside Premier champions City, CFG also controls Melbourne City, New York City and club Atletico Torque of Uruguay, while it has been invested in Girona and Yokohama F. Marinos.
China sports capital has held shares in CFG since December 2015, while UBTECH has been one of City’s commercial partners since 2016.
Pep Guardiola’s side are still in pursuit of four titles in the 2018-19 campaign. City are to face Schalke in the champions league round of sixteen first leg meeting on Wednesday night.
City are tied at the same point with Liverpool in the EPL, while they face Chelsea in the Carabao cup final on Sunday.
The England club are also through to the quarter – final of the FA cup after a 4-1 win against Newport County.
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