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The dominance of the City Football Group, owner of Manchester City

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The City Football Group (CFG) has announced Club Bolivar of the Bolivian league has become part of its conglomerate that follows a process of worldwide expansion within a model that, although it has been used by other groups (Red Bull, the Pozzo family, Aspire Academy, etc), none have brought it to the level of the CFG.

The announcement allows us to talk a little about the model used by the CFG which, since the acquisition of Manchester City by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, the group from which the CFG was born, which has consisted of the purchase of clubs from all over the world.

Within the CFG are the following clubs: Manchester City (England), New York City FC (United States), Melbourne City FC (Australia), Yokohama Marinos (Japan), Montevideo City Torque (Uruguay), Girona FC (Spain), Sichuan Jiuniu FC (China), Mumbai City FC (India), Lommel SK (Belgium), Troyes AC (France), Club Bolivar (Bolivia). To this list should be added the case of Guayaquil City FC of Ecuador that in 2017 changed its name from Club Deportivo River Plate Ecuador to the one it currently has as well as its change in colors from black, red and white to sky blue and white, all indicating that the rumors about the purchase of the club by the CFG were true, however, to date there has been no official confirmation.

The objectives of this model of purchase and management of football clubs certainly have a sporting intention, but it has a more economic-focused end. The clubs that are part of the CFG share many things with each other and the way they are structured since they are divided into two areas, which is one financial and one about the other sports, each with its own president and with some independence between them although both must report to the group leaders in Manchester.

If we take Manchester City as an example, we will notice that since the purchase of the club in 2008, the investment was enormous to bring big names from world football to a club without much history as well as managers and all the necessary facilities. In the first years this meant losses for the group, however, as the years passed, football success came, which led to a greater global reach and in turn better sponsorship contracts and a huge increase in the club’s fans.

The same is what the CFG tries to repeat with all its clubs in order to generate greater economic income from football achievements that would be a little easier for those clubs to achieve given that they have technical, financial and football support of the rest of the members of the CFG. That translates into players who can go from one club to another without much trouble or in Manchester City coaches preparing coaches from other clubs with the latest trends from the citizen club and their manager, Pep Guardiola.

This expansionary strategy for the group has resulted in annual profits of around €600 million and a group net worth of almost €4.5 billion. So I think it can be said that the model is working for the City Football Group.

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