What is City Football Group? What all Teams are owned by them?

Manchester City has emerged as an epitome of success in Europe in the last decade. The club is dominating in England and Europe as well. In 2022 City has made the highest revenue in Europe’s top divisions. This gives freedom to buy the most shining talent all across the globe to fight in domestic and European competitions.

Since the joining of Pep Guardiola in 2016, Man City has been shining like a full moon in the night sky – bright, sharp, full, and dominating. Under Guardiola’s guidance, City has won five out of six Premier League titles. With the treble win in season 2022-23, City has shown his dominance in Europe as well. The club has lifted the Champions League trophy by beating some of the leading giants of Europe like Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Liverpool and more. 

It would not be incorrect to say that Pep Guardiola has led City to achieve the level that Barcelona achieved under his guidance between 2008 and 2012. Like Erling Haaland setting fire in Europe, it was Lionel Messi who was blasting in those years with Barca Under Guardiola.

However, the vision of Manchester City owner is beyond only winning and earning in Europe. The owners have acquired multiple clubs across the globe and they are running these clubs under the same roof. The roof here is the City football group.

In this article, you will get to know about City Group like what is this group about, the history of the group, the number of teams in this group, and more.  

What is the City football group?

City Football Group Limited which is broadly known as CFG, is a holding company that runs multiple professional football groups. The group is owned by three groups namely Abu Dhabi which owned 81%, the American firm Silver Lake which owned 18%, and the Chinese firm China Media Capital and CITIC Capital which owned 1% of the group.

The group name is Manchester City, which is also the parent company or club of the group. With their vision, the owners expanded their horizons beyond Manchester. Today the CFG owned stakes in clubs in the United States, Australia, India, Japan, Spain, Brazil, Uruguay, China, Belgium, France, and Italy.

The group wasn’t always this big. It’s a product of vision, determination, effort, and intention. So, let’s dive into the journey of the City Football group.

History of City Football Group

City Football Group was officially founded in 2013. The idea of CFG was born in the head of the former Barcelona Economy President Ferran Soriano. Soriano first contacted Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber but, it didn’t work out. Eventually, Soriano’s vision worked out when he and seven more board members resigned in protest against President Joan Laporta.

After being four years away from his vision of forming City Football Group, in 2012, Soriano was appointed as the new CEO of Manchester City by replacing Garry Cook. With his persistance vision and work Sorinao made New York City an addition to the CFG within one year in 2013. After the addition of New York City CFG formation has been official.

At the start of 2014, the CFG entered Australian football and acquired the stakes in A-League franchise Melbourne Heart for 12 Million. The group rebranded it as Melbourne City. Next, CFG moved into women’s football and they formed the new Manchester City Women City which fights in the major leagues in Europe. 

Later on, the CFG entered Aisa and acquired 20% stakes in Sichuan Jiuniu FC. Further, they also moved to other major leagues in Europe. These determined steps and deals in various leagues and continents show the vision and ambition of the City Football Group. So, did you know how many clubs CGF owned in 2023? Let’s take a deep dive into it.

List of teams owned by City Football Group

There are a total of 12 teams owned by City Football Group based in various countries across the world. The group has made a splendid move and expanded its network into North America, South America, Asia, Europe, and Australasia. They have the strongest grip in Europe compared to other continents. CFG majorly invested in clubs in France, Spain, and Italy. CGF keeps expanding each year. 

One of the biggest achievements of the group is most of the clubs where they invested fight in the top flight to their respective countries. Below is the list of teams under CGF along with details of owning.

  1. Manchester City

Man City is the parent club under City Football Group. This is where it all started and keep going. CFG acquired 100% stakes in City When the group was founded in 2013.  Man City is based in the United Kingdom and fights in the top flight ie Premier League. 

The treble winner of 2022/23 has been making a blast over the years under Guardiola’s mentorship. The city is the club that gives the highest revenue to the City Football Group. In 2022, City was the highest revenue-generating club in Europe

  1. New York City FC

New York City is the second club under the City Football Group. The club was acquired by City Football Group in the same year as Man City in 2013. New York City plays in Major League Soccer of the United States. 

New City is one of the prominent clubs in MLS and they won the first MLS cup in 2021. 80% of stakes in New York City were owned by CFG and the remaining 20% was acquired by Yankee Global Enterprises.

  1. Melbourne City FC

This was the third city where CFG invested. On 23 January 2014, City Football Group announced of buying Melbourne Heart which was named Melbourne City FC. CFG owned 100% stakes in the Melbourne City.

The club won its first major league in 2016 by beating Sydney and lifting the Australia Cup.

  1. Yokohama F. Marinos

Yokohama is a club based in Japan. On 20 May 2014, City Football Group invested in Yokohama F. Marinos. CFG owned 20% of the stakes of the club. 

The group has invested in better coaches, staff, and managments. In 2019, Yokohama wins first J1 league. 

  1. Montevideo City Torque

Montevideo City is a Uruguayan-based club. On 5 April 2017, CGF announced full ownership of the club. This is the first investment of CFG in South America. 

The club fights in Uruguayan Primera Division which is the top division league in Uruguay. The investment in Montevideo is being fruitful to the City Football Group in terms of revenue generation and winning cups.

  1. Troyes AC

Troyes AC is a France-based club. On 20 September 2020, City Football Group invested in Troyes and owned the 100% stakes of the club. 

Earlier, Troyes was fighting in Ligue2, but after winning the championship in season 2020-21 the club was promoted to Ligue1.

  1. Lommel SK

On 11 May 2020, City Football Group heavily invested in the Belgian club. Lommel is an old Belgian club which originally founded in 1932.

CFG owns a 99% stake in the club. Lommel fought in the top Belgian First Division B. This is the 9th investment of the City Football Group

  1. Mumbai City FC

Mumbai City FC is a professional football club based in Mumbai, India. On 28 November 2019, City Football Group announced their investment in the Mumbai City club. CFG is the majority 65% stakeholder of the club.

Mumbai City fights in the top league ie Indian Super League. After the CFG ownership, the club performed quite well. In season 2020-21, Mumbai City became the first team to win both premiership and championship.

  1. Girona FC

Girona FC is a professional football club based in Spain. The club fights the top league of Spain which is La Liga. In 2017, City Football Group owned 47% stakes in the club. During this time the club operated in the Segona Catalana division, the sixth level of football in Spain. 

Later on, CFG made lots of change of changes. From changing top players to hiring great managers for the club. CFG wants the club to stay in La Liga. It would be interesting to see how the investment of the group will be turned out.

  1. Sichuan Jiuniu FC

Sichuan Jiuniu is a professional club in China. On 20 February 2019, City Football Group announced the investment in the Chinese football club. CFG owned 29.7% stakes in the club.

Sichuan was the seventh sign of the City Football group. Before joining China League One, they spent three seasons in China’s second division. In the China Super League, the club finished seventh and eighth in consecutive years. 

Sichuan Jiuniu is the lowest market value club owned by City Football Group. Now the group needs to be aware to continue their stakes in the club. 

  1. Palermo FC

Palermo FC is a professional football club based in Italy. In July 2022, City Football Group officially announced its stakes in the club. The group owned 80% of the club’s share.

Palermo FC fights in the Italy league of Serie B. In 2022, the club finished 9th out of 20 teams in Serie B. At the end of 2016-17, Palermo was eliminated from Serie A after which they couldn’t make a comeback.

  1. Esporte Club Bahia 

Esporte Club Bahia is a professional football club in Brazil. On 3 December 2022, City Football Group declared their investment in the club, but the final deal happened in July 2023. CFG has acquired 90% of the Bahia. Esports Club Bahia fights in Brazilian Serie A.

The CEO of City Football Group, Ferran Soriano has a special place for this signing. He said, “ All our have a story, but Bahia is exceptional for its size. Bahia will be the second biggest club in the group.” 

So, it would be interesting to see how the investment of CFG will be turned out. Also, it would be great for the group if the statement of the Soriano turns out to be true.

The purpose behind City Football Group

The purpose behind the formation of City Football Group is to create a network of football clubs that can run under the same roof. The running of the group is mutually beneficial in a healthy environment. It would be right to say, that the group has done a phenomenal job over the decade. Starting from Manchester City and expanding into different cities and contentment is a huge deal.

Also, in 2023 Man City will be the top club-earning club of the group which making enable the group to buy more clubs. One of the best policies of the City Football Group is that they work on both modes of acquiring a particular club. Depending on club size, country, and league, the group buys either partial or full stakes of the club. 

The running model of the group is giving more opportunities to players who can start from their respective clubs and can make it to the top league in Europe or even in Man City. With his excellent performance at Melbourne City, Aaron Mooy was directly signed to Manchester City and there are more examles like this.

Now comes the business angle of the City Football Group. Apart from generating revenue from Man City, the group is doing quite well in their other investments as well. The women’s Man City club has also been successful in recent years. They won one Women’s Super League trophy, three FA Cups, and four FA WSL Continental Cups.


How many teams are owned by the City Football group?

City Football Group (CFG) owns 13 clubs across the globe. CFG’s global network of clubs allows the group to share resources, expertise, and players. This has helped CFG clubs to achieve success on the field, and it has also made CFG a more attractive proposition for sponsors and investors.

Which is the Biggest club owned by the City Football Group outside Europe?

The biggest club owned by the City Football Group outside Europe is Mumbai City FC, which competes in the Indian Super League (ISL), the top tier of football in India. Mumbai City FC was founded in 2014 and became part of the City Football Group in 2019. The club has won one ISL championship, in 2022, and has also reached the ISL playoffs on three other occasions.


Sajid Siddiqui - 23 Posts

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