Manchester City owners buy Sichuan Jiuniu
Manchester City have confirmed on Wednesday morning that their reach now extends to China.
The Sky Blues have confirmed that Man City’s owners are buying Sichuan Jiuniu.
Sichuan Jiuniu are a third division club in China.
City Football Group, UBTECH and China Sports Capital have today announced the joint purchase of Chinese Club Sichuan Jiuniu FC, in the China League Two ⚽️
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 20, 2019
Man City’s global reach
It’s been a clear policy at Man City to penetrate new markets in recent years.
The City Football Group have achieved those objectives by investing in five clubs around the globe already.
The most high-profile investments have been with US Major League Soccer side New York City FC and Australia’s Melbourne City FC.
So why Sichuan Jiuniu?
According to the FT, the City Football Group did consider buying a more well-known Chinese Super League side.
However financial constraints meant that option fell by the wayside. Readers are told:
City executives were put off by sky-high valuations at elite Chinese clubs, few of which are being run profitably.
Instead, CFG hopes to build the Sichuan Jiuniu team with the aim of being promoted into China’s top division, while also using the club to find and train young players capable of taking part in Europe’s biggest leagues.
— Murad Ahmed (@muradahmed) February 20, 2019
Is anything fishy going on?
Yet many Man City fans may still be wondering why Man City would want to own Sichuan Jiuniu.
The FT hint that City’s acquisition could be part of a larger strategy to obviscate Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules:
Critics suggest CFG’s business model is intended to skirt so-called Financial Fair Play rules designed to prevent European clubs from spending beyond their means on players.
Manchester City has declined to comment on the allegations, saying only: “The attempt to damage the club’s reputation is organised and clear.”