A Brief History of the City Football Group


When the Abu Dhabi United Group purchased
90% of Manchester City’s shareholdings in September 2008 for a princely sum of 210 million pounds it transformed the Blues overnight into the richest football club in the world. The fabulously wealthy investment company
– owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family – had long been keen to expand their interests into English football and, after briefly considering Newcastle
United and Everton, in City they found a club primed for success after years of relegations and underachievement. With limitless funding avai lable a spree
of marquee signings were undertaken as City strove to make a quantum leap from mediocrity into becoming one of Europe’s very elite. Two Premier League titles
and regular appearances in the Champions League within their first ten years suggest they’re
well on their way to achieving that aim. Yet for all the accelerated spending on the
pitch Mansour – a man not known for making public statements – wanted to make clear back in 2008 that this was anything but a short-term project. “We are building a structure for the future,” he insisted. “Not just a team of all-stars.” That structure largely took the form of what
became known as the Etihad Campus, a state of the art
training complex and academy that was soon dubbed in the press a ‘£200m football factory’ while away from the 16 immaculate football pitches
and three gymnasiums an aggressive commercial blueprint ensured that the club is no longer
bankrolled by their owners but instead is self-sufficient. But Sheikh Mansour’s vision didn’t end there. He wanted to do more than just conquer Europe. Four significant events made 2012 a defining year for the Abu Dhabi United Group and Manchester City. In May Roberto Mancini’s side won the club
its first league title for 44 years while that summer
saw the appointment of two former Barcelona bigwigs in CEO Ferran Soriano and Director
of Football Txiki Begiristain
to the club’s hierarchy. City had long coveted
Barcelona’s footballing philosophy and business model and – with the additional signing
of American Tom Glick as their new Chief Commercial Officer
– now had a dream team in place to mirror the Catalonian’s mega success. Less welcome that year was UEFA’s introduction
of their Financial Fair Play Regulations, established to prevent clubs spending more than what they earn. With their expenditure on players now capped
ADUG began to look at alternative means to fulfil their considerable ambitions which
is where MLS Commissioner Don Garber enters stage left
with an intriguing proposition. Would City be interested in forming a start-up
club, based in New York that could directly be affiliated
with the Manchester giants? The idea particularly appealed to Soriano
who had previously been keen for Barcelona to export their global
brand to America in a similar fashion and so – once a
partnership with the New York Yankees had been secured and the $100m expansion fee was paid – in May 2013 New York City FC was officially announced
as the MLS’s 20 th franchise. Free from their European constraints of FFP
superstars were duly bought for the fledgling outfit. David Villa was signed from Atletico Madrid. A year later Andreo Pirlo joined the US gravy-train while Patrick Vieira – previously City’s Elite
Development Squad’s manager – was installed as boss.​ When a third club was acquired in January 2014 – Melbourne Heart from Australia’s A-League for $12m that was swiftly trademarked as Melbourne
City Football Club – it necessitated the formation of the City Football Group, a holding company designed to oversee a network of linked clubs around the globe. Twelve months later another major development
was announced out of the blue when a Chinese consortium called China Media Capital – backed
by the Chinese government – invested £265M into the City Football Group, a 13% stake which valued the company at a staggering three billion pounds. City chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, said of
the deal: “this will leverage the incredible potential that
exists in China”. This year alone the portfolio has expanded
further with the acquisition of a Uruguayan second division club Atletico Torque while a collaboration agreement has been reached with Atletico Venezuela. Soriano insists such a strategy “expands
the options for identifying and developing South American talent.” With a 20% stake in Yokohama F Marinos from
Japan creating a further partnership with car manufacturers Nissan the intention is clearly to have close working relationships in every continent and all with commercial partnerships, sponsorship
opportunities, academy operations – including far-reaching scouting networks – and help
in getting around third party ownership problems with players in mind. The question now – as the City football
group continues to grow and assimilate themselves into foreign leagues – is where next in their quest for world domination?

100 thoughts on “A Brief History of the City Football Group

  • With interest in almost every corner of the globe, are City slowly transforming into a super club? – http://bit.ly/CityPartners

  • I wanna see the end of the middle eastern oil reserve, then wanna see what this FILTHY Sheikhs will do.Hopefully, This will also end the terrorism funding.

  • Exasperating farrago of distortions, misrepresentations & outright lies being broadcast by an unprincipled set of people masquerading as a football club.

  • fantastic video well as we can see football is not about the love of it it's a business now all about money and profits not the love of the game. But once again thank you for your informative video keep up the good work

  • I remember seeing a rumor that they are looking at Shanghai for the next team. Which makes little sense with SIPG and Shenhua already existing

  • I fucking hate City, but they are doing bits. Wish they didnt chose City but Newcastle or Everton instead

  • 2 premier league trophies in almost 10 years is very disappointing considering the amount of money spent

  • But can they fill the Emptyhad yet..?

  • …so is no one going to talk about how Abu Dhabi was "considering" Newcastle and Everton? I would love to have been a fly on the wall during those conversations. Both those clubs brought far more to the table as far as history, organic support, etc. were concerned, than did City. Fascinating to think about how or why they were passed over…let alone how different English football would look if one of them had gotten that massive capital infusion instead of City.

  • Great video as always guys ๐Ÿ™‚ As a United fan I view City's success as totally fake as without the takeover in 2008 City in the 9 years since then would have won nothing without the investment and the crooked sponsorship deals. Yes I accept United have spent lots of money on players and wages but this partly due to are great history and the standing that has come over time and not because some bored Billionaire wants to invest his money into you and get dodgy sponsorship deals to make that sustainable. City are no bigger then Bolton.

  • Man city, nycfc, as an American that one REALLY pissed me off. The New York Cosmos were attempting an MLS franchise that year. What this means is essentially that the TWO "clubs" in MLS in NY metro in MLS are a fucking energy drink & a fucking man city farm team… Come on you Cosmos, we may be a second division side with LITERALLY NO HOPE OF PROMOTION OR EXPANSION, because there's no promotion/relegation in America… But it's a hell of a lot better supporting that than the MLS shit. I don't even watch MLS. I don't support MLS with any of my money or views. They will not have it until they are a proper football league with opportunities for all.

  • Any chance of a video on the decline of Coventry City under owners SISU, same with Blackburn, Charlton and Blackpool?

  • Newcastle fans must be gutted. Id rather they bought Newcastle or arsenal. I think city inheriting that new stadium was about as perfectly timed as anything in history. But people won't respect city the same way for decades because the success was bought

  • How stupid do Liverpool, united and arsenal look now. City have made them self a self sufficient super club overnight

  • Yo uMAXit, cool video. Quite an interesting setup the City Group have. Just a heads up for a future City video(depending on the topic): Man City get somewhere around ยฃ200m in sponsorship from Etihad airways, whose boss is a relation of either the chairman of Man City, or somebody within the City Football Group itself. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • it would be absolutely amazing to see you guys make a video regarding anything related to Johan Cruyff. Tactics, history, anything really. Keep up the amazing work

  • Finance ISIS , PSG and City as well.WOW what a franchise.Wanted to do more than conquer Europe,In what way,by the sword or through football.

  • I never liked the strategy/concept of City Football Group to begin with, but forcing Shunsuke Nakamura out of Yokohama F. Marinos really crossed the line for me. I'd be pretty upset if City Football Group or similar such entities took over a club I was a fan of.

  • I imagine city fans are obviously pleased with whats happened and what looks like will be happening. But there seems to be a commercial feeling about the club in everything they do now. Even on social media when they use 'manc' phrases its seems forced. I wonder if some of the real fans miss the old days in a way

  • Cool video… expanding on this video, it would be an interesting idea to do a quick video comparing the different types of ways clubs are run since not every country's football is like the Premier League where ownership can switch hands based on a consortium paying money till they see fit to sell up… Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao for example have their president elected and are run by club members, the Bundesliga has the 50+1 rule where fans have a lot of control…

    Or even fan-run clubs in England like Portsmouth which are different from Premier League ownership structures but is different than Bundesliga fan-run clubs… here in Egypt, the biggest clubs are legally considered public institutions and have elections too but it's a different system than the Spanish clubs that are run that way…

  • Fascinating, one of your better videos. While the City group's vision is extraordinary, I wonder how much corruption goes into this long-term project of theres.

  • depends on where their attention/priority is: expansion by acquisitionย or developing youth/investing in academies.

  • Seriously Lads this channel is absolutely fantastic! Every video is interesting and brilliantly made! Keep up the good stuff!

  • The whole linked clubs around the world led by a super club is an absolutely awful thing for football!

  • Oh so they just went and paid the poultry 100M fee for NY did they? Christ Almighty how much money do these cunts have :'(

  • The City Football Group is yet to expand to Africa. I think Cape Town City, a club in South Africa would be the perfect choice if they decide to expand in Africa.

  • so for pogba (one player!) you have to pay 100 million while for a man city (a whole club!) in premier league you only need to pay 210 million ? that seems strange to me

  • Why do they own football teams everywhere else in the world but not the middle east or is that not the case

  • I love your channel! However, please fix the "Andreo Pirlo" mistake. It's Andrea Pirlo, thanks and best of luck.

  • funny thin is that many people in abu dhabi hate man city for the reason that etisalat company keeps on force feeding the costumers to like man city, i live there and i hate man city

  • I don't know about Melbourne City but NYCFC is certainly not a feeder club.

    CFG is in it tor future profit.

  • do this type of video gor other clubs like bayern or real or barca etc and some othe premier league clubs who have this type expending system. You could create a whole playlist

  • Soulless football club, no identity, copying Barรงa's philosophy. Just a lucky club bought by wealthy daddies with passionless support. Would be a crime to consider them as a "BIG" club.

  • they have not had as much success as chelsea in the premier league, they started about 5-6 years after chelsea but are really lacking in trophies to show their global reach

  • Lol what has come off the elite development squad.. developed Ieancho for westbrom ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  • This is insane. Respect tho.
    Well… as long as they aren't doing some crazy shady shit with all that cash.

  • After seeing the likes of arsenal get mugged off by there owners I'm so glad that we have mansour and khaldoon are the ones to take us forward ๐Ÿ”ต

  • NYFC hasn't signed any 'superstars'. Pirlo is a legend but he was past his prime when he signed. United, Madrid, Arsenal etc. were not fighting for his signature, same with Villa – great player in his prime but he has not been missed in Europe!

  • A great video as always. I just know that City have partnership with Yokohama Marinos. This business model would surely copied in the coming years, especially in Asia.

  • First they should try to conquer Manchester and win 18 more league titles and 3 more european cups.Everton is bigger than them.

  • As a MUFC fan it's very interesting what city is doing around the world with these football clubs curious if this brings them a champions league trophy in the next 5 to 10 years

  • Africa surely has to be considered next , football mad continent with limitless commercial opportunity. maybe a south African team a bit like ajax have done or somewhere in the west such as Nigeria or the ivory coast.

  • Clubs like Man City and P$G are a threat to football. Yes, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United also spend a lot of money. But that money was acquired after years and years of continued success. But overnight rags to riches clubs like Man City and PSG show the power money holds in modern football. Who knows Leganes might win the Champions League in 5 years if a new super rich owner takes over.

  • They should build another elite European club from another big league and in 10 years Man City plays them in the champions league final, they should also build clubs to one day have all City Group clubs compete in the Club World Cup

  • I'm a staunch & loyal Manchester United Football Club supporter that was born in the mid 70s so I grew up watching Liverpool, Everton, Arsenal basically winning everything, I was happy with Utd winning the FA Cup every 3 or 5 years so I didn't jump on the Utd success bandwagon of the mid 90s, the teams that used to win everything earned their money the correct & honest way until Blackburn with their Uncle Jack Walker started to play unfair financially, Chelsea & Man City were the after effect of what will be the death of football. When City won the Premier League for the 1st time in 2011 I honestly believe that there is enough evidence to call fowl play, QPR were fighting for survival from being relegated & City were playing & fighting for the title on the last game of the season, there's no way that this game should have kicked off 16 minutes later then every other team as it gave both teams an unfair advantage of knowing if they needed to win, 3 QPR players that used to play for City & even more suspiciously even supported City were quoted in the newspapers beforehand stating that they wished that there was a way for QPR to stay up & for City to win the league title. QPR were winning 2-1 & fighting for their safety from relegation but due to the unfair & unethical late kick off they suddenly found out that they were safe from being relegated due to other results going in their favour, needless to say that after this news came through QPR basically stopped playing & trying ( watch West Ham United in their last game of the season in 94/95 trying their hardest to stop Utd from winning the match & league title, even Liverpool honourable beat their own King Kennys Blackburn because they have got real history & pedigree ) to win & before you knew it City had scored 2 goals due to bad defending by a team that had stopped playing, don't believe then watch it for yourselves from a team fighting for safety to a team that wanted to be part of this corrupt party, this destroyed Mark Hughes's Manchester United legacy & nobody wants his name on their retro shirts. Football karma is a bitch as QPR have been dropping divisions ever since. I can't believe the corruption that must have taken place for that Man Sheiky vs QPRtards to unfairly start later than every other team. Before you judge on this please watch the last 8 minutes of that deciding game that was a mockery to the history, honour & honesty of the English Premier league .Regards, David from Manchester, England, UK. Wythenshawe Red. ๐Ÿ‘น UNITED ๐Ÿ‘บ

  • I was brought here by the 'Why do you hate man city?" article on Tifo's website.

    They try to explain away the complaints about Man City by trivializing and normalizing the nature of their source of wealth. It is complete BS to say, "oh other clubs were rich in the past and were successful because of that." That is like saying someone who became rich on their own merit and earned is the same thing as someone who just had it all handed to them via inheritance. That is the first part of the problem with Man City's wealth; they shouldn't have it and talking about other clubs who got their money fairly and earned it as actual clubs from their fans doesn't change the nature of that.

    The second part is WHERE the money comes from. Other than taking Chinese money you couldn't get a more evil source of cash in the world other than Shiekh Arab oil money. So it is basically financial colonization of a beloved national past time by the most evil people possible. The only other groups I can even imagine you could sell a football club to anywhere near as evil as Arab oil money shiekhs who want to turn European football fans into their serfs as much as everyone born in their feudal oil countries are their serfs. At the end of the day they are just here to either make money off our love of our national sports or they are here to launder their image because they are completely evil.

    Also it isn't a coincidence PSG is the other most hated club in the world for all of the same reasons. Man City is just worse. And no amount of success will ever count or be recognized. I basically think of it as Nazi oil money FC and any success they have is just a loss for the entire sport. It is funny becuase I would say Pep is the best coach of the day but nothing he does will ever matter and I will hate him forever for being the ultimate souless sell out. Anyone who ever works or plays for Man City is too low level of trash to ever want on my team. If Messi played for Man City I would still never want him to be on any team I root for ever after the fact. Man City is ultimate evil and everything they touch is corrupted. Down with evil arab oil money and financial colonization. You can support any club anywhere and be less of a pathetic shit stain than you would be for supporting man city. You could start your own imaignary club and support that it would still be miles less pathetic than being a Man City fan; because then you are more like a fan of being an serf to an oil money evil Shiekh than you are actually a fan of real football.

  • ๋ชจ๋‘๊ฐ€ํ–‰๋ณตํ•ด์กŒ์œผ๋ฉด ์ข‹๊ฒ ๋‹ค says:

    GOOD CLUB

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