If you’re a fan of NYCFC, you probably have some idea that this franchise is somehow connected globally to other teams. There’s a vague relationship to foreign owners who love soccer first and foremost.
However, if you are not familiar with the concept of the City Football Group, you should be because this business structure could very well be the entire future of football/soccer globally.
NYCFC is part of a global soccer family.
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the architect for bringing NYCFC into life with a $100 million expansion fee paid to MLS in 2012; the Abu Dhabi ruling family brought a second soccer franchise to New York. With the City Football Group as the engine of ownership, this business organization has now purchased and controls no less than 13 different soccer teams globally.
Regardless of any political or economic influence from the Abu Dhabi ruling family, the City Football Group has established a growing pattern of soccer ownership around the world, with private equity firms eagerly participating in buying up teams that are for sale and holding these assets for their investors to be part team “owners.”
With billions of dollars to invest, the City Football Group has taken soccer team ownership around the globe and owns teams on five continents.
Here is the list of NYCFC’s team “relatives” in order of financial value from lowest value to greatest in terms of overall assets:
Sichuan Jiuniu FC – China
Club Bolivar – Bolivia
Mumbai City FC – India
Lemmel SK – Belgium
Montevideo City Torque – Uruguay
Yokohama F. Marinos – Japan
Melbourne City FC – Australia
Palermo FC – Italy
ESTAC Troyes – France
NYCFC*** – United States, MLS
Esporte Club Bahia – Brazil, just purchased
Girona FC – Spain
Manchester City FC – England, Premier League
Whether City Football Group is good for the sport of soccer or not, this business structure is successfully buying up and owning teams from a global perspective and creating a model for new ownership groups. With a current estimated value of $690 million, NYCFC sits as just a part of the City Football Group portfolio.
While there are international political and economic implications that come with NYCFC’s ownership, the fact does remain that City Football Group is helping drive the train to build a new stadium for this club in Queens to provide a permanent soccer home and continually build the sport up in New York.
The jury is still out on the City Football Group, but its continued presence in global soccer cannot be denied.