Manchester City’s owners are planning to set up a franchise in the Chinese Super League according to reports by British media.
According to the Independent, City Football Group, the holding company for Manchester City, New York City FC and Melbourne City, has mentioned Shanghai City as a potential name and home for the new team.
Back in December, China Media Capital (CMC) and CITIC Capital splashed out $400 million to buy a 13% stake in City Football Group. Relations between Manchester City and its Chinese partners got off to a good start when none other than Xi Jinping himself visited the Etihad Stadium during his state visit to the UK.
The visit was a snub to Manchester United, who are undoubtedly better known throughout China. Much of the club’s fame in the Chinese market is down to the phenomena that is David Beckham.
City Football Group has reportedly been giving advice to Chinese football officials on how to run their clubs more efficiently and is now planning to expand into the country to exploit the “unrivaled commercial opportunities” in the market.
The news will no doubt be well received by Xi, who when explaining his personal ambitions for China in 2011, he joked that he had three items on his list: to qualify for the World Cup, to host the World Cup and to win the World Cup.
First national football textbooks, a Manchester City franchise, then World Cup glory!