Investment giant China Media Capital (CMC) has ploughed £265m in City Football Group (CFG), opening Manchester City, New York City FC, Melbourne City FC and Yokohama F Marinos up to Chinese fans of the sport..
The state-backed media and sports group will help the clubs grow their audiences - and open up further investment options – with the CFG now conservatively valued at $3bn.
Following six months of negotiation, the global deal, which is still subject to approval from some national regulators, sees CMC take up a 13 per cent stake in the group.
On the partnership, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of CFG, said: "Football is the most loved, played and watched sport in the world and in China, the exponential growth pathway for the game is both unique and hugely exciting.
“We have therefore worked hard to find the right partners and to create the right deal structure to leverage the incredible potential that exists in China, both for CFG and for football at large.”
Ruigang Li, CMC chairman, added: “With its unique business model and distinct successes, CFC, whom we have come to know well, represents a differentiated systematic approach to building a global platform for football know-how, player development, academy programmes and commercial partnerships that will benefit China's football industry on multiple levels.”