Manchester City owner considering buying club in Malaysia

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PUTRAJAYA (May 23): The owner of English Champions Manchester City is considering the possibility of buying one of the football clubs in Malaysia, said Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

It was one of the two initial plans discussed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Manchester City delegation led by its chief executive officer Ferran Soriano when both parties met at KBS Tower here, today.

From the Ministry’s perspective, Syed Saddiq was hoping that the collaboration could also give a positive impact on the development of youth through the National Football Development Programme (NFDP) as well as Mokhtar Dahari Academy (MDA) in Gambang.

“The meeting today is to see how we can work and collaborate closely to develop football. There were many things discussed...for example, the possibility of Manchester City (City Football Group) buying one of the clubs in Malaysia.

“From the Ministry’s perspective, we would also like to see.. maybe collaboration in terms of development of youth through NFDP and MDA. There will be future visits to see how we can move forward on this collaboration,” he told reporters here, today.

City Football Group was founded in 2014 and its first sister club was established in New York.

Beside Manchester City, the group also owns and has shares in New York City FC (United States), Melbourne City (Australia), Yokohama F Marinos (Japan), Atletico Torque (Uruguay) and Spanish side Girona FC.

They then further extended their influence in world’s football and increased their portfolios to seven clubs by purchasing Sichuan Jiuniu which became their first ever club in China.

“We see Malaysia has an opportunity for football...the level of enthusiasm of the fans is obvious. The development of Malaysian football and the league in the last year with investment by the government shows that there’s great opportunity.

“We would like to explore things to do together with the Malaysian people and Malaysian football family. Malaysian football will grow significantly in the next decade,” Soriano said.

However, Soriano did not reveal the name of the club that the group was interested in buying.