Manchester City add Australian A-League side Melbourne Heart to their global empire
City already own MLS franchise New York City and the Australian side become the latest part of a plan to generate a worldwide brand
Thursday 23 January 2014
Manchester City have completed a takeover of A-League team Melbourne Heart.
City have acquired a majority stake in the Australian outfit, with the owners of rugby league team Melbourne Storm of the NRL also holding a 20 per cent share in their neighbours.
The takeover of Heart follows City's establishment of New York City Football Club in the United States last year, with the team entering Major League Soccer in 2015.
"We are excited about the opportunity to make Melbourne Heart one of the most successful football clubs in Australia and throughout the region," City CEO Ferran Soriano said in a statement on the club's official website.
"We believe the strong sports culture of Melbourne combined with the football and commercial expertise within our consortium will make for a powerful combination both on and off the pitch.
"The first thing we must do is take the time to listen and learn and then to develop our strategy for strengthening the club over time."
Heart currently sit bottom of the A-League with just one league win all season and boast former Leeds forward Harry Kewell and ex-Coventry and Barnsley striker Michael Mifsud amongst their ranks.
Bart Campbell, who is chairman of the Storm and the Heart Consortium Group said: "Partnering with City to co-invest in Melbourne Heart will further strengthen the sporting landscape in one of the world's greatest cities and bring a range of new capabilities to AAMI Park.
"We are excited to be a part of this unique project. It is our shared ambition to replicate the model that City created with the New York Yankees around New York City FC and for both organisations to benefit as a result."
The A-League has attracted the likes of former Italy international Alessandro Del Piero and ex-England striker Emile Heskey to ply their trade Down Under in recent years, and Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop believes City's involvement can only mean bigger and better things for Australian football.
"Football has moved into the mainstream of Australian sport and is ideally placed to benefit from the boom in football across Asia," he said.
"Manchester City and their Australian partners have made a strategic investment and I welcome them to our growing competition. It's another sign that the world is taking notice of Australian football.
"Manchester City and their partners will bring a high level of expertise in football and sports business matters and that can only strengthen the Melbourne Heart and the Hyundai A-League as a whole."
Latest in Sport
Brendan Rodgers says Manchester City's slip is timely warning for Liverpool title hopes
30 players who could be set for a big-money transfer this summer
Manchester United transfer news: David Moyes watches Porto stars Eliaquim Mangala and Jackson Martinez as recruitment drive steps up a gear
Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 2 match report: Gareth Bale scores wonder goal to claim Copa del Rey for Real
Luis Suarez: Could Liverpool cash in on their star striker if they won the Premier League this season?
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 The Hobbit: There and Back Again set for possible title change
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back