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

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."

 

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future