Manchester City agree deal for new Major League Soccer franchise to delve into US market
New agreement will see New York City Football Club become the 20th club in Major League Soccer
Manchester City announced today that they are to become the majority owner of a new Major League Soccer franchise, in an attempt to tap the lucrative United States market, drive up their own revenues and compete more powerfully in the Premier League and Champions League.
City will co-own their franchise with the baseball’s New York Yankees – enabling them to tap into the huge appeal of the legendary baseball franchise as they seek to make commercial capital out of MLS and draw fans to their new 20th franchise, details of which The Independent revealed last month. It is the first time a European club has attempted such an proect.
Manchester United’s own partnership with the Yankees in 2000 proved to be short lived but City’s chief executive Feran Soriano said today that he believed that the baseball club would enable them to make a success of a business venture believed to have cost City $100m, to purchase the franchise. The new club, New York City FC, will play at a purpose built stadium in the Queens suburb of the city from 2015.
Soriano rejected the idea of launching a Barcelona franchise in the MLS when chief executive of the Spanish club eight years ago, on the grounds that soccer was still relatively low profile in the country. But MLS has grown since then, helped substantially by David Beckham’s presence at the LA Galaxy. Though the pioneering venture is a way of City owner Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan launching Abu Dhabi into the US sports scene, the project is being driven by Manchester City in a way which had not been anticipated.
“New York is a legendary sports town, as well as a thriving global city with a rapidly expanding soccer franchise,” said Soriano, who will now set about filling top executive positions at the club. “We are thrilled to contribute to the energy and growth of… soccer [in new York.] In the Yankees we have found the absolute best partner for developing a world-class sports organisation and a winning team.”
Yankees are not the only baseball franchise to co-own an MLS franchise. Lewis Wolff owns baseball’s Oakland As as well as MLS’s San Jose Earthquakes. They will be “an active member of the ownership group,” Soriano said.
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
Latest in Sport
Phillip Hughes: #putoutyourbats tribute sees Twitter users pay their respects to Hughes including Graeme Swann and David Warner
Phil Hughes dead: List of players who have tragically died on the cricket pitch
Nani transfer: No future for winger at Sporting Lisbon as club cannot afford his wages when loan deal with Manchester United runs out
This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Phillip Hughes death: UK company Masuri say Australian opener was wearing 'outdated helmet'
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s reputation in tatters as judge rules he used the word ‘pleb’