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City Football Group expands to India

City Football Group (CFG) have officially welcomed Indian Super League side Mumbai City as a new member of sister clubs around the world.

The owners of Premier League champions and powerhouse Manchester City have now added to their global partnerships with clubs.

Representatives of CFG was recently in India to undertake a trophy tour and have confirmed their deal with Mumbai City. This new acquisition has meant that CFG have taken a majority 65 per cent share in the top-flight Indian club.

The other 35 per cent of the club has gone to former co-owners – Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor and chartered accountant Bimal Parekh.

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This new agreement sees Mumbai City become CFG’s eighth club, who only just recently purchased third-tier Chinese club Sichuan Jiuniu FC.

Mumbai has joined English Premier League’s (EPL) Manchester City FC, A-League’s Melbourne City FC, Major League Soccer’s (MLS) New York City FC, J-League’s Yokohama F. Marinos, Uruguayan Primera División’s Club Atlético Torque and La Liga 2’s Girona FC as all the clubs as part of CFG so far.

“We believe that this investment will deliver transformative benefits to Mumbai City FC, to City Football Group and to Indian Football as a whole,” said CFG Chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

“City Football Group is committed to the future of football in India and to the potential for Mumbai City FC within that future.

“We are very much looking forward to playing an active role in Mumbai City FC’s fan and local communities, and working with our co-owners to further develop the club as quickly as possible.”

It’s an opportunity now for Indian football to grow as a result of this partnership, which will give Mumbai some added exposure as one of CFG’s new partners.

In conjunction with this announcement, CFG has also moved Damian Willoughby from his role as Senior Vice President of Partnerships to become CFG India Chief Executive. He will be relocated from Singapore to Mumbai in the coming weeks.

The purchase has come in the same week that CFG announced a US$500 million equity investment from Silicon Valley firm Silver Lake in a deal that sees the group now valued at US$4.8 billion.

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Liam Watson is a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

Football Queensland outlines new Opportunities Paper

Football Queensland has released the Future of Football 2020+ Opportunities Paper, to build further on their goal of uniting football in Queensland.

The recently published Opportunities Paper is split into key areas, featuring an in-depth look at the member federations’ governance, administration, competitions and affordability.

In a statement, Football Queensland CEO Robert Cavallucci is delighted to lead the way and find out how to best shape the game in the future in the state.

“FQ is excited to release this Opportunities Paper as we reach another milestone in the statewide Future of Football 2020+ consultation journey,” he said.

“We have spent the last few months engaging with our 12 stakeholder groups and inviting members of the Queensland football community to have their say on the future of the game through our Club Summits, surveys and webinars.

“It’s been fantastic to personally meet hundreds of football stakeholder from across Queensland face to face and obtain deeper insights into how thousands of community members and stakeholders view the current Queensland football landscape and better understand their demonstrated desire for reform across governance, administration, competitions and affordability.

“FQ’s Opportunities Paper brings together the views of the football community through extensive feedback and begins to present possible solutions that have the power to unlock the immense opportunity and potential of the game.

“We now look forward to hearing community feedback on the Opportunities Paper as we continue the six-month consultation process throughout September and October, and prepare for the next phase with the assembly of the First Recommendations Report and FQ’s Implementation Plan, which will deliver clear objectives and pathways to make football the game of choice for all, for life.”

You can find the Future of Football 2020+ Opportunities Paper here, with the full copy available to download.

Football Queensland has also provided an initial Consultation Paper published in May, which can be found here.

30 clubs vying to be part of National Second Division in 2022

The Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) have created a partner group involving 30 NPL clubs across Australia, with the aim of beginning a national second division by 2022.

The list of clubs includes former NSL powerhouses such as South Melbourne, Melbourne Knights, Adelaide City and Sydney Olympic.

AAFC Chairman Nick Galatas believes the partner group is an important step in the process towards a connected football pyramid.

“The Championship is about creating stronger clubs and expanding the football footprint throughout our country for the benefit of our entire sport,” he said.

“The oldest club in the partner group was established in the 19th century and another two early in the 20th century, while the youngest club was established in this century. That says so much about the longevity and popularity of our sport in this country.

“Of surprise to many, perhaps, are that the three oldest clubs are from Newcastle, Hobart and Brisbane.”

The AAFC will now sort through the issues of the proposed competition, with a final report needing approval from those at FFA HQ.

Galatas claims promotion and relegation is necessary throughout the tiers of football in Australia, however A-League clubs may not be relegated immediately, once the second tier begins.

“AAFC’s view is that we cannot be properly considered as a ‘football nation’ without it and having it in place is our ultimate objective,” he said.

“While promotion and relegation with the A-League will hopefully occur (a) little later, we aim for it to start immediately with the NPL below.

“We also recognise a need to get the code back on track and financially viable and that is what we believe the Championship will help in achieving. Connecting clubs from bottom-to-top and top-to-bottom will help unite the game which will help it achieve its potential.”

The 30 clubs involved in the partner group can be viewed here.

FFA trio to join AFC Committees until 2023

FFA have announced three recently appointed management members have been assigned positions in separate AFC committees.

FFA General Manager of Commercial, Tom Rischbieth, FFA General Manager of Member Federation Relations, Robbie Middleby and current FFA Technical Director, Trevor Morgan, will join the various committees until 2023.

Rischbieth will join the AFC Marketing Committee, Middleby the AFC Development Committee, whilst Morgan will be a part of the AFC Technical Committee.

FFA CEO James Johnson explained the importance of these developments.

“In the XI Principles for the future of Australian football discussion paper, we outlined a vision for Australia to become one of the leading voices in global football, and to have our people ‘hard-wired’ into regional football matters,” he said.

“Football is the world game and it is extremely important that we become an organisation which thinks globally. These latest appointments ensure that Australia is able to tap into the vast network of global football and has the ongoing opportunity to contribute ideas and energy to discussions and projects aimed at advancing Asian football.

“Along with recent new appointments to the FFA senior management team, we are also privileged to have Tom, Robbie and Trevor contribute to a fresh new strategic agenda for football in Australia and now look forward to the positive contributions they can make to the respective Committees that they have been appointed to at the AFC.

“With their passion, experience, and expertise, I trust that each will forge connections and relationships with representatives from our fellow Member Associations that serve to enhance Australia’s relations and reputation throughout AFC,” Johnson concluded.

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