Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 25 August 2019

Man City reach into J-League with Yokohama F-Marinos in latest investment

It was announced on Tuesday that Manchester City had purchased a stake in Japanese club Yokohama F-Marinos, adding to a portfolio that now includes New York City FC and Australia's Melbourne Heart.
Shohei Ogura, left, of Yokohama F Marinos is shown during an Asian Champions League match against China's Guangzhou Evergrande. Shuji Kajiyama / AP
Shohei Ogura, left, of Yokohama F Marinos is shown during an Asian Champions League match against China's Guangzhou Evergrande. Shuji Kajiyama / AP

LONDON // English champions Manchester City have bought a stake in Japanese J-League club Yokohama F-Marinos, expanding their links with overseas football clubs.

City, owned by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, have already bought Australian club Melbourne Heart and are launching New York City FC next season as part of their commercial expansion from their base in northern England.

“We’re thrilled to be able to play a role in investing and building on the ongoing success of YF Marinos,” City chief executive Ferran Soriano said in a statement on Tuesday.

City are taking a stake of less than 20 per cent in the Japanese club, which has long established ties with the Nissan car company who remain its main backer.

The Premier League club will provide support in areas like training methods, coaching and medical care to YF Marinos who have not won the J-League since 2004. In return City will get additional revenues and a chance to boost their brand in Japan.

The deal was described as the first significant foreign investment in a Japanese J-League team.

“The YF Marinos is an excellent soccer club with a rich history which has grown hand in hand with Nissan,” said Carlos Ghosn, Nissan President and chief exectutive.

“This partnership will contribute to the growth of the club, the club’s hometown and Japanese soccer,” he added.

City, English champions twice in the past three seasons, have been fined and had their Champions League squad size capped for next season after falling foul of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules.

The club say that they are on course to move into profit from next season.

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Updated: May 20, 2014 04:00 AM

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