Manchester City, the owner of the English Premier League champions, is selling a large stake in the club for $ 500 million (€ 454 million) in a deal that is said to break the record for sports.
A statement by Silver Lake, an American private investment company, said the deal was equivalent to just over 10% of the new value of the City Football Group (CFG) company, which is valued at $ 4.8 billion (€ 4.36 billion). ,
This would make the club the second most important sports franchise in the world and the most valuable sports franchise in Europe, according to estimates published in Forbes in July.
The same lists from Forbes placed Manchester City at that time at the 25th place, but the rating on Wednesday provides significant growth.
Prior to this assessment, Real Madrid ranked first in the ranking of the most valuable sports franchises in Europe, followed by Barcelona.
Silver Lake, which positions itself as “the world leader in technology investment,” was founded in 1999 and is based in California. He had already invested in entertainment and was reportedly close to other English and European clubs.
The Financial Times, which first reported the story, said Silver Lake was attracted by the high amounts paid for football rights by broadcasters and online groups.
The introduction of cash will help CFG expand. The group in Abu Dhabi also has teams in China and the USA. He will remain the majority owner of Manchester City.
A list of leading European clubs, based on their finances and published by the accounting firm KPMG in May, put Manchester City in fifth place with an “enterprise value” estimated at 2.46 billion euros. A deal with Silver Lake helps make the club one of the most expensive sports franchises in the world.
American investment comes despite UEFA investigating the city’s finances for alleged violations of fair play. Investigators recommended banning the club in the Champions League, and a court decision is expected soon.
Ultimately, the success of Manchester City will depend on its results on the field. The club won the first of four English Premier League titles in 2012, but has not yet reached the Champions League final. Last night, the team qualified for the last 16 competitions of this year.
The dependence of the leading echelons of English and European football on wealthy investors from abroad, especially the Persian Gulf countries, was criticized. Some don't like it when ownership of football clubs becomes a means of promoting countries like the United Arab Emirates in a way that distracts them from criticizing their human rights records.
The city’s half-billion-dollar investment also contrasts sharply with the plight of some of its smaller neighbors. In the summer, two clubs near Manchester found out about their serious financial difficulties.
Bury was expelled from third-level English football after retiring from business - a fate that Bolton Wanderers barely managed to avoid when the club was sold.