Sports enthusiasts in India have always had the heart for cricket, making it the country’s most loved sport.
However, this could change based on the perspective of City Football Group (CFG), the parent organization of the Manchester City Football Club.
On Monday, CFG’s chief executive officer, Ferran Soriano, announced his firm’s desire to make a major investment in an Indian football team.
Soriano went on a business trip to India last year. He watched an Indian Super League match and had a meeting with the Jamshedpur Football Club’s management.
The CFG CEO viewed that professional football has the potential to overtake the sport of cricket as India’s most popular sport.
With this belief, Soriano revealed the profound interest of CFG to expand its portfolio which currently consists of seven international football teams.
He said that his company is interested in some nations and markets where there are significant opportunities and passion for the sport of football and among these countries is India.
Soriano mentioned that the investment in an Indian football club will mostly transpire within this year.
CFG currently owns Premier League champions, Manchester City; Major League Soccer franchise, New York City Football Club; and A-League football club, Melbourne City.
Moreover, it also controls Spain’s Girona Futbol Club, Uruguay’s Club Atletico Torque, and Japan’s Yokohama F Marinos.
Completing the portfolio into seven is CFG’s recent acquisition of China’s Sichuan Jiuniu Football Club in February.
When the Manchester City operators finally obtain controlling stakes in an Indian football team, its global portfolio will expand into eight professional football clubs.
This number could reach ten, according to Soriano, as CFG is quite eager to further expand beyond its existing investments.
Manchester City Football Club’s value is approximately $2.47 billion, according to estimates by Forbes in June 2018.
Bankrolled by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi royal family, the football team’s revenue currently stands at $575 million.
Manchester City ranks fifth in the Forbes 2018 soccer team valuations.
During the 2016 to 2017 season, the English Premier League champions raked in $258 million in broadcasting revenue.
These figures are considered the greatest among English professional football clubs. Manchester City captured their third Premier League title in seven seasons in the 2017 to 2018 season.