Premier League champions Manchester City have taken an ownership stake in Japanese J-League team Yokohama F Marinos (YF Marinos).
City Football Group (CFG) has acquired an undisclosed minority shareholding in the club from majority owner Nissan Motor Company.
The Marinos, three-time J-League champions, will join the City ‘family’ of clubs, which also includes New York City FC, who will debut in Major League Soccer next year, and Australian A-League side Melbourne Heart.
According to a Nissan release announcing the agreement, the Marinos will gain access to a host of CFG resources, including training methods, medical care, sports science, management practices.
Carlos Ghosn, the president of car company Nissan, who made the announcement, said “The YF Marinos is an excellent soccer club with a rich history which has grown hand in hand with Nissan."
“Together we see opportunities that CFG’s global soccer infrastructure will bring to the club and the excitement it will bring to the fans. This partnership will contribute to the growth of the club, the club’s hometown and Japanese soccer.”
“We’re thrilled to be able to play a role in investind and building on the ongoing success of YF Marinos,” said Ferran Soriano, chief executive of Manchester City FC and of City Football Group.
“We are proud to offer a collaborative and integrated approach to the football, marketing, media and development of all the clubs in the City family. At the same time, we are proud that each of our clubs is firmly rooted and invested in its local community as well as connected and engaged with its supporter base. We are very much looking forward to starting our collaboration.”
It's been a pretty eventful time for City since they won the Premier League for a second time, as they were made to pay a £49m fine to UEFA regarding breaches of their Financial Fair Play rules.
As well as that, this week comments from star midfielder Yaya Toure's agent claimed that the player was upset by a 'lack of respect' from the club when it's owners did not acknowledge his birthday during a recent trip to the middle east.
Toure has since come out and backed his agent's claims, and admits that he is very upset and, at this point, he is not sure where he will be playing next season.