At last count, the City Football Group owned ten teams in various parts of the world, which shows how far the consortium has come since they purchased their flagship club Manchester City in 2008. Indeed, since Sheikh Mansour arrived on the scene 13 years ago, the City Football Group has gone on to have representation in the United States, Australia, India, Japan, Spain, Uruguay, China, Belgium, and France. It has been a story of exponential growth over a relatively short period of time. So, has it been a success, and are they achieving what they set out to do?
The short answer to that is it entirely depends on what they set out to do in the sense of trying to make money, win trophies or use their nine other feeder clubs to produce first-team talent for Man City. Perhaps it’s a bit of everything, but you can say unequivocally that the City Football Group has been extremely successful when it comes to winning titles.
In fact, out of the ten clubs they own, only three have yet to win silverware in their respective leagues, but it should be said that two of the clubs yet to lift a trophy are the ones that CFG has owned for the least amount of time. In other words, it seems to be a matter of time before they join the winner’s circle. Admittedly, it has proved harder for New York City to win anything after seven years of CFG control, but they are the exception rather than the rule.
On the other hand, Melbourne City has proved to be CFG’s most successful franchise behind Man City, having won three trophies in nine seasons. CFG’s venture into the A-League nine years ago is starting to bear fruit as Melbourne City now looks to be the dominant force in Australia’s top-flight. To have that confirmed, you only need to look at the latest odds from betting sites in Australia. For example, bet365, who price Melbourne as the favorites at 3/1 to win the 2022 Grand Final. These odds are a trustworthy indication of the state of play, as bet365 has a good reputation and ranks highly across all major markets including Europe, the UK, and Australia.
In addition to becoming A-League bullies, Melbourne City has also proved to be the main provider for Man City in terms of player recruitment with both Daniel Arzani and Aaron Mooy signing long-term deals at the Etihad after leaving the state of Victoria. Although, neither player has played an actual game for Man City with Mooy being sold and Arzani on his fifth loan, which suggests that the collaboration between clubs in the CFG is primarily there to make money rather than provide realistic first-team players for Man City. Basically, Man City are happy to splash the cash in order to build a title-winning team and don’t rely on an organic approach from their feeder clubs.
In that sense, you could say that the CFG has failed to produce a clear pathway to their flagship team, but perhaps that was never one of their priorities. Whichever way you look at it, after winning 26 trophies, having an annual turnover of £544 million, and improving the reputation of the state of Abu Dhabi to the world, you would have to conclude that the City Football Group is achieving success in many ways.