City Football Group (CFG), the parent company of English soccer giants Manchester City, has been unsuccessful in its attempt to add Dutch team NAC Breda to its international portfolio of clubs.

The deal, which was initially agreed between the two parties last month, and would have made NAC Breda (currently lying mid-table in the Dutch second tier) the 11th club under CFG control, fell through after stinging criticism and uproar from that club’s fans over the possibility of their team becoming part of a larger soccer stable.

NAC Breda, since 2011, have been owned by a group of different shareholders, with four of these – called the NOAD Foundation – having a ‘golden share’ option that can veto any sale of the club.

These individuals have now decided to exercise that right, and NOAD will now transfer its shares to a local group of business owners instead.

When initially agreeing to the deal to bring in CFG as the club’s new owner, members of the club hierarchy had said that criteria had been used when evaluating CFG included the on-field vision, financial stability – both short and long-term – and what level of local involvement from the buyer there would be.

The club has now made a statement on its website, saying: “After intensive discussions with both the City Football Group and two possible alternatives, the NOAD Foundation decided after careful and extensive testing to submit to the local plan of NAC Breda.”

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In late March, just after the discussions between the club’s main shareholders and CFG became public, a group of NAC Breda fans hung a banner outside Manchester City's stadium with the following message: “Stay out of our territory, NAC is a not a City Group story.”

It is understood that CFG will look to carry on its positive working relationship (which has seen various young players from Manchester City head on loan to the Dutch side) with NAC Breda, despite the deal falling through.

NAC Breda would have become the fifth European club to be added to the CFG stable, joining Manchester City, Troyes of France (the last team to be added to the CFG empire, in September 2020), and Belgian lower-league side Lommel as being majority-owned, while the group has a minority interest in Spanish outfit Girona.

Internationally meanwhile, CFG has a majority shareholding in New York City from the US, Melbourne City in Australia, Mumbai City in India, and Uruguay’s Montevideo City Torque.

It also has minority stakes in Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Sichuan Jiuniu from China.

The main stakeholder of CFG is Abu Dhabi United Group, the private equity company led by Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

In early March, meanwhile, it was reported that CFG was holding talks over buying a 51% stake in Atletico Mineiro (Atletico-MG), champions of Brazilian soccer’s top-tier Serie A.