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July 4, 2022

CFG adds majority Palermo stake to European club portfolio

City Football Group have today (July 4) completed the acquisition of Palermo, the Italian second-tier side.

By Euan Cunningham

City Football Group (CFG), the owners of English soccer giants Manchester City and multiple other clubs worldwide, have today (July 4) completed the acquisition of Palermo, the Italian second-tier side.

CFG announced earlier today that the deal for them to buy a majority stake – believed to be in the region of 80% – in Palermo has now been finalized. The Sicilian club now becomes the 11th under CFG control.

The remaining 20% is being retained by former Palermo owner Dario Mirri, who will also remain as club president and chairman of the Sicilian club’s board. 

Ferran Soriano, chief executive of CFG, has said: “Palermo is a great and historic club with a strong and proud identity.

“We will work with Dario Mirri to continue his outstanding work to grow Palermo sustainably over the years. This is a very special club, and our role will be to add value to all of the things which make it so special and steadily improve performance on and off the pitch, using our experience and know-how.”

Palermo, previously a regular Serie A club, went bankrupt in 2019 and started again as a phoenix club in Serie D (the fourth tier), but have now risen back up the leagues, achieving promotion last season, 2021-22, by winning a playoff final against Padova. 

The club becomes the fifth European outfit 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 late April, CFG’s attempt to add Dutch team NAC Breda to its international portfolio proved unsuccessful. 

The deal, which was initially agreed between the two parties in March, 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.

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