English Premier League champions Manchester City could soon be buying a club in the Malaysia Super League, it has emerged following City chief executive officer (CEO) Ferran Soriano’s visit to Malaysia.
Soriano, who has been the CEO of the Premier League club since 2012, visited Malaysia’s Sports Minister Syed Saddiq at his office in Putrajaya the other day brining with him the Premier League trophy.
Soriano briefed that the City Football Group, owners of City as well as a host of other clubs across the globe, are interested in collaborating with Malaysia including plans to invest in a club in the Malaysia Football League.
“This is historic for Malaysian football when I know Soriano decided to come down to Malaysia to work with us. The meeting today is to see how we can work and collaborate closely to develop football,” Minister Syed Saddiq was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.
“There were many things discussed — for example, the possibility of Manchester City buying one of the clubs in Malaysia. This is to ensure there is a long term plan to develop football here,” he said.
“From the Sports Ministry’s standpoint, there will be collaboration through youth football, may it be the Mokhtar Dahari Academy or National Football Development Programme,” the 26-year-old minister said.
“We would like to talk to all of the Malaysian football stakeholders to find ways to collaborate.We see Malaysia as an opportunity for football — the level of enthusiasm of the fans is obvious. The development of Malaysian football and the league in the last year with investment by the government shows that there’s great opportunity,” 51-year-old Soriano said.
📸 | Manchester City board member Alberto Galassi invited Pep Guardiola, Ferran Soriano, Txiki Begiristain and Khaldoon Al Mubarak to Italy after the Premier League success. The group travelled to Modena from Bologna for a visit to Enzo Ferrari’s house. [@DiMarzio] pic.twitter.com/wQQoaDauhC
— City Watch (@City_Watch) May 3, 2018
“We would like to explore things to do together with the Malaysian people and Malaysian football family. Malaysian football will grow significantly in the next decade The only way football can grow, as history shows, is for everybody to go in the same way, the government, the leagues, the teams, that’s the way forward,” said Soriano who is also CEO of New York City FC and Melbourne City FC.
Apart from the Premier League, Major League Soccer and A-League sides, the City Football Group also has investments in Yokohama F. Marinos of Japan, Girona FC in Spain and Sichuan Jiuniu of China.