Manchester City's owners secure significant stake in Girona
The owners of Manchester City have continued their worldwide expansion by acquiring a significant stake in LaLiga newcomers Girona.
The City Football Group have bought a 44.3 per cent holding in the club in an equal partnership with a group run by Pere Guardiola, the brother of City manager Pep Guardiola.
Pere Guardiola's Girona Football Group have also acquired a stake of 44.3 per cent in Girona, who won promotion to the Spanish top flight this year.
The CFG was formed as a parent company for City after Sheikh Mansour took over the Premier League club in 2008.
As well as City, it now owns New York City FC in the United States, Melbourne City in Australia and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay. It also has a significant stake in Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos and a collaboration agreement with Venezuelan team Atletico Venezuela.
The deal, negotiations for which began in 2016, comes after a noticeable strengthening of the working relationship between Manchester City and Girona in recent months.
This summer five City players joined the Catalonian side on loan and the two clubs played a friendly against each other last week. Girona also spent part of their pre-season at the City Football Academy in Manchester.
CFG chief executive Ferran Soriano said: "Girona FC is a club whose actions have spoken loudest in terms of its ambitions.
"It has quietly, and with great determination and humility, achieved promotion to LaLiga which is, itself, an incredible achievement. It has also done so whilst playing good football.
"The club's continued ambitions to achieve sustained LaLiga status, and success while applying those same qualities and behaviours, is an ambition we share at City Football Group and the opportunity to invest in that future was compelling.
"We will listen and learn, and do whatever is necessary to support the club and its fans in achieving the long-term sustainability they rightly desire."
In a joint statement, CFG and Girona Football Group expressed a desire for the club to "grow into a well-established LaLiga presence".
Pere Guardiola said: "This co-investment in Girona FC was an obvious and exciting opportunity, well before the promotion of the club to LaLiga in May.
"Together, we are confident that we will give the club the backing it seeks, whether the support comes in the form of executive, financial, or leadership help."
Girona opened their first LaLiga campaign with a 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid last weekend.