City Football Group has acquired a majority stake in Palermo FC in Italy, it was announced on Monday.
Sicilian and life-long fan Dario Mirri will remain as club president and chairman of the board.
CFG owns New York City FC and Manchester City, among 12 soccer clubs.
Last month, Palermo secured promotion to Serie B with a playoff victory over Padova in front of 32,000 fans at the Stadio Renzo Barbera. Under Mirri’s stewardship, the team has progressed from Serie D in 2019 to the second tier.
“Palermo is a great and historic club with a strong and proud identity, CFG chief executive Ferran Soriano said in a statement. “We will work with Dario Mirri to continue his outstanding work to grow Palermo sustainably over the years ahead. 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.”
“Italy is one of the world’s most exciting and passionate football countries, with a rich history of national team and club’s success, passionate supporters and a track record of fantastic footballers. We are delighted that City Football Group has extended its presence in Italy.”
In a statement, Mirri added: “We are so very happy to welcome City Football Group to Palermo. We wanted to find the right investor with a deep knowledge of football to help to continue to take us forward. We have that in CFG. We agreed the investment before the end of the season so we know we have a partner which is committed to growing Palermo in the right way. I am excited to continue to work alongside CFG. They understand and respect the culture and traditions of our Club. We are embarking on a project together which I know all of our fans will be proud of. “
Established in May 2013, City Football Group has total or partial ownership of twelve clubs in major cities across the world: English Premier League champions Manchester City in the UK, NYCFC in the U.S., Melbourne FC in Australia, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Montevideo City Torque in Uruguay, Girona Futbol Club in Spain, Sichuan Jiuniu FC in China, Mumbai City FC in India, Lommel SK in Belgium, ESTAC in France, Palermo FC in Italy and partner club, Club Bolivar.
Abu Dhabi United Group, the investment vehicle owned by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is the majority CFG shareholder (c.77%). In addition, c.12% of CFG equity is held by a consortium of Chinese institutional investors led by China’s leading media and entertainment conglomerate CMC Inc. A further c.10% is owned by Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing.