Man City owners expand to take majority stake in Italian club Palermo

City Football Group (CFG), the Abu Dhabi company that has invested in Manchester City and 10 other football clubs, has bought a majority stake in Italian second division side Palermo, the Sicilian club announced on Monday.

The move was confirmed at a press conference in Palermo with city chief executive Ferran Soriano and former owner Dario Mirri, who retains a 20% stake in the club and will remain chairman.

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“Our goal in the next few years will be to get into Serie A,” Soriano said. “It’s ambitious but this club needs Serie A and it won’t be easy because we will need hard work. Palermo joins a family today.

“Palermo is a great historic club and has a strong and proud identity. We will work with Dario Mirri to consolidate his extraordinary work, which aims – over the next few years – at the sustainable growth of Palermo. We are delighted that the City Football Group expanded its presence in Italy.”

CFG is one of the most powerful names in football and the majority owner of City, New York City FC and Melbourne City. It is a holding company, 78% owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group and minority stakes held by the American company Silver Lake and the Chinese companies China Media Capital and CITIC Capital.

The group has also invested money in Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Montevideo City Torque in Uruguay, Girona in Spain, Sichuan Jiuniu in China, Mumbai City in India, Lommel SK in Belgium and Troyes in France.

Serie B side Palermo have now been added to this list. The Sicilians went bankrupt in 2019 and restarted as a phoenix club in Serie D, the fourth tier of Italian football.

But they quickly rose through the ranks, earning promotion to Serie B earlier this month by winning the playoff final against Padova.

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