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Infrastructure the focus as City Football Group ‘raises $650m’

City Football Group (CFG), owner of Premier League club Manchester City and several other football teams around the world, has reportedly secured a $650m (£471.1m/€550.8m) loan which it will utilise to invest in infrastructure projects.

The Financial Times said the seven-year loan, which it described as one of football’s biggest ever debt deals, has been underwritten by Barclays, with HSBC and KKR Capital Markets arranging and distributing the debt.

CFG is said to have arranged a separate £100m (€116.8m/$137.8m) revolving credit facility with the same financers, with the FT stating that the funds will be spent on infrastructure projects such as a new stadium for Major League Soccer (MLS) club New York City FC (NYCFC).

NYCFC has been attempting to develop a home of its own since debuting in MLS in 2015. In February 2020, New York City FC’s plans for its own stadium appeared to be set to move forward after the club revived a proposal for a new 25,000-seat venue in the Bronx.

However, this project has failed to progress and the club currently splits its games between Red Bull Arena and Yankee Stadium, home of Major League Baseball franchise the New York Yankees.

CFG is also currently involved in another major infrastructure project. In May, CFG became Oak View Group’s equal joint venture partner and investor in Co-op Live, a planned new 23,500-capacity venue in Manchester.

The arena will form part of the Etihad Campus, on which Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium sits. OVG and CFG will coordinate on jobs, sustainability and advancing the Etihad Campus as a global sport, leisure and entertainment destination.

May’s announcement built on the 2019 pre-planning collaboration that saw CFG support OVG’s feasibility studies and community consultations in advance of planning approval being granted for the project in September 2020.

CFG has overseen over £700m of public investment into Etihad Campus and East Manchester since 2008, supporting 14,000 jobs. As well as Manchester City and NYCFC, CFG owns or partially owns football clubs in Melbourne, Yokohama, Montevideo, Girona, Sichuan, Mumbai, Lommel and Troyes.

In January, CFG announced a tie-up with Bolivia’s most successful domestic team, Club Bolívar, making the side its first ever partner club. CFG said it would help Club Bolívar build world-class facilities, along with exploring a host of other business opportunities.

Image: Manchester City