Manchester City owners complete €13m takeover of Italian club Palermo

The newly-promoted Serie B outfit joins a portfolio which features 10 other clubs around the world, including MLS side New York City FC.

Manchester City’s owners have completed a deal to buy Italian club Palermo.

The City Football Group (CFG) had been in advanced talks with the Serie B outfit about becoming the 11th club in their portfolio, and a final agreement has now been confirmed.

Palermo have had financial difficulties in recent years and went bankrupt in 2019 before being reformed as a phoenix club in the fourth-tier of Italian football.

Dario Mirri, chairman of Palermo, has expressed his delight in an official statement, which reads: “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.”

City Football Group chief executive Ferran Soriano added: “Palermo is a great and historic club with a strong and proud identity. 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.”

GOAL understands senior CFG figures initially discussed a potential deal for the Sicilian club at the end of last season.

Despite being in Serie C, the club attracted attendances of over 31,000 for their end-of-season play-off matches in May and June.

Palermo have reached three Coppa Italia finals in their history and players to have featured for the club in recent years include Paulo Dybala, Javier Pastore and Edinson Cavani.

GOAL understands the purchase of 80 per cent of the club shares will cost €12-€13 million.

The Premier League champions are the flagship club in the group, which has 10 teams on four continents including MLS side New York City FC.

CFG’s other clubs are Girona in Spain, Troyes in France and Lommel in Belgium where Man City often send players on loan to gain experience.

They also own Australian club Melbourne City, Montevideo City Torque in Uruguay, Mumbai City in India and Sichuan Jiuniu in China, as well as being a minority shareholder of Japanese club Yokohama F. Marinos.

The CFG is majority owned by Abu Dhabi owner Sheikh Mansour, with significant minority shareholdings held by Silver Lake and China Media Capital.

It was understood to have expressed interest in acquiring Dutch side NAC Breda earlier this year but it was met with a backlash from fans.