Cape Town City still open to City Football Group deal
Posted: 26 September 2017 Time: 19:45
Cape Town City boss John Comitis says the door is still open regarding a possible partnership with world-renowned sports services holding company City Football Group.
Ever since the relocation and renaming of Mpumalanga Black Aces to Cape Town City at the start of last season, rumours were rife that the new name was in anticipation of a possible link with the City Group – the holding company of, amongst others, English giants Manchester City – and although the thought was entertained and discussed, nothing ever materialised.
City’s eye-catching start to the season, including five successive victories for new coach Benni McCarthy en-route to a maiden MTN8 final berth, has led to increased murmurings over a possible venture with the multi-million pound company.
Since Sheikh Mansour bought Manchester City in September 2008, his Abu Dhabi-based City Football Group has bought into football clubs the world over, including Australian A-League side Melbourne City, MLS outfit New York City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F Marinos and more recently, Club Atlético Torque in Uruguay and Spanish La Liga newcomers Girona.
Comitis admits he has had previous talks with the company, who he says might look to Africa after prioritising another team in Asia.
“We had a chat with them some time back,” he tells KickOff.com. “They obviously have an eye for Africa, and I think we’re a great target. But they need to make up their minds whether they’ll be in Africa – they are busy now in Spain, with the team they bought making it into La Liga [Girona], and they’ve got a team in Uruguay [Club Atlético Torque] as well, so their hands are full.
“Their next step is probably China. So we get on with our show, and if one day it happens and it works, and we think it’s good for Cape Town City, then we’ll entertain it.”
Following the initial talks, Comitis refused to commit to a possible “link” with the group, but admitted he’d certainly entertain a future relationship with the wealthy investors.
“It’s not necessarily links, but we’ve had conversations with them at a very high level,” he says.
“We are getting on with what we have to do, and if an opportunity comes along that involves a European counterpart, and if it makes sense for us as the city of Cape Town firstly, and then as Cape Town football, we will entertain it, no matter who it is.”