Manchester City Are The Majority Owners of New York City FC, MLS’s 20th Team: Official

Major League Soccer has announced that Manchester City and New York Yankees have partnered together to launch New York City Football Club, MLS’s 20th team that is expected to begin play in 2015.

Manchester City will be the majority owner of the new Club. As an investor, the Yankees will be an active member of the ownership group.

“New York is a legendary sports town, as well as a thriving global city with a rapidly expanding soccer fan-base,” said Ferran Soriano, CEO of Manchester City Football Club, who will oversee the process of filling top New York City FC leadership positions in the weeks to come. “We are thrilled to contribute to the energy and growth of New York City Soccer. In the Yankees, we have found the absolute best partner for developing a world-class sports organization and a winning team that will carry the New York City Football Club name with pride.”

“We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organizations to Major League Soccer,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “This is a transformational development that will elevate the league to new heights in this country. The New York area is home to more than 19 million people­, and we look forward to an intense crosstown rivalry between New York City Football Club and the New York Red Bulls that will captivate this great city.”

While the news about Manchester City being the majority owner of the club is positive, there’s still a lot of doubt in terms of where the team will play. According to Major League Soccer, the new team is arranging to play in an interim home beginning in its inaugural MLS season in 2015. Over the past year, MLS began discussions with the City of New York and other stakeholders about the possibility of constructing a new stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park (FMCP) in Queens. The Club’s new management will continue these discussions with local government officials, community residents and businesses, soccer leagues, and MLS. The Club will continue to review other potential sites as well.

“New York City FC will have a permanent home in the City in the great traditions of New York sports and world soccer — a home that must be a sports, commercial and civic success,” Soriano said.  “But in considering any stadium site, we will listen first. This is what we have always done in Manchester and what we will do in New York.  Only in this way, can the Club truly represent the City whose name it will carry.”

What are your thoughts about the news? Share them in the comments section below.

60 thoughts on “Manchester City Are The Majority Owners of New York City FC, MLS’s 20th Team: Official”

  1. I’m saddened by the Yankees part of this but if that’s what it took to get it done then so be it. Hopefully this doesn’t kill off the Flushing Park negotiations. I really can’t see the Yankees signing off on building anything near the Mets facility.

    I am very excited that New York proper will now have a football club to call it’s own. NYFC!!!! C’mon City!!!!

    1. what will the Cosmos do now. Stuck in NASL (basically 2nd division) unless they become 3rd NY team in MLS

      1. The Cosmos have no desire to join MLS. They think the Cosmos brand is strong enough for them to market alone rather than give the brand to the single entity that is MLS. I for one disagree with their assessment.

        1. This kind of obstinance is probably what drove Don Garber to give the Cosmos idiots a wide berth. He could barely hide his disdain whenever the Cosmos were brought up in an interview.

    2. I’m saddened by Man City’s part in this. They got the Yankees involved because it would make it easier for them to get a stadium IN the City as opposed to NJ.

    3. Why are you saddened that the Yankees are a part of this?

      Citi Field is in Flushing so the Yankees wont sign off on a building in the area? You really are talking out of you’re a**. If they do not build there it will not be because of Citi Field or the Mets.

    4. Christian – you make no sense, they got the Yankees involved for that very reason – to have the political clout to build a stadium in Flushing Park.

      You can’t see the Yankees signing off on a building near “Citifield”? Since when are the Yankees and Mets serious rivals?

  2. City’s involvement in the 20th MLS team has been expected. The Yankees has not.
    Odd considering that the long-proposed stadium site is next to the Mets’ stadium.

    Have all Mets/Man United fans in the NY area just become die-hard New York Red Bulls fans?

    1. Man United “fans”. Something tells me it’d be easy for these plastics to jump ship when the going gets tough.

    1. The name is actually perfect. NYC FC. How could you not trade off the branding of one of the biggest cities in the world?

    1. If it’s such a $hithole how come every Dick and Jane wants to live here? Have you seen our real estate market lately (lately as in, oh, two decades?)

      1. Actually every hipster wants to live in NYC, and work 3 coffee shop jobs to afford a 1 bedroom apartment with 4 roommates.

        1. Riiight, it’s just “hipsters” who want to live in NYC. Not bankers, movie stars, doctors, lawyers, bricklayers, cleaners, public servants and every other tom dick and harry. Nah, it’s just tattooed starbucks barristers driving real estate prices, of course.

  3. I think it’s generally cool news. MLS needs some deeper pocketed owners who will push the envelope on payroll instead of being happy with the “cost certainty” of a team of guys making $75K/year.

    Now there will be another ownership group within MLS who will be pushing to have a higher salary cap, more liberal designated player rules, etc. That’s good for the league.

    I think it’s interesting that the Yankees are involved. I wonder how active they’ll be or whether this is more like their relationship with the Dallas Cowboys for purposes of apparel licensing, branding, concession sales, etc.

    As a fan, I don’t know how I’ll feel. I don’t have a MLS team anywhere near me, so I’m still a bit of a free-agent. I’ve been drawn to the Galaxy over the years, but they play so many games at 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, that it’s hard to follow them.

    1. I think the MLS needs to stop adding teams, and focus more on a single table with relegation/promotion with the USL. Once they do that maybe some of us European football fans will be willing to give the league a shot.

      1. I’ve always thought this as well. Now that you have 20 clubs, maybe an MLS division 1 and 2 with USL as the 3rd tier.

      2. Yes, let’s try to emulate a european-style of relegation and promotion. You do know leagues that participate in this have been operating for quite a bit longer than good ol’ MLS?

        There’s absolutely no way the MLS can implement an infrastructure that allows for promotion/relegation. It’s just not there.

      3. Why? Single table is boring! Man U wins the title with over a month left and relagation battle was over as well. Maybe you “euro football” fans need not be so close minded. For heavns sake the league has only been around 17 years! Im so sick of this Americans only watching England but hate on MLS. EPL is great but there is something to be said for having a league in your own country to follow.

        1. Maybe you should try watching the German Bundesliga or the Championship. Those are two of the most exciting leagues to watch. Single table, more like a pyramid.

        2. Hate on the MLS? More like ambivalence.
          You can’t hate something if you can’t care less about it.

        3. “Single table” might have been boring this year (with Man Utd wrapping it up so early,and all the relegation spots decided). But that’s a rarity – look at last year, for example.

      4. I’d like to see relegation/promotion too, but I don’t think we’re at the point that it would work. 20 teams is fine. They should stop expanding. Let the NASL and USL grow for a few years and then perhaps we can consider pro/rel.

        There are a few clubs in the NASL and USL who are competitive with the worst MLS clubs now and I honestly think they have more upside than MLS with it’s single entity structure and salary caps. It wouldn’t take much for an NASL club to out spend most MLS clubs. Just Wayne Rooney’s salary would fund 4-5 entire MLS rosters.

      5. Oh god…I used to lurk on this site (and its old siser-site, MLS talk) a couple of years ago, and one of the things that drove me away was boredom with the constant repetition of the “pro/rel” debate. It’s not going to happen in our lifetimes (nor would it draw in a significant number of fans of European football), give up.

    1. Don’t hate the City management for being proactive.

      Hate the Glazers for being so mired in their own interest debt that they can’t even think of doing brand extension like this.

          1. I care about MLS as much as I care about WPS.
            Actually WPS did have some eye candies. I take back what I said.

  4. Man, my hatred of the Yankees back in the day was part of my original motivation to follow City. So many Yankee/rag scum “fans” out there. Most of whom have never been anywhere near New York. Or Manchester. Or England. Or really outside of their parents’ basement in some wretched part of US flyover country for that matter.

    Sort of conflicted here, but I think I have no choice other than to support NYCFC to the extent (and it is very little) that I care about the MLS. Yankee connection or not, loyalty to City has to trump all else.

  5. I wonder how many red bull fans will jump ship when NYC is up and running?

    Hats off to them for a bold move. It’s probably the only way for MLS to have a successful club in NY. The red bulls are a joke stuck out in New Jersey.

    It also means the Cosmos are consigned to history. MLS is obviously charting its own course rather than drag up a name from the past.

    I’m just not sure what is in it all for City’s owners. Until MLS has gets the league format right and improves the coverage, there will never be any interest at a national level.

    1. I don’t understand your last point. The MLS is making great strides in creating a national product. Improve the coverage? Coverage is pretty damned good, and their online component is right there with MLB in terms of being the best in U.S.

      1. I think the dumbest thing they do with some of ther nationaly televised games is that they put them on Galavision and Univision Deportes without the option of SAP to English speaking announcers.

  6. I think its funny how Garber said “We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organizations to Major League Soccer”. I only see 1 prestigious global sports orginization involved here.

      1. Man City are a global sports organization, but I’m not sure if they can be described as “prestigious”.

        Yankees are a prestigious sports organization, but I’m not sure they can be described as “global”. Outside the US and the few pockets of the world who play baseball, they’re just a logo on a hat.

  7. Wisdom in the share market was crucial as we can see here; more important thing now is how they manage this new team henceforth, which can potentially make or break.

  8. I suppose city have to win something now that the dream is over in England. When you can’t get out of your group in the CL and you can’t win a FA cup final against Wigan you might as well go compete against the philadelphia union.

  9. I’m wondering if this won’t be the only team added in 2015- David Beckham is really interested in exercising his option to get an expansion team sooner rather than later, and he’s seriously looking at Miami to be where it would be based (and MLS wants to return to the southeast).

    From there if they want to, they can add a 22nd team in 2015 or 2016 if the right ownership group comes along (St. Louis is mentioned as a possible location, though there are still rumblings that Chivas USA in LA might be sold and relocated), or, even though purists might hate it, go to three divisions of 7 for a few years..

    1. It’s interesting that you mention Chivas because one of the big stories (in regards to MLS) this week was Chivas’s manager delcaring that the team is unfit for MLS competition. The attendance there is down–despite the team’s attempts to capitalize off of Latino community and a strong Liga MX brand.

      I would think that the league would try to shore up its existing teams before this. That said, this partnership could go a long way towards bolstering the MLS, as the connection with the Yankees may draw in American fans and its connection to City may legitimize (eventually) MLS in the international community.

        1. Has to be done. Chivas USA is the obvious 800lb. gorilla in the velvet-roped MLS Party Room, helmed by mixmaster DJ Don Garber.

      1. Chivas needs to move to San Diego, DC needs a new stadium, and the Revs need to be sold, moved out of Foxboro my preference would be Hartford, but that is a dream, and rebranded New Engand United.

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