City Football Group, the parent company for Manchester City, bought a 13th club to add to its portfolio. Brazilian outfit Bahia is the latest to join the ranks of the group, and it is the second out of South America. On Thursday, City Football Group purchased 90% of the company. The remaining 10% remains with the current administration, giving it power over the club’s kits and colors.

The deal cost the group just under $200 million. This is the second-most expensive deal in terms of acquiring a club by the group. The first, unsurprisingly, was Manchester City. City Football Group CEO Ferran Soriano is excited at the prospect of adding a Brazilian club to City’s ranks.

“The potential is spectacular,” Soriano said. “It is the greatest source of talent in the world. The opportunity cannot be lost and I want to help.”

Soriano alludes to the fact that these satellite clubs allow training and transfers between them. The Red Bull group, with Salzburg, Leipzig and New York in particular, are notable for this. Also, Chelsea owner Todd Boehly stated his intentions to do the same with his club. Even Bayern Munich and LAFC announced a joint venture in terms of player development earlier this year.

However, Soriano maintains that he also wants to grow Bahia as a club.

“This is a long-term project,” he said. “Just look at Manchester City, which has won four of the last five Premier Leagues. It has taken 14 years of work to arrive at that point.”

City Football Group acquires another club

Bahia is a fairly large club in Brazil. For example, it has won the top flight twice. However, the most recent of those triumphs came back in 1988. It is the third team from South American to join CFG’s ranks. The others are Montevideo City Torque in Uruguay and Bolivian side Bolivar. The latter is merely a ‘partner club,’ which means it has access to “a wide breadth of expertise, proprietary technology, best practice, and strategic advice developed by City Football Group through its multi-club structure.”

The other 10 clubs in the City Football Group are Manchester City (England), Troyes (France), Palermo (Italy), Girona (Spain), New York City (United States), Melbourne City (Australia), Yokohama F. Marinos (Japan), Sichuan Jiuniu (China), Mumbai City (India) and Lommel SK (Belgium).

PHOTO: IMAGO / Fotoarena