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Launching on 4 February 2016, in line with the city’s Chinese New Year Celebrations, Manchester City FC’s Stadium & Club Tour will be available in Mandarin, reinforcing the Club’s commitment to the Chinese market, following their recent partnership with state-backed Chinese investors, China Media Capital (CMC).

Visitors to the Etihad Stadium will be treated to an exclusive 90-minute tour of the stadium accompanied by a native Mandarin speaking guide.

The award-winning tour allows fans to immerse themselves in all aspects of the Club’s past, present and future – making it a must-visit excursion for all. Children and adults will have the opportunity to visit the team dressing room and also sit in Manuel Pellegrini’s official press conference seat, exactly as seen on TV. They will emerge pitchside through the player’s tunnel before taking their seats in the dugout and dreaming of the moment they’re called upon to wear the famous sky blue jersey.

This new Mandarin offering from Manchester City FC is the first of its kind in the English Premier League (EPL) and showcases City as an innovative and immersive Club dedicated to their international fans.

Speaking about this exciting new initiative, Blues super striker Sergio Aguero said:

Having visited China on pre-season tour and seen first-hand how passionate our Chinese fans are, it’s fantastic to hear that we will now offer a Club tour in Mandarin. I’m sure the new tour will be a popular attraction for visitors and will allow them to see what goes on behind-the-scenes on a match day at the Etihad Stadium.

An inaugural Chinese themed launch tour will take place on 4 February at 3pm as the city gears up for a weekend packed full of celebrations for Chinese New Year, and will run on 5, 7 and 8 February at the same time.

Introduced as a long term commitment from the Club, the tour will be a regular feature at the Etihad Stadium, available for visitors to book from April. The experience opens just as Manchester prepares for an influx of Chinese visitors following the announcement of a direct China to Manchester flight path. Launching in June, the new direct route opens a floodgate of opportunity across the East and West and firmly places Manchester on the map for Chinese tourists.
Nick Brooks-Sykes, Director of Tourism at Marketing Manchester, the agency charged with promoting Manchester on a national and international stage, said:

This new initiative from Manchester City Football Club is an excellent example of a business tailoring their product to growing visitor requirements. As we prepare to build deeper links with the Chinese visitor market in upcoming months – with the launch of a direct airline route from Beijing this summer – the pioneering new Stadium & Club Tour shows a commendable level of commitment, proving how much Manchester City Football Club values tourists from China and welcomes them to Manchester.

City Football Group (CFG) signals China growth as CMC Holdings led-consortium acquires 13% CFG minority shareholding. The strategic minority shareholding creates an unprecedented platform to deliver CFG growth opportunities in China and internationally. The deal values CFG at US$3bn.

CFG, the owner of football related clubs and businesses including Manchester City FC, New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, and a minority shareholder in Yokohama F. Marinos, has announced a partnership with a consortium of high-profile Chinese institutional investors led by China’s leading media, entertainment, sports and Internet dedicated investment and operating company, CMC (China Media Capital) Holdings.

The deal will create an unprecedented platform for the growth of CFG clubs and companies in China and internationally, borne out of CFG’s ability to provide a wealth of industry expertise and resources to the rapidly developing Chinese football industry.

The agreement will see the consortium of CMC Holdings and CITIC Capital invest US$400m to take a shareholding in City Football Group of just over 13%. The agreement is subject to regulatory approval in some territories.

The announcement follows more than six months of discussions among the parties to find the optimum model and associated strategies for the partnership. The capital from the share acquisition will be used by City Football Group to fund its China growth, further CFG’s international business expansion opportunities and further develop CFG’s infrastructure assets.

The CFG/CMC partnership is predicated on the opportunity to create new value for CFG in China and beyond by working with CMC, CITIC Capital and the Chinese football industry.  To that end, CMC and CITIC Capital representatives and CFG executives have already been working together, along with third parties, to identify and implement China-based initiatives for the CFG portfolio of clubs and companies.

The deal will see new shares issued in City Football Group in addition to the ones held by the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG), the investment and development company privately owned by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and prior to this transaction the sole shareholder of City Football Group.

CMC will represent the consortium at Board level with Mr. Ruigang Li, the Chairman of CMC becoming a member of the City Football Group Holding Company Board – which as a result of the agreement, will increase from six to seven members.

Speaking about the partnership, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Chairman of City Football Group said:

Football is the most loved, played and watched sport in the world and in China, the exponential growth pathway for the game is both unique and hugely exciting. We have therefore worked hard to find the right partners and to create the right deal structure to leverage the incredible potential that exists in China, both for CFG and for football at large.

Our partners have an incredible track record of creating value and could not be better placed to help us further evolve City Football Group. Our belief is that we now have an unrivalled platform to grow CFG, our clubs and companies both in China and internationally and we will be working hard with our new partners to realise the potential that this deal creates.

On behalf of the investing consortium, CMC Chairman Ruigang Li said:

Football is now at a fascinating and critical stage of development in China. We see unprecedented growth opportunities in both its development as an industry, being China’s most watched sport, and its inspirational role bringing people of all ages together with a shared passion. CMC has long been dedicated to creating opportunities that facilitate positive developments in Chinese football from different aspects within the ecosystem. With its unique business model and distinct successes, City Football Group, whom we have come to know well, represents a differentiated systematic approach to building a global platform for football know-how, player development, academy programmes and commercial partnerships that will benefit China’s football industry on multiple levels. We and our consortium partner CITIC Capital also see this investment as a prime opportunity for furthering the contribution of China to the global football family.


Source: City Football Group

To coincide with this season’s introduction of an expanded Etihad Stadium, Manchester City FC are launching a new initiative designed to give young fans from across the UK the chance to experience their first ever ‘live’ Premier League match.

Designed to appeal to young football fans, aged 5-12 years, ‘My First Match‘ offers young UK fans the opportunity to win a money-can’t-buy, immersive experience, which puts them at the heart of the action at the Etihad Stadium on a Premier League matchday.

Manchester City are working in partnership with national kids’ media titles to launch My First Match via a competition mechanic that runs across a number of Premier League home games.

Open exclusively to competition entrants, winners of My First Match are rewarded with an unforgettable matchday, which includes a Blue Carpet experience where they can high-five the first team players as they arrive at the venue, a Stadium & Club Tour, a pre-match tour of the state-of-the-art City Football Academy, a meet and greet with the club mascots Moonchester and Moonbeam and a chance to stand pitchside and watch their heroes warm up before kick-off.

Each competition partner is offered 5 pairs of tickets for a specific game, with the winners   invited for an extra special matchday for their first experience of live Premier League action.

This immersive, money-can’t-buy, experience reinforces City’s dedication to its legion of young fans, whilst highlighting the Club as a Premier League leader in offering unique and innovative experiences.

Recent signing Raheem Sterling recalls his very first football match:

The first football match I ever went to was Manchester United versus Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley and I was 12 years old. I used to play football with friends as a 10 year old and it makes me just as happy now as it did then.


Manchester City Football Club confirms Laing O’Rourke as Construction Partner

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Manchester City FC has confirmed that engineering firm Laing O’Rourke has been chosen as its construction partner for the expansion of its Etihad Stadium.

Laing O’Rourke were the original constructor of the stadium in 2002, ahead of Manchester’s staging of the Commonwealth Games.

In a statement on Monday, City said that design firm Populous would work with Laing O’Rourke on previously announced plans to increase the stadium’s capacity to 60,000. The first phase will see the South Stand expanded by some 6,000 seats, rising from 48,000 to 54,000. With a second phase to see the development of the North Stand.

“The expansion of the stadium is a hugely significant moment for City,” said Tom Glick, Manchester City’s Chief Commercial Officer.

Glick continued: “Manchester City Football Club strives to provide its supporters and visiting fans with one of the best possible matchday experiences in the Premier League and European football. The success of this is demonstrated by games being sold out and rising demand from supporters for more season tickets, matchday tickets, and premium seating.”