BARCELONA (Reuters) - Manchester City’s parent company, the City Football Group, have purchased a major stake in La Liga side Girona, the Spanish club announced on Wednesday.
The City Football Group and the Girona Football Group, owned by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s brother Pere Guardiola, have purchased 44.3 percent of Girona each, with the remainder of shares held by a fans association.
“The operation will allow Girona FC to benefit from the knowledge and proven experience of the City Football Group, as well as its extensive network of infrastructures, technical teams, collection of talent, young player development and executive leadership, along with its global media, marketing and the commercial potential of the group,” a Girona statement said.
The clubs have been working on the deal since 2016, with Manchester City loaning Girona five players this summer: Pablo Maffeo, Aleix Garcia, Douglas Luiz, Marlos Moreno and Larry Kayode.
Girona were promoted to La Liga for the first time in their 87-year history after finishing second in the second division last season. They drew 2-2 with Atletico Madrid on Saturday in their first match.
“Girona is a club whose work reflects its enormous ambition. With calmness, great determination and humility, the team managed to achieve promotion to the top flight, which is, without a doubt, an incredible achievement,” said Ferran Soriano, CEO of City Football Group.
“What’s more, they did it playing exciting football and scoring a lot of goals.”
Pere Guardiola added: “This shared investment in Girona FC was an unquestionable, attractive opportunity for both parties, well before the club were promoted in May.”
Girona become the six side the City Football Group has stakes in, joining Man City, Australian side Melbourne City FC, MLS franchise New York City Football Club, Japanese side Yokohama F. Marinos, and Uruguayan team CA Torque.
Reporting by Rik Sharma; editing by Mark Heinrich