Manchester City owners City Football Group (CFG), alongside Ubtech and the China Sports Capital investment fund, have confirmed their joint purchase of Chinese side Sichuan Jiuniu FC.
The club currently ply their trade in China League Two (the third tier in Chinese football), and their 27,000-capacity Chengdu Longquanyi Stadium is based in Sichuan Province.
CFG is the owner of a number of football clubs across the world, and can count the likes of Premier League champions City, MLS side New York City FC, and Australian team Melbourne City FC amongst their extensive portfolio.
In a confirmation statement posted on the organisation's website, the move was declared as a 'natural development of the three new owners’ commitment to participating in the long-term development of football in China'.
Ferran Soriano, CEO of City Football Group said: "Today marks an exciting new chapter in the growth of City Football Group. China is an extremely important football market, which we have been focused on for some time.
City Football Group's expansion continues as the purchase of Sichuan Jiuniu FC in 🇨🇳 means that there is now firm interest in seven clubs in seven different countries (🇦🇺 🇬🇧 🇯🇵 🇪🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇾 are the others).— Andy May (@andymay) February 20, 2019
"We are delighted to welcome Sichuan Jiuniu FC to our Group, alongside our partners, China Sports Capital and UBTECH."
He added: “We believe strongly in the future of football in China. We are making a long-term, sustainable commitment to grow and develop Sichuan Jiuniu FC and to nurture Chinese footballing talent. These objectives are equally important.
We'll hear more at tomorrow's press conference, but instead of expecting Sichuan Jiuniu FC to break into the CSL in a few years' time, it's perhaps more likely that the new owner will look to leverage #ManCity's global appeal to promote its humanoid robots.— Mark Dreyer (@DreyerChina) February 19, 2019
"Our immediate focus will be strengthening our football performance, using all of our experience and know-how, forging a strong relationship with our fans and building a strong presence in the community. We cannot wait to get started.