Investment boost for Melbourne City owners

Melbourne City's owners have received a huge investment from US private equity firm Silver Lake

A-League soccer franchise Melbourne City have joined English Premier League champions Manchester City as part of one of the world's most valuable football companies following a huge investment injection from American firm Silver Lake.

The City Football Group, owner of Man City, announced on Wednesday that the technology firm had acquired a 10 per cent stake in its business, taking its total value to around $A7 billion.

That takes CFG's value above that of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United in figures published by Forbes in May.

Across all sports, only the Dallas Cowboys had a greater value at that point, of $A7.37bn, with the New York Yankees worth $A6.78bn.

The CFG value, however, represents the worth of all the group's assets, rather than just Man City.

Apart from Melbourne, the holding company has stakes in five other clubs worldwide: New York City, J-Leaguers Yokohama F Marinos, Girona (Spain), Atletico Torque (Uruguay) and Sichuan Jiuniu (China).

The Silver Lake investment - which comes with no shares having been sold - will be spread across the whole group to continue the growth which began with Sheikh Mansour's takeover of Man City in 2008.

Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak told Sky TV: "We've been focusing over the last 10 years with a clear business plan, a clear investment strategy, a clear global strategy in terms of how we built our group from one team, in Manchester City, to a group of clubs around the world.

"We are leaders today in the football business globally. All these businesses are sustainable, are profitable.

"I think Manchester City is now five years in profitability so I think this sustainable model we've been working on has proven to be a success and Silver Lake sees that.

"The investment, this is US$500 million ($A737 million) that Silver Lake is putting into the group, and we're not taking any money out. This investment money stays in the group and stays as part of our growth strategy for the future.

"We will continue down the route that we've started 10 years ago and as we look at the next chapter of this evolution which is the next 10 years, this investment will help fuel our growth."

The expansion of the group is likely to see the establishment or acquisition of a club in India in the near future.