May 12 – City Football Group (CFG), owner of Manchester City and seven other clubs around the world, have agreed a deal to buy Belgium’s Lommel SK, who currently compete in Belgium’s second tier.
No value has been given for what CFG has said is a majority stake in the club, acquired from its Lommel Not for Profit Foundation. Paul Kerkhofs, president of the Foundation, will be part of a new board of the club.
Before CFG’s financial intervention, Lommel looked to be on the verge of collapse having been denied a club license last month in the financially distressed eight-team second tier division alongside Lokeren, Roeselare and Virton. That license was eventually granted May 10.
CFG said that the attraction of Lommel was is reputation for having “a strong Academy and focus on youth development”. While CFG said the club has a 100 year history of playing in the Limburg province, it is one of name changes and mergers with other clubs, and has only played under the Lommel SK name since 2017.
Ferran Soriano, Chief Executive of City Football Group, said: “This investment is part of our long-term strategy to be present in key football countries, play beautiful football and develop talent. We were attracted to Lommel’s culture, training facilities and commitment to youth development and we look forward to learning from their approach and helping the Club to evolve in the months and years ahead.”
Lommel will sit in the CFG portfolio alongside New York City FC in the US, Melbourne City FC in Australia, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Montevideo City Torque in Uruguay, Girona FC in Spain, Sichuan Jiuniu FC in China and Mumbai City FC in India. The Belgians “will contribute to and benefit from the sharing of knowledge and experience across the Group,” said CFG.
Kerkhofs commented: “We are delighted that City Football Group has chosen to acquire Lommel and ensure the future of our Club. We are extremely impressed with their philosophy, track record and approach and look forward to working together to take the Club forward.”
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com