BRUSSELS (AP) — The owners of Manchester City bought a Belgian soccer team on Monday, adding a ninth club to their worldwide portfolio.
The City Football Group, which is run by the Abu Dhabi royal family, said it bought second-division club Lommel SK after the team based in the eastern Limburg province had its professional licence renewed. Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.
Lommel was sixth in the standings when the Belgian season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. The team plays in an 8,000-capacity stadium and its biggest achievement was reaching the 2001 Belgian Cup final.
The CFG’s clubs also include New York City FC, Melbourne City, Girona, Yokohama F. Marinos, Sichuan Jiuniu FC, Mumbai City FC and Club Atletico Torque. The group also has a “collaboration agreement” with Venezuelan team Atletico Venezuela.
“Belgium is one of Europe’s best football countries as demonstrated by the success of the national team and the development of world-class players, some of whom we know very well, like Kevin De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany,” said Ferran Soriano, the chief executive of CFG.
Kompany and De Bruyne are both Belgium internationals who have played for City in the Premier League. De Bruyne still plays for the team while Kompany has returned to Anderlecht in the Belgian league.
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