Football: Manchester City sets up commercial office in Singapore

Manchester City fans at the Etihad Stadium on Sept 15, 2015.
Manchester City fans at the Etihad Stadium on Sept 15, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - English Premier League giants Manchester City has opened an office in Singapore to oversee its commercial operations in South-east Asia and work closely with corporate partners and fans across the football-mad region.

With a full-time staff of four, City Football Singapore will be part of the City Football Group (CFG), which is owned by Abu Dhabi billionaire Sheikh Mansour Zayed Al Nahyan.

Speaking at a media roundtable in Singapore on Tuesday, CFG commercial director Omar Berrada said the new office aims to build strong ties with the club's estimated 80 million followers in South-east Asia.

The club also has commercial tie-ups with 10 Asean companies including Singha, SHB and Jiwasraya.

Berrada said: "We have been working with well-loved brands across the region for some time. City Football Singapore gives us a permanent home from which we can work with our partners to manage and activate those relationships, as well as helping us continue to expand."

Other clubs that currently have offices in Singapore include German giants Borussia Dortmund, Spanish outfit Valencia and EPL champions Chelsea.

Berrada noted that City's star-studded squad, led by striker Sergio Aguero, will make more visits to the region in the coming years to meet fans and play in friendly matches. Manuel Pellegrini's side beat Vietnam 8-1 in a glamour tie in Hanoi in July.

Earlier this month, the Sky Blues announced a £10.7 million (S$22.9 million) profit - the first since Sheikh Mansour became owner in 2008 and subsequently invested over £1 billion in the club.

CFG also owns Major League Soccer franchise New York City FC and A-League side Melbourne City, and recently purchased a minority stake in J-League club Yokohama Marinos.