Manchester City will prove it’s business as usual by completing a stunning deal to add Brazilian club EC Bahia to the CFG portfolio.
The Premier League champions may be about to embark on a bid to clear their name after being hit by 115 charges for alleged financial irregularities.
But they remain on course to finalise the link-up with Bahia next month after fans of the Salvador-based club voted overwhelmingly in favour of the proposal.
The new Brazilian season kicks off in mid-April – by which time Bahia will be part of the City Football Group fold.
Blues’ chief executive Ferran Soriano agreed terms for City to purchase a 90 percent stake after showing Bahia’s board of directors an impressive plan for a club that has just won promotion back to Brazil’s Serie A division.
Bahia’s huge fanbase has welcomed the deal – with around 98 percent of members voting it through at a poll held at the stadium.
Bahia will become the 11th club in the City Football Group stable – and they are second to their new parent club in terms of stature.
They are two-time Brazilian champions – although their last triumph came in 1988 – and have won the state championship 49 times.
Bahia’s stadium is the 48,000-capacity Arena Fonte Nova and boasted the highest attendances in Brazil despite being relegated to the third division in 2007 when they still averaged gates of more than 40,000.
It is a big statement of intent by the Premier League champions to illustrate how the club’s Abu Dhabi and American owners are continuing to press ahead with plans for the future despite battling the Premier League’s case.
The CFG already owns clubs in England, France, Spain, Belgium, Japan, China, Uruguay, Australia and India and the United States has a partnership agreement with a team in Bolivia.
Salvador, which is situated in the north of Brazil, has a population of almost 3 million and Bahia is a huge part of the community.