City Football Group (CFG), the parent company of Manchester City, has agreed to the acquisition of Belgium second division club Lommel SK.
According to BBC Sport, as part of the purchase CFG will wipe the clubs debts which had risen up to £1.75m, despite a financially unstable climate due to COVID-19. Moreover, the clubs new board will comprise of Paul Kerkhofs, the president of the Lommel Not for Profit Foundation from which CFG acquired the majority of the club.
Ferran Soriano, Chief Executive of City Football Group, stated: “We are excited to welcome Lommel SK to City Football Group and to work together with the fans and the city to develop the Club. 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.
“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 SK currently applies its trade at the 8,000 capacity Soevereinstadion. Last season the club finished sixth in the Proximus League after Belgium prematurely concluded its football campaigns due to the ongoing health crisis.
Paul Kerkhofs, President of the Lommel Not for Profit Foundation, added: “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.”
Bob Nijs, Mayor of Lommel, emphasised: “Lommel SK is an incredibly important part of our community. In City Football Group we have an ambitious, stable and reliable partner, which is committed to developing young players and will help the Club to grow and succeed in the future. It is excellent news for the Club and for the City”.
This is CFG’s ninth acquisition, with the firm purchasing clubs in the USA (New York City), Australia (Melbourne City) and India (Mumbai City) among others.