- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 29, 2013
- 0 Comments
- Features, MLS Expansion, New York City FC, New York Expansion, Shiek Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan
We’ve heard the rumors before but it appears they are getting more and more legitimate here.
Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan is the leading candidate to fund and back the league’s next franchise, with his investment group reportedly in final negotiations for NYC 2.
Yes, that means Middle Eastern money in Major League Soccer.
The reports also suggest that the new club that will play in Queens could be called New York City FC. Something to match Mansour’s EPL club. Some fans will love that, others will more than likely hate it.
The prospective owners are willing to pay a $100 million expansion fee for the league’s 20th team. That would more than double the expansion fee of $40 million paid by the Montreal team that entered MLS in 2012.
This would mean a big deal to the league as they definitely needed someone to back this new club with some serious money. Not only to get the stadium finished up there but to keep the club competitive in the market.
The big thing is getting the stadium finished. The New York Times is reporting that the Flushing Meadows stadium could begin work very soon. They would need that is their sources are correct that this new club would begin play in MLS in the 2016 season. There are still some hurdles to be met but everything seems to be aligning more clearly for the league at this point.
While the salary cap would keep the new owners honest about their spending, it wouldn’t mean that they couldn’t pump millions into the infrastructure in New York. That means a strong academy set up with potential to get a strong reserve base of players in line as well. You have to think that this club would serve as a link between Man City and New York as well so there could be chances to get quality players on loan from Man City too. Just speculating things here though.