Speaking in an interview with Le Télégramme, City Football Group’s Managing Director of Global Football, Brian Marwood, explained the organisation’s strategy following their acquisition of Ligue 2 leaders ESTAC Troyes and subsequent formal cooperation agreement with French 4th division side Vannes OC.
How would you describe the City Football Group project?
The City Football Group has built a unique model in the world of football. Owners and world-renowned investors support us in building a sustainable global organisation of football clubs and football-related activities around the world, all focused on the practice of attacking and attractive football based on a winning strategy and the training of talented players. While we have achieved very good results over the past decade with Manchester City, our best-known club, we have also grown in the largest markets in the world, namely the United States, China and India. We remain convinced that the future of football on a global scale holds great promise for us.
Why have you invested, through Troyes, in French football?
We have been interested in French football for a long time and have been studying closely the acquisition opportunities of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs in recent years. Our goal is to play good football, to find talented players where they are and then train them.
Why Ligue 2 and not Ligue 1?
We looked at a whole range of possibilities, and it was Troyes that came out as the best choice for acquiring a 10th club. It is well managed, it is led by a talented team, both on and off the pitch, and it has real potential for development.
What are your development plans for ESTAC?
Our short-term goal has been to take a close look at how the club works and learn from the current squad, while supporting our coach Laurent Batlles so that he and his players have the best chance of success this season. We intend to provide Troyes with the benefit of our expertise and the knowledge we have accumulated. In the long term, our ambition is to make Troyes a football club managed in a stable and sustainable manner, which plays good football, and to perpetuate its rich tradition of identifying and training local talents.
You have also developed a partnership with Vannes Olympique Club (N2). Where does your collaboration with Maxime Ray, its president, originate from?
Maxime and I share the same views on football. Our collaboration started when we were sifting through the opportunities in the market, with the intention of carrying out an operation that would create value for both parties. VOC are an exciting club which has the ambition to gain strength in the coming seasons. Vannes is also a dynamic city with good sports infrastructure and a local authority that supports sport. It was natural for us to extend our relationship with Maxime Ray and the municipality of Vannes through this collaboration.
What type of partnership do you intend to set up with Vannes?
We will have the opportunity to share best practices in talent identification and training methods, and to explore other areas of mutual interest in the football world. We look forward to what is already shaping up to be a successful partnership and to getting to know the club and the Vannes region better in the new year.