- City also recently signed a training kit branding deal with UAE-owned Emirates Palace hotel
- Reports suggest Premier League champions have now cancelled 3Key Technologies partnership
Premier League giants Manchester City have announced a new partnership with Abu Dhabi renewable energy company Masdar.
Operating in 40 countries globally, Masdar’s main stated focus is renewable energy projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Although no financial details have been announced, the deal places Masdar in the English soccer club’s ‘global’ top tier of partners.
Masdar’s parent company is the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) state-owned Mubadala investment fund of which City Football Group (CFG) chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak is chief executive and managing director. Razan Al Mubarak, the sister of Khaldoon Al Mubarak, sits on the Masdar board.
The deal with Masdar is City’s second partnership announced with an Abu Dhabi-based business since the turn of the year, after the Emirates Palace was revealed as the club’s official luxury hotel partner on 4th January.
City players have previously stayed at the UAE state-owned hotel, which will gain brand promotion at the club’s Etihad Stadium home and on team training apparel.
SportsPro understands that the partnerships were signed prior to the change in the Premier League’s sponsorship regulations in December and therefore did not go before the board of English soccer’s top flight for approval as an ‘associated party transaction’.
As part of new league laws, if a club has a proposal worth more than UK£1 million (US$1.32 million) from an entity with a perceived link to its owners the club must go before the Premier League board to prove that it is of fair market value.
The league will consider evidence from the club and an independent agency with expertise in the field of market valuation. The board will take advice from an independent assessor, listen to the club’s own assessment and also look at an anonymised data bank of similar deals before making a judgement.
The new deals have been confirmed amid reports that City have formally ended their partnership with 3Key Technologies.
Shortly after announcing the deal in November, the club suspended its partnership after questions were raised over the legitimacy of the cryptocurrency firm.