Manchester City owner City Football Group has added Bolivia’s most successful side, Club Bolivar, to their portfolio of football teams.
Bolivar becomes the 11th team in the group but the first to be designated as a “partner club” to City.
City Football Group said the tie-up would give Bolivar access to its expertise and proprietary technology.
“We are very pleased to grow our global presence through this important collaboration with Club Bolivar,” said City Football Group chief executive Ferran Soriano.
“This long-term agreement is the first of its kind and will enable Club Bolivar to draw down on and utilise the wide range of football industry expertise developed by City Football Group.
“As well as supporting Club Bolivar’s ambitions, we have an opportunity to learn. Our work in Bolivia will certainly strengthen our knowledge of, and network in, South American football.”
The City Football Group network
Bolivar are the second Latin American club to join City Football Group, after Montevideo City Torque in 2017.
They are third since the pandemic and the fourth – following Mumbai City, Lommel in Belgium and French side Troyes – since US investors Silver Lake paid $500m for 10 per cent of City Football Group in November 2019.
Montevideo, Troyes and Melbourne City are all wholly owned by City Football Group.
The group has majority stakes in Lommel, New York City and Mumbai City. It has minority holdings in Girona, Sichuan Jiuniu and Yokohama Marinos.
City Football Group has not disclosed the degree of its investment in Bolivar.
Bolivar president Marcelo Claure already has links to City Football Group chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
Claure is chief executive of Softbank, whose investors include Abu Dhabi sovereign welath fund Mubadala, where Al Mubarak is CEO.
City currently sit fifth in the Premier League but just four points behind leaders Liverpool with two games in hand.
Bolivar won their 29th and most recent league title in 2019 and finished third in last year’s competition.