CFG (City Football Group)’s India CEO Damian Willoughby has revealed that they have started laying down plans for Mumbai City FC for the upcoming seasons. The Indian Super League outfits were acquired by the Abu-Dhabi-based organisation with them claiming 65% of the stakes back in 2019.
Mumbai City FC completed a historic double by winning the Indian Super League title, along with the Winners League Shield, which earned them a berth at the new season’s AFC Champions League. It was only after the acquisition of 65% shares of the club by CFG (City Football Group) that the club has seen a sea of change and also led to the successful season.
It was only last weekend that the ‘Islanders’ had the better of ATK-Mohun Bagan in the final of the ISL with a 2-1 margin to lift the silverware. Just a few days after the triumph, CFG’s India CEO Damian Willoughby has revealed that they have started laying down plans for Mumbai City FC for the upcoming seasons, with them looking beyond just retaining the domestic title in the next ISL edition.
“We’ll look to compete to try and retain the trophies, which is more difficult because you have a target on your back. We've already been thinking of planning and laying down strategic plans for the upcoming seasons, not just ISL-8 but beyond,” said Damian Willoughby, as reported by Hindustan Times.
Sergio Lobera’s men are set to feature in the AFC Champions League group stage next season, a tournament that is still unexplored by Indian teams. Damian has admitted that the challenge in the top-tier tournament will be very different, but Mumbai City FC will be in an advantageous position since CFG already have a couple of teams playing in a similar circuit, which gives them a fair idea about the whereabouts.
“The challenges of AFC Champions League will be different to the ISL, given the level of teams representing the Asian region. There may be an advantage for us as we have teams already in the AFC environment. So, I think we have a good handle on the leagues, the competition, the quality across the different Asian markets. That probably gives us some additional support and help,” admitted Damian Willoughby.