Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Expand chart
Map: Aïda Amer/Axios

Private equity giant Silver Lake Partners has agreed to invest $500 million for a ~10% stake in City Football Group, owner of reigning English Premier League champs, Manchester City, and seven other soccer clubs around the world.

Why it matters: The deal makes CFG, now valued at $4.8 billion, the world's most valuable soccer group, as well as the second most valuable enterprise in all of sports, trailing only the Dallas Cowboys, per Forbes.

  • It also makes Manchester City, which is CFG's biggest asset by far, the single richest soccer club — leapfrogging Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Details:

  • CFG is 77% owned by Abu Dhabi United Group, an investment vehicle owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a member of the royal family of the United Arab Emirates.
  • Silver Lake is a Silicon Valley-based technology investor with a clear appetite for sports, having also invested in the UFC and sports marketing giant IMG.

The backdrop: After buying Manchester City in 2008 and quickly turning it into a juggernaut on and off the field through massive spending, CFG began purchasing teams in key global markets, hoping to replicate its success elsewhere.

Timeline:

How it works: Each club has one person in charge of the business (COO) and one person in charge of the soccer (director), both of whom report to CFG. In certain cases, women's teams have also been launched and brought into the fold.

  • Shared resources: Underpinning each individual club is a shared services group, which helps with things like scouting and analytics. Teams also benefit from sharing coaches, doctors and even press officers.
  • Shared learnings: Injury research can be shared across clubs to help improve recovery times. Customer data from Australia can be shared to help sell more tickets in Uruguay. If a coach sees something on film, he might send it to another coach to analyze. Overall, central planning ensures that the best ideas are disseminated throughout the group.
  • Giant farm system: If a Manchester City academy player has talent, but isn't quite ready for the Premier League, he can easily be sent to a satellite team in a less demanding league.
  • Coaching development: Patrick Vieira coached Manchester City's Elite Development Squad for three years before being promoted and put in charge of NYCFC. (He's now a favorite to become the next Arsenal manager.)

The bottom line: CFG is at the apex of what it means to be a 21st century sports business — a mixture of sports, content/media, technology and worldwide reach.

  • As the globalization of sports continues to gain steam, CFG has placed strategic outposts across five continents and amassed an army of 2,000 staff and 1,500 players who play a combined 2,500 games per season.
  • "It is on this basis that Silver Lake has invested in what was once a football club with historic roots in the working class communities of east Manchester, but is now a global entertainment business," writes Quartz's Simon Chadwick.

Go deeper: Inside the Manchester City Football Group (Book excerpt)

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

India crosses 1 billion COVID vaccinations milestone

A health worker inoculates a COVID-19 vaccine dose to a man wearing a face mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beawar, India, in September. Photo: Sumit Saraswat/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Thursday that the country's health workers have now administered more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines doses.

Of note: While this is a significant milestone for the country of 1.4 billion, which has been devastated by the coronavirus, only about 30% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, per AP. Roughly 75% has received at least one dose.

Trump says he plans to launch new social media network in 2022

Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to launch a social media network called "Truth Social," and that it would go public via a SPAC.

Why it matters: Most ex-presidents are focused on their legacies, by creating presidential libraries or engaging in philanthropic endeavors. Trump, however, remains consumed by social media.

Beauty giant Coty Cosmetics looking to sell its own branded products

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi. Photo: Axios on HBO

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi tells Axios the beauty giant will “probably” introduce Coty-branded products one day.

Why it matters: Coty produces some of the world’s most popular fragrances, skin care products and color cosmetics on behalf of other well-known brands, but has shied away from producing its own branded products.