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Melbourne Heart bought by Man City

Melbourne Heart celebrate a goal
Melbourne Heart celebrate a goal
Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Melbourne Heart scored a major coup on Thursday afternoon as they announced the club had been acquired by English Premier League financial power house, Manchester City.

The Buyout sees Manchester City control 80% of the club with the remaining 20% in the hands of Rugby League club Melbourne Storm.

The move will see Melbourne Heart become the wealthiest team in the A-League which will see the Melbourne derby with rivals Victory become a very interesting match up.

It continues Manchester City’s desire to grow their brand throughout the world after securing a Major League Soccer license with New York City FC for 2015.

There has been some concern over how Manchester City will operate in a league with a salary cap with heading in to MLS and now they will have a chance to get used to that ahead of the MLS team commencing.

There has been speculation that as a result of this purchase the club will be changing its name to Melbourne City FC and switch to Sky Blue kits, after a document outlining the copyright purchase of Melbourne City FC by Melbourne Heart was discovered.

The club has been assured that Melbourne Heart will have a separate identity and will not be “a small Manchester City” as owner Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan said in a Fox Sports interview, although he made no denial of a potential name and colour change.

Currently sitting bottom of the A-League, well off the pace and with only a week left in the transfer window, it seems there is little Manchester City can do to turn around the 2013-14 season but they have lofty ambitions going forward and heading in to the 2014-15 season next August.

"We are excited about the opportunity to make Melbourne Heart one of the most successful football clubs in Australia and throughout the region, we believe the strong sports culture of Melbourne combined with the football and commercial expertise within our consortium will make for a powerful combination both on and off the pitch.” said Manchester City CEO, Ferran Soriano, in a statement on the club’s website.

The parallels between Manchester City and Melbourne Heart are clear, particularly the idea that both have long lived in the shadow of a much larger rival.

Of course Melbourne Heart have never been relegated to the third tier like Manchester City faced but Victory dominate the Melbourne football market with a dominance that not even Manchester United have in Manchester.

It will be a tough battle for Manchester City with the club sitting convincingly in last place in the A-League and a very small supporters base, that will now be facing something of an identity crisis, especially if any happen to be Manchester United fans.

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