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City Football Group to buy Dutch side NAC Breda?

Supporters protest the acquisition

Toto KNVB cup”NAC Breda v PEC Zwolle”
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Photo by ANP via Getty Images

According to Dutch national broadcaster NOS, City Football Group is in the “final phase” of buying Dutch side NAC Breda FC for close to $8 million. NAC currently play in the Eerste Divisie, the Dutch second division, but were in the Eredivisie as recently as 2019, and advanced through the Europa League in 2009.

Should the sale go through, NAC will be the 11th club in CFG’s growing portfolio, and the fifth in Europe. New York City FC was the second club to join CFG after Manchester City.

NAC were founded 109 years ago in 1912. The team have spent most of the past two decades years in the Eredivisie, but recently have been cycling between relegation and promotion. NAC are currently in ninth place in the Eerste Divisie, 16 points off automatic promotion to the Eredivisie. The team plays in the 18,000-capacity Rat Verlegh Stadium, named for Antonius “Rat” Verlegh, a legendary player for NAC and the Dutch national team who retired in 1931.

Some NAC supporters protested the sale by hanging a banner outside the Etihad in Manchester that read “STAY OUT OF OUR TERRITORY, NAC IS NOT A CITY GROUP STORY!”

NAC website BSIDERATS reports that CFG made a presentation to supporter groups, and that the fans weren't impressed.

Football Insider reports that the club accepted CFG’s offer not just because of the finances, but because the group will offer NAC access to a global network of scouts, analysts, and other valuable insight. According to Football Insider, a small club like NAC simply couldn’t afford to access that caliber and quantity of information on its own or through a traditional investment model.

Earlier this month, CFG reportedly made an offer of almost $200 million to buy Club Atlético Mineiro in Brazil’s Série A.

UPDATE: On April 22, 2022, the Guardian article titled “City Football Group plan to buy NAC Breda fails after supporter backlash” reported that a group of “hardcore” fans “did not want their club to lose their identity or become a factory for loan players,” and successfully stopped the sale. The piece went on to state that shareholders who manage a controlling share of the club agreed transfer their stake in the club to “a group of local business people.”