Prior to Manchester City being confirmed as part of the ownership group of Major League Soccer's future New York expansion franchise, reports from the UK suggested that the Premier League club would look to use its MLS asset as a "nursery" in order to develop players and get them more playing time.
Man City CEO Ferran Soriano asserted that while the club will look to loan players to New York City FC, which begins play in 2015, that it would not be forced and that the prime purpose of the initiative was not to serve Man City's interests.
"This might happen, it will happen naturally, organically, but this is not the purpose of this initiative," Soriano said on a conference call with reporters. "The purpose here is to build a team in New York that will be able to compete for winning in New York and in the U.S. and for that team it will be with players from all over the world.
"It will be only natural that some of the players we have in England might play here at some point in time, but this is not the objective, and it will always be the case if these players are going to help us win in New York."
Considering that City is one of the higher-spending teams in all of Europe, there are questions regarding the ownership's ability to navigate the tight financial confines of MLS' salary cap. With MLS teams currently limited to a $2.95 million budget (which could grow by 2015), just how the City and New York Yankees ownership goes about constructing a financially and competitively viable MLS roster remains to be seen.
"Regarding the salary cap, we know very well the rules of the MLS and we think we can build a winning team within these rules," Soriano said. "We're going to make extensive use of our expertise, our knowledge, our people. We have very high-caliber people in Manchester City that have been very successful building winning teams at Manchester City and before that.
"We will use resources, like our extensive scouting network not only in Europe or in England but also in Latin America, where there is a good source of talented players that can play in MLS."
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