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Fleetwood Town imitating Manchester City as League One side purchase two clubs


The League One side have created two brand new clubs in Dubai and South Africa as they look to expand their revenue streams and develop footballers all over the globe in the coming years

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Fleetwood Town are intent on becoming the Manchester City of League One.

But not by splashing millions of pounds on players or hiring one of the best coaches in the world.

Instead, the Lancashire outfit are copying City’s model of purchasing clubs from abroad. The Cod Army have set up two brand new clubs – Fleetwood United in Dubai and Western Cape Fleetwood in South Africa.

The club, residing in 19th place in League One, have launched the clubs as they look to expand their revenue streams.

The Dubai side are due to play their first pre-season friendly on Thursday before competing in the newly-formed UAE Third Division.

Which three sides will be promoted from League One this season? Let us know in the comments

Fleetwood Town’s chairman Andy Pilley (right) has created two new foreign teams that will act as sister clubs

As for Western Cape Fleetwood, they have already begun fixtures in the South African fourth division and sit top of the table.

“We’re a forward-thinking club,” chairman Andy Pilley said.

“It’s one thing Man City having a network of clubs, but who would have thought little old Fleetwood would go down the same route?

“We’re starting at humble levels. We want to climb those pyramids while developing players. It’s a way of us achieving sustainability that is so topical right now with the fan-led review.

“This club should not be reliant on any one man’s donations, so I need to be in a situation whereby we can balance the books by various sources of income.”

Earlier this week Pilley spoke about the financial struggles that his club had experienced during the pandemic.

Fleetwood were one of many teams that took advantage of a seven-figure loan to help get them through a time when stadiums were shut and vital revenue from fans coming through the turnstiles was cut off.

He said: “The embargo is something which was offered to all Football League clubs and there are consequences in return for taking a reasonable amount of money upfront.

“We were advanced £2million and given that we are operating in strange times, we have the energy price crisis which affects my core business and it felt like the right thing to do and to make sure there was enough working capital within the football club.

Fleetwood Town are 19th in League One at present

“The consequence of that is that we’re only allowed 22 players.

“We still had a reasonable budget, and a budget that I felt at the very least would get us halfway up the league.

“Now, we have been annihilated with injuries, and that is the reason why we are where we are in the league table but at the time it felt like the right thing to do.

“If I had my time again, I still would take that. It’s something that expires at the end of this season.

“We’re back to normal after April 2022 but again I make no apologies for making those big calls.”

The club recently dismissed experienced manager Simon Grayson and are still searching for his replacement but caretaker Stephen Crainey has won back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

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