Aston Villa Football Club and Birmingham City Council are working together to help raise the club’s profile in China, starting with our sister city of Guangzhou. The city, which we have had formal relations with since 2007, is home to not only many millions of increasingly keen football fans, but also the three time Chinese Super League and 2013 Asian Football Champions – Guangzhou Evergrande FC.
There have been several high level visits between Birmingham and Guangzhou to move the agenda forward and last month saw the first professional coaches travel out to Guangzhou to help train young aspirant players at the Guangzhou Evergrande FC Training School.
The Training School is reckoned to be the biggest in the world with almost 2500 students accessing world class facilities, including 76 professional football pitches. You can read the FT profile piece on the school here.
Birmingham City Council and Aston Villa are now working on a joint Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Guangzhou and Evergrande FC that will focus on cooperation around facilities management, youth training and pitch maintenance.
In addition to this talks are still ongoing to see if a first team match fixture is possible sometime soon which will help provide a platform for Birmingham to showcase its investment and tourism potential to a very large Chinese audience. Read about Villa’s visit to Guangzhou here.