Manchester City matching United's revenue after on-field success
LONDON - Manchester City have become the second club in English football to break through the £500million revenue barrier, 10 years after the Abu Dhabi takeover.
The Premier League champions announced their 2017-18 annual figures, in which they report they have passed the landmark with turnover of £501.5m and made a profit of £10.4m.
Club officials say the figures reflect 10 successive years of improvement since Sheik Mansour’s acquisition of the club in 2008 and show City have made a profit for the fourth year in a row.
In the UK, only cross-city rivals United have also passed the £500m mark. For the year ending 2017, the Old Trafford club posted turnover of £581m. They are expecting that to improve to £595m this year.
City’s wages-to-revenue ratio, which experts say should be 50-60 per cent, sits at a relatively healthy 52 per cent. It is all a far cry from 2008 when, according to then chief executive Garry Cook, the ailing club were close to financial disaster. For the 2007-08 financial year, in which a loss of £11m was posted, City’s revenue was £56.9m.
Staff have recalled how, with money tight, they brought in pens and pencils to ensure they could do their jobs. The figure spent on wages was £36.4m compared with £259.6m in the last 12 months.
The four years of profit come after a period of heavy investment which saw headline-making losses. Following the takeover, City made losses of £93m, £121m, £197m and £98m as they looked to break into the elite and spent big on transfers. They maintained that the outlay was part of a longer-term strategy and now say they have reached sustainability.
Critics of the club will point to commercial deals signed with Abu Dhabi-based enterprises, such as the £400m, 10-year agreement with stadium and shirt sponsors Etihad, although the club refute any notion that these are inflated. To mark the figures, City also released a review of the decade under Sheik Mansour’s ownership.
Since the takeover they have won seven major domestic trophies in 10 seasons and the three titles since 2011-12 are more than the club picked up in their previous 120 years. In the last 10 years, City have scored 792 goals — 62 more than nearest rivals Chelsea — and racked up 230 wins, which is five fewer than United.
The review also points out that more than 100 players from their academy have gone on to forge careers in the professional game. City’s off-field growth can be seen at home and abroad.
Club membership has risen from 27,000 to 41,000 and there are 246 branches of the supporters’ club, compared to 83 in 2008. In the report, chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: ‘We will always strive for more. Our journey is not complete.’@MikeKeegan_DM