Manchester City posted record revenues of £473.4m in the 2016-17 financial year, with profits down from £20.5m to £1.1m, though the accounts cover a 13-month period rather than the usual 12 months.
While that extra month is also a mitigating factor, City’s wage bill looks to be responsible for much of the increased spend, having risen from £197.6m to £264.1m for the 13-month period following Pep Guardiola’s arrival as manager.
City are one of eight clubs comprising the City Football Group and the annual report pointed to how this allows players to be developed and yield profit, as with Aaron Mooy. In the summer the Australian was sold by City for £8m to Huddersfield Town, after being signed from sister club Melbourne City for an undisclosed fee.
The report said: “We are now seeing how our growing network of clubs can translate both into commercial opportunities for the group and development opportunities for players. As an example, we saw young Australian Aaron Mooy, formerly a Melbourne City player, join Huddersfield Town.”
City’s record £473.4m revenue was a 21% increase on the previous period’s figure of £392m, with the extension to 13 months a one-off to synchronise the club with CFG’s other entities. The added month of June adversely affected profits because income is reduced markedly outside the season. Sources indicated the profit would otherwise have been around £10m. The wage bill, at 55% of turnover, is not at unmanageable levels, although the figures do not include the salaries of summer arrivals such as Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker and Danilo.
Ferran Soriano, the chief executive, echoed the sentiment of the chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, who spoke in the summer of disappointment at Guardiola’s failure to claim a trophy in the manager’s first season in charge.
However, Soriano said: “We are committed to playing beautiful football and to win. Both elements are compatible and the second is a consequence of the first. I am convinced we will see further progress and silverware in the seasons to come. Over the last three seasons, we have tackled another important and strategic challenge: to refresh and rejuvenate the squad that were champions in 2012 and 2014. We believe we have planned and executed well, signing young, talented players that can be the basis of our team for the years to come. Ederson, Stones, Mendy, Walker, Danilo, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling, Jesus and Sané have all joined the team.”
Mubarak said: “For the third consecutive year our business is profitable and revenues continue to grow to record levels for the ninth successive season, pushing beyond £400m and towards the £500m mark.We also continue to operate with zero financial debt. Beyond Manchester, our global footprint continued to expand with our community engagement programmes reaching ever further afield, with expanded digital outreach and new global partnerships.”
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