x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Manchester City's record losses 'in keeping with the plan'

Sponsorship revenue and monetary benefit of playing in Champions League will minimise the English Premier League club's losses over the coming decade.

Manchester City on Friday announced an annual loss of £194.9 million (Dh1.13 billion) in 2010, underscoring the amount invested in the club to transform City from a mid-table outfit in 2008 to their present status as league leaders.

The loss was a Champions League-record, topping the £141m loss reported by Chelsea in 2005, when they won the league.

City officials underscored that the loss was in keeping with their business plan, marking a low point in their financial graph that will mark the beginning of a significant upward trend.

“Our losses, which we predicted as part of our accelerated investment strategy, will not be repeated on this scale in the future,” said Graham Wallace, the chief operating officer.

A sponsorship deal with Etihad Airlines, said to be worth £35m per year over the next decade, plus the income due in this season’s Champions League, will have begun to impact positively on City’s accounts in 12 months’ time.

City said that commercial revenue has risen 49.7 per cent to £48.5m and TV rights have increased 27.4 per cent to £68.8m.

The City figures will not be taken into account as part of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations, which take effect in the 2013/14 season, and give Uefa the authority to ban teams from the Champions League or Europa League participation if they spend more than they earn.

City have become more attractive since a third-place Premier League finish and a victory in the FA Cup to end a 35-year trophy drought.

Overall turnover was £153.2m, breaking through the £150m barrier for the first time.

“With our best-ever result in the Premier League, qualification for the Uefa Champions League and an historic FA Cup campaign that delivered the club its first piece of major silverware in 35 years, there is much to be proud of,” said Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the City chairman.

“It is more important than ever to redouble our efforts towards achieving our ambition to establish Manchester City as a more successful, sustainable and internationally competitive football club that remains at the heart of the community in which it is based.”

Leaders City host third-place Newcastle United on Saturday.