x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Manchester City will set new chief executive target of doubling club's income

Premier League team's hierarchy recognise the need to increase commercial revenue to maintain ambition of cementing spot among Europe's elite clubs.

Manchester City's success on the pitch will be enhanced by the club's achievements off it.
Manchester City's success on the pitch will be enhanced by the club's achievements off it.

Manchester City will set their soon-to-be-appointed chief executive a target of more than doubling the club's income to £400 million (Dh2.3 billion) a year.

The target, one that exceeds by nearly £70m Manchester United's record revenue for an English club, underlines the ambitions of the club's Abu Dhabi ownership to establish City as one of the global game's principal powers.

City reported a turnover of £153.2m for the 2010/11 season, a sum that placed 12th in Deloitte's annual ranking of football club incomes. That figure, although a 22 per cent increase on the preceding year, left City behind United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham on the list of Premier League earners. It also came in tandem with a loss of £194.9m.

A significant portion of that deficit was the product of "front-loading" expenditure on a squad capable of competing for the Premier and Champions league titles. But the club's hierarchy is aware that income, particularly from commercial sources, must be multiplied to convert City into the kind of self-sustaining business required by Uefa Financial Fair Play regulations.

A stadium naming-rights deal with Etihad Airways will add around £35m a year for the next decade.

The club's top executives ultimately want to surpass United's annual revenue, which reached £331.4m in the year ending June 2011.

The identity of Garry Cook's replacement as chief executive has been kept a tightly guarded secret, the process handled by the executive-recruitment company Odgers Berndtson and the most senior members of City's hierarchy.

The new chief executive is likely to be found from outside the world of football. Also, City have stressed that they will bring in only one new executive into their management structure.

Ferran Soriano, formerly the vice president of Barcelona, was briefing friends that he had been offered the job, while Soriano's sports director at Barcelona, Txiki Begiristain, was also privately confident of joining him at City.

Soriano's candidacy has been complicated by the voluntary bankruptcy of Spanair; the Catalan had been the airline's chairman since leaving Barcelona.

Discussion within the club has suggested that the responsibilities of the football administrator Brian Marwood could be under threat, with the incoming chief executive to be handed control of player transfers and contracts.

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