Manchester City owners target China as club set to report profit for 2015/16

City’s chairman said that the club would report a profit for the year and is 'constantly moving in the right direction financially'.

Manchester City is expected to report a profit for the 2015-16 season as its owners look at opportunities to increase the brand’s global reach.

City’s chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, said in a recorded video interview released yesterday that the club would report a profit for the year and is “constantly moving in the right direction financially”.

He added: “We are financially sustainable and we are consistently profitable.” He did not reveal any figures.

In October, the Premiership football club reported its first profit in the seven years since Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bought it in 2008.

The club reported a £10.7 million (Dh57.2m) after-tax profit for the 2014-15 season thanks to record annual revenues of £351.8m and a reduced wage bill.

The club is part of City Football Group, which is wholly owned by Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi United Group.

Mr Al Mubarak said that Sheikh Mansour’s commitment to Manchester City is “untouchable” and that his dream of a financially sustainable football club had become a reality.

As well as Manchester City, the group includes football clubs New York City FC, Melbourne City and Yokohama F Marinos, the Japanese team in which it has a minority stake.

“These are developing well. We have an ambition as a football group to have an organisation that is global and will have multiple clubs as part of it,” said Mr Al Mubarak. “I would say that when the opportunity arises, and we are looking at opportunities, you can expect us also to add to the number of clubs we have.”

It is “too early for me to pinpoint” exactly where the investments could be.

He did say that China is an important market commercially for the group’s ambitions.

In December, a consortium led by China Media Capital (CMC) Holdings paid US$400m for a 13 per cent stake in City Football Group, valuing the company at $3 billion.

“China is a huge market for us with tremendous potential and value long term for us,” said Mr Al Mubarak, adding that the company planned eventually to have a club there.

malrawi@thenational.ae

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