Manchester City buck Covid-19 impact as club returns to profit

Turnaround last season off the back of run to Champions League final and commercial growth

Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City scores during the Premier League match with Leicester City at Etihad Stadium on December 26. Getty Images

Premier League champions Manchester City on Wednesday reported that the club had made a profit last season despite the impact of Covid-19 on the finances of Europe’s biggest football teams.

City’s revenues increased 19 per cent to £569.8 million as it made a profit of £2.4m.

In 2019-20, the club lost £126 million as football was forced to stop when the pandemic hit.

The club’s return to profit has been helped by its “long-term strategy to diversify and globalise our revenues; our ability to depend on excellent football performance; and the support of our partners and shareholders”, said chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

It is part of City Football Group, which has interests in clubs around the world including in the US, China and Australia.

In City’s annual report, Al Mubarak said the vision of the owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, “set in 2008, is the reality we are living 13 years later – we are a sustainable and socially responsible organisation, finding and developing talent and competing for trophies on both the domestic and European stage”.

Last season City won the Premier League title and the Carabao Cup while reaching the Champions League final for the very first time.

While City’s matchday revenue remained depressed last season due to the lack of attendances as a result of Covid-19 related safety protocols in England, commercial and broadcast earning were up on the 2019-20 season.

According to KPMG, City have been the only champions in Europe’s top eight leagues to both register annual growth in total operating revenues and surpass total income reported for the last pre-Covid season of 2018-19.

KPMG said that clubs like City were able to increase their total income because of delayed broadcasting payments from the previous season and their progression to the later stages of European competition.

This allowed City to move ahead of rivals Manchester United in terms of income for the first time.

In its Football Benchmark’s European Champions Report 2022, released on Wednesday, the professional financial services firm said German champions Bayern Munich are the only other top eight league winners to report a profit in the financial year to June.

Italian champions Inter Milan accounted for nearly half of the 500m euros of the aggregate losses of the eight clubs.

“The most common trend seen was that operating revenues – hit hard by a nearly complete loss of matchday income, but mitigated by stable or increasing broadcasting and commercial revenues, at least when compared with the previous football season – could not make up for generally high staff costs and decreasing player trading income,” KPMG said.

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Updated: January 12th 2022, 4:55 PM