Premier League champions Manchester City have posted a best-ever profit of £41.7million for last financial year.
The figure is more than double the club’s previous biggest gain, in 2015-16, and came off the back of a record revenue of £613 million, itself an increase of £43.2million on the previous twelve months.
Profits were boosted by significant player trading that included the high profile sales of Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal) and Raheem Sterling (Chelsea).
Eight Academy graduates also got moves - several with buy-back clauses for City. Around £250 million has now been generated by transfers in the last five years.
City’s shrewd dealings in the market generated the highest-ever gross receipts from player transfers by any club in the history of the English top flight.
Revenues were also boosted by a fourth Premier League title win in five years, reaching a semi-final of the Champions League, highest ever partnership revenues and the return of fans to games after a season decimated by the Covid pandemic. The Etihad Stadium enjoyed 99 per cent occupancy rates for Premier League games.
The year’s football and financial results delighted chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak whose statement in the annual report declared City were closing in on their target to be the leading club in the game.
“In 2008, we gave ourselves the target of exceeding the benchmarks that had been set by others within football; and in doing so, to also exceed the new standards that we believed leading clubs would achieve in the time it would take us to catch-up,” he wrote.
“Our aim was clear – to one day be the club that set the benchmark for others. The statistics and results show that in many ways we are beginning to achieve our long-term ambition.
“As the 2021-22 season ended, our men’s team, under Pep Guardiola’s stewardship, lifted the Premier League trophy for the fourth time in five years; our youth teams won the U18 league titles and the Premier League 2 for the second successive year. A clean sweep of Premier League titles two years in a row. In addition, our women’s team qualified for the Champions League for the seventh successive season. Over the summer, seven City players went on to lift the women’s Euro 2022 trophy.
“Important off-field metrics also gave us the right indications. Our motivation to place the Covid-19 pandemic firmly behind us helped our talented people achieve the most successful financial year in the club’s history; the best players in world football are making us their destination of choice; our player trading was executed with great skill and positive financial outcomes, and our commercial partnerships continued to deepen and expand by geography and sector.”
Al Mubarak also promised that City would not stand still or rest on their laurels as the pursuit of even more on and off the field success continues at a relentless pace. He promised more ground-breaking innovation.
“Football does not stand still and other leading clubs continue to evolve and develop,” he continued. “We therefore need to constantly challenge ourselves to improve upon what we have achieved.
“This means innovating further in Manchester and beyond. Reimagining ourselves and how we move forward in Manchester and through City Football Group (CFG), the industry-leading, multi-club organisation that Manchester City sits at the heart of.
“If we are to be true to the efforts of all of those people that have contributed over the last 14 years to deliver our current successes, we must challenge ourselves to question everything we accept as optimal, and to define new and unprecedented goals and the right strategies to achieve them.
“This is the task that [owner] Sheikh Mansour, our shareholders, the Board and I have set for our management team. In doing so we recognise the fundamental truth that continuously delivering football success for our fans will also continue to create value for our shareholders.
“The City Football Academy (CFA) is an obvious example of that marriage between football success and value creation. Since it opened in 2014, season after season, the CFA has consistently developed players that can thrive in the most competitive leagues in the world.
Guardiola's trophies at Manchester City
“The Academy players who became regulars in City’s first team this year are simply the tip of the iceberg: since 2011-12 almost 200 Academy graduates have gone on to have active professional careers in the Premier League, lower English leagues or in the main European leagues.”
CIty CEO Ferran Soriano, also writing in the report, declared the passion to succeed was as great as ever and that setbacks only served as fuel.
“Challenges make us hungrier, more determined to succeed, and give us all a shared sense of purpose,” he said.
“Ultimately, the 2021-22 season was representative of the football standards that we have set ourselves as we continued to deliver on our ownership’s vision and plans.
“From a business perspective, this was the first season in which we could begin to put the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic behind us, and we did it breaking club records for both revenues and profits.
“Our strong revenue performance was due to multiple factors, but ultimately driven by the 'beautiful football' we play and the continuous fan growth that it generates; more fans, more audiences, more people in the stadium, and more partners that want to be commercially associated with Manchester City.
“The return of fans made the Etihad Stadium feel like home again. We invested in improving facilities whilst we played behind closed doors, and it was gratifying to see our fans making the most of the experiences on offer.
“Over the last five years, we have seen incredible growth in our global fan numbers. In the US, where we held our pre-season tour in summer 2022, it was encouraging to see the incredibly large number of blue shirts at our games and how our international fanbase is enjoying our football.
“We also conducted our transfer business optimally, welcoming new players and seeing others go on to new challenges, generating important profits for our Club.
“I also want to highlight that our community programmes continue to deliver outstanding results too, using football to improve people’s lives in Manchester and more than 20 other cities globally. We are so proud of the collective impact created through our local City in the Community initiatives and our global Cityzens Giving campaign.”