Manchester City, setting a searing pace at the top of the English Premier League this season, are more than matching this performance off the pitch after the club reported record revenue of £473.4 million (Dh2.27 billion) on Wednesday.
Profit for the 2016/17 season was almost £1.1m, compared to £20.5m the previous season, the club said in its annual report. The drop was the result of a change to the club's reporting period to bring it in line with the rest of its parent group, it said. Manchester City is one of eight teams that make up the City Football Group which includes New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, Yokohama F Marinos, Uruguay's Club Atletico Torque and Girona in Spain. City Football Group is majority owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed's Abu Dhabi United Group. Manchester City's wage to revenue ratio rose to 56 per cent from 50 per cent a season earlier when wages were £197.5m.
The record revenue for last season is a 21 per cent rise on the £391.77m reported for 2015/16 when the club ranked fifth in Deloitte’s football money league. That was the first time City broke into the top five, overtaking Paris Saint-Germain, thanks to their run to the semi-finals of the Uefa Champions league that season, Deloitte said in January.
Revenue growth last season was driven by a 23 per cent increase in commercial revenue to £218m and a 26 per cent increase in broadcasting revenue to £203.5m.
A new broadcasting rights deal kicked in at the start of the 2016 season, with the £8.3 billion windfall expected over three years meaning that TV income will surge approximately 50 per cent for Premier League clubs compared to the previous agreement.
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The club’s chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said in the report that with revenue growth moving “towards the £500m mark … on-field success and financial sustainability must exist hand-in-hand.”
“What hopefully comes across is that the football organisation and off-field business have the right symmetry and balance to allow us to continue to further strengthen and grow,” he said.
Manchester City currently sit eight points clear at the top of the English Premier League table after an unbeaten start to the 2016/17 season under manager Pep Guardiola. The team’s strong performances have been led by playmaker Kevin de Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus, the Brazilian striker signed in the summer of 2016 for a reported fee of £27m.
Al Mubarak said the club had entered this season, during which it will mark a decade under Sheikh Mansour’s stewardship, “with a justifiable sense of ambition and expectation” after having failed to win any silverware last term.
However, chief executive Ferran Soriano said that while finishing the season empty handed had been unsatisfactory the team had showed at periods throughout the season “exactly the type of quality football we want to be playing”.
“We are committed to playing beautiful football and to win. Both elements are compatible and the second is a consequence of the first,” he said.
Underlining that point made by his chief executive, Guardiola was in an ecstatic mood after Sunday's 3-1 victory against Arsenal, highlighting that it has been a run of two months without a drawn game in the Premier League. "It is win, win, win," he said.
City have already equalled the best start in English top-flight history, dropping only two points in 11 games. They have scored 38 goals with only seven conceded.
According to a report from CIES Football Observatory released this week, Manchester City’s squad has a total transfer value of almost €1.2 billion (Dh5.11bn) – the highest in world football.
Belgian international De Bruyne is potentially the most expensive member of the side at an estimated €144.5m, while three of City’s other squad members are worth more than €100m - Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Jesus, according to CIES.
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