Manchester City parent posts £71 million loss

By David Owen

March 18 – City Football Group Limited, the Abu Dhabi- and Chinese-owned entity that holds investments in various football clubs including Premier League champions-elect Manchester City, has posted a £71 million loss from continuing operations for the 13 months to 30 June 2017.

This is not far off double the £37 million loss reported for the previous year. The group attributed this to its US club, New York City FC, and “newly formed service companies” continuing to build their business.

While the group holds investments in Melbourne City, Yokohama F Marinos of Japan, Club Atlético Torque in Uruguay and now Girona FC in Spain, as well as New York City, its figures are dominated by Manchester City.

Out of £514.3 million of revenue in the latest period, the English club generated £473.4 million, with New York City contributing £30.1 million and Melbourne City £8.4 million. The business review underlined that Manchester City had paid its players two Champions League qualification bonuses, presumably as a consequence of the extended reporting period. The club earlier reported a tiny pre-tax profit for 2016-17 of just £104,000.

The group is now 86%-owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Abu Dhabi United Group Investment and Development and 14% by China Media Capital Holdings (CMC).

In July 2016, some 18.4 million shares were issued to CMC at £3.96 a share. This £72.9 million investment took the Chinese company’s stake in City Football Group to 14%. It had initially paid $400 million for a 13% interest in 2005.

CMC founding chairman Ruigang Li sits on the City Football Group board. The Chinese football market is said to be “important to the growth opportunities of the group”.

Since the year-end, City Football Group has also taken 50% of Goals City US, a joint venture with Goals Soccer Centres, an operator of five-a-side facilities.

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