By David Owen
April 8 – City Football Group Limited (CFG), the Abu Dhabi- and Chinese-owned entity that holds investments in various football clubs including Premier League giants Manchester City, has posted a £44.8 million loss from continuing operations for the year to 30 June 2018.
This is down from £71.1 million a year earlier. The result was obtained on revenue up more than £70 million from 2016-17 at £584.8 million.
The group recently made a long-awaited move into China, acquiring 33% in Sichuan Ubtech City Sports Industry Development Company, a joint venture which in turn owns 90% of Sichuan Jiuniu FC, a third-tier Chinese club.
This holding is now added to a far-flung stable that includes investments in Melbourne City, Yokohama F Marinos of Japan, Club Atlético Torque in Uruguay, Girona FC in Spain and New York City.
Even so, its results are still dominated by Premier League powerhouse Manchester City, still pursuing a clean sweep of four trophies this season, which alone generated more than £500 million in turnover in 2017-18, on which the club earnt a pre-tax profit of £10.4 million.
New York City FC generated revenues of just over £40 million in the period under review, with Melbourne chipping in £9.5 million.
Employee benefit expenses totalled £333.1 million and overall operating expenses £664.1 million. The operating loss was trimmed from £105 million to £74.7 million, and cut further to £34.6 million by a £40 million profit on player sales. The cash flow statement shows a total of £228.7 million splashed on players in 2017-18, against just over £80 million of receipts from player transfers.
The accounts show that CFG’s headcount has now risen to more than 1,000, while a new director – Abdulla Khouri, chairman of Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management – was added last July.
The group, founded in 2013, remains 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).
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