Profits flat at triple-winning Man City as wage costs jump

By David Owen

November 19 – Manchester City, which last week lost an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to halt UEFA’s investigation into alleged financial fair play irregularities, have reported a flat pre-tax profit of £10.1 million for the year to end-June 2019.

The figure compares with £10.4 million the previous year. Once again, a near £39 million on profit on player sales more than cancelled out an operating loss of £22.1 million.

Revenue from a phenomenal year on the pitch, which saw the team win all three major domestic titles though eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League, climbed to £535.2 million from £500.5 million.

While the European Cup once again eluded the grasp of Pep Guardiola’s men, it was this competition that the club held primarily responsible for a near 20% advance in broadcast revenue from £211.5 million to £253.2 million. The UEFA-related component of this was £85.7 million, up from £54.6 million.

Commercial revenues actually contracted by 1.5% to £228.8 million. The club said that a reduced number of concerts held at the Etihad masked “continued commercial growth” in sponsorship, image rights, merchandising and stadium tour businesses.

The wage:revenue ratio rose from 52% in 2017-18 to a still reasonable 59%. Aggregate payroll costs jumped from £259.6 million to £315.3 million – a bound of well over 20%. At this level they are still somewhat below the £332.3 million in employee benefit expenses disclosed for the same period by cross town rivals United in September.

Player sales at City during the period under review included goalkeeper Angus Gunn, who joined Southampton, and young midfielder Brahim Díaz, who joined Real Madrid.

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