Boost to broadcasting revenue puts Manchester City back in profit – just

By David Owen

January 13 – Manchester City have produced a glossy annual report containing limited financial information for the 2020-21 season. The headline detail is that the Abu Dhabi-owned club have returned to profit after the heavy losses of 2019-20, which left them 19th out of 20 in a rather sorry-looking Premier League profits table.

After what was a highly successful season on the pitch, even if the Champions League trophy continued to elude them, the club from the sky blue side of Manchester have posted a small profit of £2.4 million. For the year to end-June 2020, the pre-tax loss had been £125.1 million. The comparative figure given in the new report is, however, £126 million, suggesting that the latest profit is at the after-tax level.

The turnaround was made possible by surging revenues. These rose 19% to £569.8 million, an improvement of more than £90 million and comfortably above the £535.2 million attained in pre-covid 2018-19.

With matchday income almost wiped out, the driver was a more than £100 million surge in broadcast revenue. This reached £297.4 million, up from £190.3 million. Commercial revenue also gained ground to £271.7 million.

Since operating expenses in 2019-20 had soared to £641.2 million, it will be interesting to see both what the operating result is and how the bottom-line profit was generated. The club should have seen a very substantial gain on the big-money sale of Leroy Sané to Bayern Munich. A string of other players was also offloaded for lesser sums, including Nicolás Otamendi, the Argentinian defender. Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak ascribed the return to profitability to the club’s long-term strategy – to diversify and globalise revenues.

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