City enter new phase, chairman says after declaring record profit
(Reuters) - Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said the Premier League club are entering a "critical new phase" after announcing record revenues of £391.8 million ($487 million) and a second successive annual profit of £20.5 million.
City's annual report, which was released on Tuesday, said the club showed growth across all areas, with matchday revenues rising by 21 per cent and broadcast revenues increasing by 19 per cent. The net profit is up from £11 million in 2015.
It said City operate with zero financial debt with a wage/revenue ratio of 50 per cent, which is "among the best in the football industry."
The latest figures reflect an eighth year of improved financial performance but come after a season of turbulence in which manager Manuel Pellegrini was replaced by Pep Guardiola, who takes the Premier League leaders to Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday.
"On the pitch. results were uneven," said Sheikh Al Mubarak. "I believe the 2016-17 season represents the beginning of a critical new phase.
"We know that we have the playing, coaching and off-field capabilities at our disposal to achieve great things in English and European football in the years ahead. In our new manager, Pep Guardiola, we have recruited a proven winner with an innate ability to identify, nurture and develop young talent."
Sheikh Al Mubarak said everyone at the club was operating under added pressure with raised expectations.
"Manchester City has now reached a level of sporting and commercial maturity that allows one to feed the other."
City, who made a financial loss of £194.9 million in 2011, moved into profit last year for the first time since the 2008 takeover by Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The latest figures show they have again conformed to UEFA’s controversial Financial Fair Play regulations, which City were found in breach of in 2014.
In the report, chief executive Ferran Soriano confirmed the level of investment from a consortium led by China Media Capital (CMC), which injected $400 million to buy a 13 per cent stake in City Financial Group, the holding company which runs Manchester City.
"Our new partners are instrumental in our ability to understand and foster the opportunities for our Group in China, at the same time as we work to help develop the game in such
a vast and interesting country," he said.
City say they are fourth most valuable global brand behind Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona. City are the second biggest in the premier League in terms of revenue.
($1 = 0.8042 pounds)
(Reporting by Neil Robinson; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)