It was announced in recent days that City Football Group (CFG) lost around £71 million. The report included the thirteen months up to 30th June last year. I seem to remember the news coming out, and numbers explained at the time.
Maybe it’s because City are getting ready to clinch the Premier League in a potentially record-breaking way? Maybe it’s because Jose Mourinho has been crying over the amount of money we have spent compared to them. Whatever the reason, I feel the need to write about it once more to put some color into the incendiary headline.
Firstly, Manchester City did not post the loss, the City Football Group did. The group, owned by the Abu Dhabi group and a Chinese entity, has footballing interests around the globe. Australia, the United States, Uruguay, Japan and Spain all have leagues with their teams participating. That, of course, along with the EPL and Manchester City.
In fact, it was the English side which earned the most for, contributing £473 million of the £514 million total revenue. It seems the losses posted are mostly down to the extended reporting period, with Manchester City players being paid two different Champions League qualification bonuses in the period, for example.
Some more of the loss is attributed to the development of the MLS side, New York City FC. With interests being formed all over the world, it is clear that the Group is willing to speculate in order to accumulate. The business model for Manchester City was initially to operate at a loss.
Buying what the club needed rather than what the revenue could afford saw the Mancunian side post losses in those early years. More recently though, City have operated debt free. Partially thanks to increased revenues from on the field success, and partly because of increased broadcast deals.
I think you have to believe that Manchester City will continue to grow and post profits even if the City Football Group as a whole doesn’t. In the grand scheme of things though, with all these clubs combined, isn’t bad.
Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba all moved for more money than this posted total. And it wouldn’t even pay two years wages for Neymar! I think it’s a non story, designed to be fodder for critics of Manchester City, especially now the style of play is so good and trophies are coming.