Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

Revenue at Manchester City last season surpassed that of rivals Manchester United for the first time, according to newly published figures, underlining the impact of the pandemic but also the emergence of a new force in English and European football.

Winning the Premier League title and reaching the Uefa Champions League final helped boost City’s operating revenues to € 644 million in the 2020/21 season, according to consultants at KPMG by 17 per cent year-on-year . The figure covers broadcast, match day and commercial revenue.

Manchester United, historically the league’s richest club by revenue, generated € 557 million in the same period, KPMG said in a report. The team, which has won the title a record 13 times, has failed to contribute since 2013, when manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

City’s rise accelerated with the appointment in 2016 of manager Pep Guardiola, which led the team to three titles in five years, and comes after the governing body UEfa estimated that European clubs’ € 9 billion in revenue over the 2019-20 and 2020 would miss. -21 seasons.

City’s run after last season’s Champions League final, according to KPMG, resulted in a revenue of € 129.5 million from Uefa.

The pandemic has distorted the picture of football finances, while United can probably reclaim their revenue dominance this year now that matches are being played in full-capacity stadiums.

The KPMG Football Benchmark, which did not disclose figures for City’s staff costs, profits or losses, offers a preview of the club’s finances before the publication of its accounts in the coming days, according to a person close to the club. KPMG said the figures were confirmed by Manchester City. The New York-listed Manchester United’s accounts for the 12 months ended June 30 were published last year.

Overall, according to KPMG, City’s broadcasting revenue increased by 55 percent to € 335.5 million, although the figure was inflated as some matches were moved from the previous season to 2020/21.

The recovery in broadcast revenue helped offset an almost total loss of match day revenue, as matches were played mainly in empty stadiums due to the pandemic. United is suffering excessively because its stadium contains about 20,000 more people than City’s site with 55,000 capacity.

City’s commercial revenue increased by 8 percent to € 307.9 million. The club, which has been owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the billionaire member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, since 2008, has a series of partnerships with Abu Dhabi-based companies, including an agreement reached last week with the renewable energy group Masdar has been signed. Other partners include Etihad Airlines, telecommunications company Etisalat and German sportswear group Puma.

United’s commercial revenue fell nearly 17 per cent year-on-year to £ 232.2m in the 12 months to June, with some sponsors postponing payments due to Covid. However, the team entered technology company TeamViewer as its main shirt sponsor and has renewed a number of transactions.

United pointed to the “strength and resilience” of the club through the pandemic, “despite the significant loss of revenue from normal levels while matches were played behind closed doors”.

The KPMG report analyzed the finances of eight league title holders in Europe.

City declined to comment.

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