Manchester City warned over spending

Manchester City may have secured Champions League football but
they still face a challenge of falling into line with the new
financial rules.

That is the opinion of sports consultant Stephen Dunham, who has
watched with interest the rise of a club under the ownership of
Sheikh Mansour and the Abu Dhabi United Group.

Roberto Mancini’s side finished third in the Premier League and
also won the FA Cup after serious investment in the squad over the
past few seasons.

Dunham said: “One of the key elements for City going forward
will be financial fair play. If you’re a fan, great. You are
thinking, ‘We have a place in the Champions League and won a trophy
and our ability to attract players is going to be huge.’

“But with it comes associated costs. City spent £133million
last year on payroll costs, the majority of that is players and
overall revenue was £125million.

“They made a loss of £120million last year and that’s got
to be trimmed to £30million a year in the next two years.
Champions League money is going to help but they have got to look
at that situation.

“They have announced an average 6% increase in ticket prices
next year and then there is the possibility of a naming rights
deal. That might bring in another £10million a year and there
is potential for other big commercial deals.”

City, with Italian manager Mancini at the helm, are guaranteed
at least six matches in the Champions League after finishing ahead
of Arsenal and that is a huge bonus, according to Dunham.

He said: “If you look at the way the revenues have been going
then City could make about £30 million depending on
progress.

“On the other hand, if Arsenal fail to qualify they will drop
into the Europa League where the distributions are substantially
lower.

“Inter Milan were the top revenue-generating club in Champions
League in 2009-10 with 48.8 million euros and Fulham were the
highest in the Europa League with 10 million euros – a more than
four-fold difference.

“If you have the capability to invest in your playing side then
you would expect to reap the benefits from that. City have been
able to do that in the last couple of seasons and it has started to
bear fruit with their on-pitch results.”