City warned over spending

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.”