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.”