I wasn’t going to write anything about Manchester City with regards the Financial Fair Play (FFP) situation. My reasons for this were not that I love City and therefore do not want to focus on any potential negative aspects, that’s far from the truth. I mean, I do love the club, warts and all, but the reason I didn’t wish to pay it any attention is partly due to the fact that FFP, in my opinion, is not doing what it said it would do. My opinion has not been helped that one of its initial main men, Michel Platini, was banned for eight years by UEFA’s own ethics committee.
The goal of FFP was to stop clubs operating at a loss and therefore putting the clubs’ future in jeopardy. That sounds like a good plan on paper and Platini himself stated on the roll out of FFP that…
Fifty per cent of clubs are losing money and this is an increasing trend. We needed to stop this downward spiral. They have spent more than they have earned in the past and haven’t paid their debt.
Early on we were recording losses, massive losses. But City have been in profit, despite their huge outlay, over the two latest released annual financial reports. A surplus of almost 11 million for the 2014/15 season despite the transfer of players in totalling more than 150 million. The following season City recorded a 20 million surplus despite another big outlay on players.
When you look at the mainstream media outlets and their reporting of Manchester City falling foul of FFP for the second time, it is important to note that they use words like ‘could’ and ‘maybe’ as City pursue Alexis Sanchez and others rather than ‘are’ and ‘will’.
In fact, UEFA have said in the past that they are in continuing contact with clubs regarding transfers and the regulations regarding FFP. I am sure that City are aware more than tabloids what they can spend and how much they need to recoup.
So, what do we know? What are the numbers? Well the key number is 30 million euros (around 27 million pounds or $35 million). That represents the total losses which can be reported in the current assessment period, 2015 through to 2018. Now there are certain aspects which we can essentially write off – figures which are not included in the assessment. These include investment in stadiums, training facilities, youth development and women’s football and that is to encourage club development of the sport at all levels.
As I said earlier, the first of those seasons we recorded a profit of 22 million euros. Last season, in Premier League prize money alone, City made around 167 million euros, up from the 108 million euros in prize money the season before.
That is before we even get into the TV rights deal which, last season, worked out at around 43 million euros per club and then another 22 million due to our league position. The numbers are so overwhelmingly massive in the Premier League that I think our balance sheet will reflect that, not only are we living within our means, but we also will be profitable seasons to come.
Remember, we still have Kelechi Iheanacho, Fernado, Nasri and possibly more heading out of the door at the Etihad in this transfer window, with realistically only Sanchez and possibly Inigo Martinez coming in. That could take our outlay to just under 300 million pounds with currently only 41 million Euros recovered from sales to date. It is important deals for the three mentioned go though soon to bolster our income close to the 100 million euro figure which, I am sure, will keep us comfortably on UEFA‘s good side.