Manchester City have reported a net loss of £126million for the 2019-20 season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Premier League leaders saw revenue fall by more than £56.8m to £478.4m as football’s shutdown as a result of Covid-19 delayed income streams, an annual report for the year ended June 30, 2020 has revealed.
However the club, which won the League Cup and finished runners-up to Liverpool in the Premier League last season, remains confident of a swift return to profitability during the current campaign and is forecasting losses of less than £60m a year over the 24-month period.
In his statement, chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: “The emergence of Covid-19 sent shockwaves around the world and rocked the foundations of many companies, especially those dependent on connecting directly with large numbers of people.
“Like most organisations, we did not have a business strategy for a global pandemic. What we had, and still have, is a business that is fundamentally strong, with committed shareholders and with significant assets, built carefully over a decade and upon more than a century of history.
“Whilst 2019-20 produced financial figures none of us expected, or wanted to see, the year needs to be viewed in the context of both of the seasons that will have ultimately been affected by the pandemic.
“The expectation of ourselves is that we will return to profitability in the second of those Covid seasons, the 2020-21 financial year. This is the outcome we are working towards and as such it is a testament to the ongoing commitment and hard work of everyone associated with the club through the most challenging of times.”
The halt called to football prompted an 11 per cent fall in income for City as a result of fixtures which were delayed until the current financial year, season card refunds, loss of matchday revenue and reduced broadcasting payments.
The proceeds from some player sales – Leroy Sane’s £54.8m move to Bayern Munich, for example – will also be included in next year’s figures.
In all, matchday revenue fell by £13.3m and income from broadcasting by £62.8m while operating costs climbed by £80.9m to £641.2m.
They did, however, continue to meet all their financial commitments and support staff and community initiatives without resorting to the Government’s furlough scheme.
The accounts also revealed the club set aside 10million euros – around £8.5m – to pay a UEFA fine, reduced from 30million euros as a two-year Champions League ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, for a breach of Financial Fair Play regulations.
Chief executive officer Ferran Soriano said: “Clearly, the 2019-20 accounts in isolation are not the best representation of the reality of the season with delayed player trading and numerous games being played after June 30th 2020, the revenues from which will be accounted in the 2020-21 period.
“A better financial picture of the Covid years will be provided at the end of the 2020-21 season, when the two seasons are combined, and we are confident that Manchester City is on track to show a positive financial result in the season 2020-21.”