Manchester City have announced a net loss of £126m for the 2019/20 season as a result of a significant drop in revenue during the coronavirus pandemic, although the club insist they will quickly return to being profitable next season and beyond.
City’s overall revenue for last season fell by a substantial 11% to £478.4m, having been £535m in 2018/19, which means that close to £60m was shaved off the club’s annual income in 12 months.
The enforced three-month delay for the 2019/20 season meant that a number of games in the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League were played after the official end of the season on 30 June, meaning any broadcast revenue or other income from those games don’t feature in the accounts and are deferred until the 2020/21 accounts instead.
The closure of the Etihad Stadium hit matchday revenue, while there were broadcasting rebates that ate into income, as well as season ticket refunds. City also make it plain that they continued with all other financial commitments in full and maintained support for staff and the community.
City’s immediate projection is that 2020/21 will yield a profit because of deferred incomes and a less affected season overall. The next set of accounts will also include Leroy Sane’s sale to Bayern Munich, which was officially completed on 3 July 2020.
Speaking to ManCity.com, chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak sought to allay any fears fans may have about the club’s financial health by explaining that a deliberate shift and diversification of revenue streams as part of a long-term approach means the club is “…not wholly dependent on income streams that have been most vulnerable to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.”
Chief executive Ferran Soriano commented: “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 normalised.”