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Man City's figures reveal the staggering cost of fighting Ferguson... 92.6m

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06 Jan 2010 12:35:42

Man City's figures reveal the staggering cost of fighting Ferguson... 92.6m

Manchester City always knew that keeping up with the neighbours was going to be a lengthy process. It has also turned out to be a very expensive one. Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final meeting with Manchester United may have been lost to the weather but the release of City's yearly financial figures that came peculiarly late last night underlined how far they have to go if they want to take their rivals' Barclays Premier League crown. City were bought by the Sheik Mansour's Abu Dhabi investment company in August 2008 and have subsequently spent more than £200m on players in a bid to break into the Premier League's top four. High-price of success: Players like British transfer record Robinho (left) and Shaun Wright-Phillips have driven Man City's financial figures down With their revenue streams not greatly different from previous years City have not yet had the benefit of Champions League income to bolstertheir finances the world's richest football club lost £92.6m for thefinancial year ending May 31, 2009. The previous year the club had lost £32.6m and it is not difficult to work out what happened in the interim. Operating expenses increased from £83.9m to £121.2m in a year when turnover only went up by six per cent from £82.3m to £87m. Match attendances remained virtually unchanged. The sheik has also transformed the club's £305m debt into equity, in a move similar to the one pulled off by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich last month. Money-man: Sheikh Mansur bin Zayed is the man behind the spending It is clear the purchases Robinho (£160,000 a week in wages and a £30m transfer fee), Shaun Wright-Phillips, Nigel de Jong, Craig Bellamy and Shay Given have left a huge hole in the Sheik's pocket. The club attributed this to increased spending on players and wages. Chief financial officer Graham Wallace said: 'We've always said this transformation will take a number of years. These figures reflect that.' All of this is to be expected. The Sheik bought City as a 'private equity play' (in other words as a toy) when bailing out his associate Thaksin Shinawatra and success was never going to come cheap. What is clear, though, is that managers such as Roberto Mancini andwhoever follows him and then him... and then him will be under everincreasing pressure to provide a return. In trophies, if not capital. If and when City qualify for the Champions League, City fans can expect the situation to ease. But with Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure and Roque Santa Cruz all being bought after the cut-off date of May 31, it can be assumed that next year's figures will be just as eye-opening. With City taking the decision to stop leasing their Eastlands stadium for concerts and other events and with average attendances holding at around 42,000 the club's revenues has not greatly increased. City stressed the figures were entirely what they expected. In keeping with their extravagant wealth, they are watchful if relatively phlegmatic.  That's rich! Manchester City owner Mansour writes off club's £305m debts'Very slim' chance Patrick Vieira will stay at Inter, admits Jose Mourinho as Manchester City prepare to pounceMancini trying to tempt Manchester United old boy Veron to EastlandsALL THE MANCHESTER CITY FC


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