Soriano says City making progress
Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano remains optimistic about the club's future despite reporting £97.9million losses for the year to May 2012.
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Hauling City into Europe's elite is coming at a hefty price for owner Sheikh Mansour, whose spending on the Blues has catapulted well beyond £1billion.
Less than a week after a defeat to Manchester United left City adrift of their major domestic rivals, and in the wake of an embarrassing Champions League group-stage exit, he might be forgiven were he to wonder whether it has been worth it.
But Soriano, the former Barcelona man recruited to guide City on the next stage of their staggering journey, is certain the club are heading in the right direction.
"There are many reasons to be optimistic," said Soriano.
"Having returned to the summit of English football in 2011-12, the club has earned the chance to compete for a place as one of the biggest and most successful globally in the years ahead.
"It is an opportunity we will work hard at to achieve."
Although record turnover of £231.1million is dwarfed by Manchester United's £320.3million, it shows just how much progress City have made.
And officials are confident even the latest huge losses will not have an impact on their ability to meet UEFA's strict Financial Fair Play guidelines as £15million comes from infrastructure and youth development costs.
More importantly, approximately £80million comes from contracts that pre-date 2010, from which City expect to get some kind of relief.
While the results, for the year to May 31, 2012, show marginal increases in gate receipts and TV revenue, it is in the commercial sector where City are making huge gains.
Revenue has gone up from £64.7million to £121.1million, underlining City's increased growing global exposure, which is being shown in all areas, from merchandise to club tours.
Although eyebrows were raised by the £400million, 10-year contract with Etihad, who now have naming rights to both the stadium and the under-construction City campus, City believe history will show it to be a well-structured financial deal.
The campus will feature training pitches and the club academy and includes the Etihad Stadium on its site.
Other contracts, such as a new kit manufacturing contract with Nike, point to increased commercial revenue in the years ahead.
Meanwhile, City's overall wage bill has risen from £151.6million to £178.1million.
City's annual statement also confirms the "capital base of the Club has also been strengthened through the issuing of £169million in new equity during the year, avoiding debt based funding and continuing to ensure that the club is virtually debt free".
Clearly, the largesse of Sheikh Mansour is still required to make the club viable in the short term.
But the good news is that he seems to be in it for the long haul.
Looking back on City's title campaign, chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: "2011-12 will always be remembered as a particularly significant year in the history of the club, a season when Manchester City demonstrated an ability to win in even the most challenging of circumstances.
"We experienced the Champions League, won the Premier League and with two goals in added time [against QPR, to win the Premier League title], redefined what is typical of City for a generation of supporters."