Belfast Telegraph

City figures improve FFP standing

Manchester City should be assured of complying with UEFA's financial fair play rules this season after drastically cutting their losses compared to last year.

The club's annual report shows City had record revenues of £346.5million for the year ending May 31 2014, a 28 per cent increase thanks to finishing as Premier League champions, the bumper new TV deal and commercial income rises.

City's overall losses have halved to £23million - of which £16million was the fine imposed by UEFA last season for FFP rule breaches and does not count towards this year's calculation.

The results also show City are no longer the club with the biggest wage bill in the Premier League - they are now second on £204million behind neighbours Manchester United's £214.8million.

In terms of UEFA's FFP rules, City's results should mean that the full £50million conditional fine announced in May will not apply and that the financial penalty will be limited to £16million.

City, who are due to unveil their new academy next week, are also able to write off large sums spent on youth development and new facilities as far as FFP is concerned, with club sources confident they have a cushion of £20million to £25million above UEFA's allowed losses.

The figures underline the strides the club has made since the takeover by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, of the Abu Dhabi ruling family, since he bought City in August 2008.

Wages are now 59 per cent of turnover, compared to 86 per cent a year ago. The drop in the wage bill from £233million 12 months ago is partly explained by the fact the previous figure included significant pay-offs to former manager Roberto Mancini and his coaching team.

City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said in the annual report: "We have moved beyond the period of heavy investment that was required to make the club competitive again, it is commercial growth of the kind we are seeing today that will underpin and support our operations in the future."

City's accounts also reveal that the net spending on transfers was £38.8million - well within the £49million limit agreed with UEFA as part of the FFP settlement.

The annual reports state: "Since the year-end (May 31 2014) the football registrations of Fernando (from FC Porto), Eliaquim Mangala (from FC Porto), Wilfredo Caballero (from Malaga), Bruno Zuculini (from Racing Club), Frank Lampard and Bacary Sagna have been acquired.

"The registrations of Javier Garcia (to Shakhtar Donetsk), Jack Rodwell (to Sunderland) and Emyr Huws (to Wigan Athletic) were sold. The net expenditure on these transactions was approximately £38.8m."

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