Roberto Mancini would be told that the purchase of Luis Suarez blows a major hole in the club’s attempts to secure a license to play European football, if he were to consider lobbying Manchester City's board to buy Luis Suarez from Liverpool.
The transfer fee and wages for Suarez would cost City around £20m a year, a sum roughly equivalent to what the club can afford to lose in its entirety in the next financial year, under Uefa’s financial fair play regulations. City are about to announce losses in excess of £100m for the 2011-12 season, the first of Uefa’s two-year monitoring period, during which the club is permitted to lose no more than £18m a year.
If Suarez is purchased for £40m on a four year deal, the club would take a £10m hit each year for four years on its profit and loss account – a figure which would count towards financial fair play calculations. But it is the player’s wages which would deliver the biggest blow to the club’s attempts to draw closer to the £18m figure. If Suarez were to command a salary of £1m a month, less than City’s Carlos Tevez but in line with others among the game’s best paid players, that would take the annual hit to the club up to £22m a year, including wages and transfer fee.
City’s 2011-12 losses will deliver big drop from the £197m pre-tax loss recorded last year – the biggest in English football history. But it leaves City with a mountain to climb to comply with Uefa rules and avoid exclusion from the Champions League.