Manchester City is currently on top of the Premier League standings by 10 points, after cruising to their fifth league title in a decade last season. The dominance of the Sheikh Mansour-owned team extends off the pitch, as well.
On Wednesday, City released its annual report for the year ending June 30, 2021, and it included record total revenue of £570 million, or $767 million, based on the average exchange rate over the 12 months. The previous high was £535 million during 2018-19, and it is the first time Man City topped its rival, Manchester United, on annual revenue. The Red Devils reported £494 million in revenue for the year in September.
City posted a profit of £2.4 million, following a £126 million loss during the 2019-20 campaign.
The record revenue tally came despite matchday revenue plummeting 98% to £732,000, as fans were barred from home games due to U.K. COVID-19 restrictions. Fans were only allowed at the final home game of the season, with a cap of 10,000.
While matchday revenue was non-existent, City’s commercial revenue jumped 10% to £272 million, boosted by a dozen new sponsors, including Cadbury and Axi, and renewals of longterm partnerships, like Nissan, Unilever and Intel.
Fanless games forced City to find alternatives for sponsors with the lack of matchday tickets and hospitality, as well as fan events. The solution included increased stadium branding, virtual player appearances and product placement in the We’re Not Really Here gameday show.
Merchandise sales at the flagship Etihad Stadium Store sank without fans in attendance, but a 70% gain in online sales offset the fall and produced a record year overall.
City’s business growth was also fueled by a 56% increase to broadcast income to £297 million. Part of the gain was a COVID-19 induced shift of a handful of games in 2020 into the 2020-21 fiscal year. More important, Man City made its first Champions League Final, after three straight years of being bounced in the quarterfinals. The move triggered a 71% increased payout from UEFA, to £115 million.
Manchester City’s other teams also scored. It became the first club in history to win the Premier League, the Premier League 2 title, and the Under-18 Premier League National title in the same year. The team’s parent, City Football Group, owns clubs on four continents and had teams in India, Australia, France and U.S. win their respective leagues.
In May, Manchester City was valued at $4 billion in Sportico’s Premier League valuations, third behind United ($4.65 billion) and Liverpool ($4.14 billion). The same month, Brand Finance tabbed City as the fourth biggest European club by brand value.
“His Highness Sheikh Mansour’s vision, set in 2008, is the reality we are living thirteen years later,” Khaldoon Al Mubarak, club chairman, wrote in the annual report. “We are a sustainable and socially responsible organisation, finding and developing talent and competing for trophies on both the domestic and European stage.”