Man City announces annual losses
Manchester City lost more than $150 million in the last financial year as the club maintained its heavy spending to win its first English title in 44 years.
Although the sum is still enormous, it is less than half the £197.5million announced 12 months ago.
And with City reporting turnover in the 2011-12 season of £231.1million, the highest in the club's history, it underlines the rapid progress being made by the Premier League champions in establishing themselves as one of Europe's elite clubs.
Although failure to progress from the Champions League group stage has had an obvious impact on turnover, this year and last, the club are still delighted with the performance.
And they are confident even the huge losses confirmed 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.
City's annual statement for the year ending May 31 2012 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 owner Sheikh Mansour is still required to make the club viable in the short-term.
However, with plans for the state-of-the-art academy and training facility across the road from the Etihad Stadium now well advanced, club officials believe within the medium term that the club, who ended a 35-year wait for a trophy when they won the FA Cup in 2011, will be self-sustaining.
Chief executive Ferran Soriano said: "What I have found is a club on the verge of a historic transformation, reinforced by a genuine commitment to doing things well.
"It is a club with a rich history and the potential for an even brighter future."
While the results show marginal increases in gate receipts and TV revenue, it is in the commercial sector where City are making huge gains.
Revenue went 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.
City's overall wage bill rose from £151.6million to £178.1million.
Chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak declared himself delighted with the progress that has been made since Sheikh Mansour's takeover in September 2008.
But he insisted there is plenty of work still ahead.
"The hard work of everyone involved at Manchester City over the last four years has begun to create an obvious momentum," he said.
"However, 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.
"It is important to recognize the personal and ongoing influence of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed on the rapid transformation that is taking place."
While the enormous 10-year contract with Etihad, who now have naming rights to both the stadium and the entire Campus, on which work began in the autumn, other contracts, such as a new kit manufacturing contract with Nike, point to increased commercial revenue in the years ahead.
However, it is the City Football Academy (CFA) project on which the club expect to build a financially sustainable business.
"The CFA will strengthen the club's youth development and training capabilities, enable more players to move through the Academy and Elite Development Squads into the first team in the future, while bringing all of the club's operations together on a single site within the Etihad Campus," said Khaldoon.
And, even though last weekend's defeat at Manchester United left them six points adrift of their rivals in the Premier League, and the Champions League brought humiliation with the worst performance by an English club in the competition's history, it is clear City will remain a contender for all the major prizes as long as Sheikh Mansour remains in charge.
"In the last two seasons we have tasted victory in the FA Cup, experienced the UEFA Champions League, won the Barclays Premier League and with two goals in added time, redefined what is typical of City for a generation of supporters," said Khaldoon.
"The responsibility lies with all of us to continue the hard work that will ensure that this is only the beginning of a long and successful era for Manchester City."
The Associated Press was used in this report.