Premier League champions Manchester City matched a record-breaking season on the pitch with unprecedented revenues off it, according to the club’s annual report released on Thursday.
City reported record revenues of £500.5million during the 2017/18 campaign, with a profit of £10.4million making it a fourth successive year in the black.
That coincided with a season in which Pep Guardiola’s side broke a string of records and became the first Premier League side to amass 100 points, also recording the most wins, the most goals and the best goal difference in Premier League history.
City said commercial and broadcast revenues had increased seven and four percent respectively on the previous season.
The half-billion pound revenues mark an increase of 44 per cent over the past five years.
The financial statements attached to the report noted that the period covered ended before this summer’s transfer window.
The report said the club had a net spend of “approximately £42million” over the summer following the signings of Riyad Mahrez, Daniel Arzani and Claudio Gomes, and the sales of Angus Gunn, Joe Hart, Bersant Celina, Rodney Kongolo and Jason Denayer.
Additionally, the report said City could be liable for up to £158.9million in additional transfer fees, signing on fees and bonuses under existing contracts depending on future conditions being met.
City recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of Sheikh Mansour’s takeover of the club in 2008, since when they have been transformed on and off the pitch, and chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak traced recent successes back to that date in the report.
He wrote: “Most of the developments visible today are the result of a carefully crafted strategy – one in which organic evolution has also been allowed to thrive – and I have come to be as proud of many of those evolutionary elements of the plan as I am of those which were meticulously planned in 2008.”
In his own statement, the club’s chief executive officer Ferran Soriano pointed to the recently-released documentary Amazon series ‘All or Nothing’ as a major part of the club’s strategy.
“Our fourth consecutive year of profit – reported at £10.4 million for the financial year – together with our breaking of the £500 million barrier with record revenues of £500.5 million are pleasing returns for our off-field efforts and the wage:revenue ratio of 52% is further evidence of the underlying strength of the organisation,” he wrote.
“Commercial revenue grew with the closing of a number of new and innovative partnerships, perhaps the most notable of which was the strategic relationship with Amazon resulting in the production of Amazon Prime’s series ‘All or Nothing’ detailing the remarkable season that 2017-18 turned out to be.
“The series aired in August and represented a completely innovative way to offer unprecedented access to the club on a globally accessible platform.”
Al Mubarak promised the club would continue to develop as they look towards their 125th anniversary next year.
“Our journey is not complete and we have more targets to fulfil,” he wrote.
“There should be no doubt that we are looking forward to the challenges of the new season and those beyond it with equal commitment and determination to the 10 seasons that came before.”
Leicester boss Claude Puel hopes Harry Maguire signing a new long-term contract will ward off interest in the highly-rated defender.
The 25-year-old was a target for Manchester United during the summer and was a key player for England as they reached the semi-final of the World Cup, before committing his future to Leicester last week bysigning a new five-year deal.
Puel said: “Of course not always players who start the season finish the season at a club but it is not in my mind that he will leave the club after just one year.
“It is important to keep a player of his quality and importance to the club and the most important thing for me is to continue with him and work together.”
Asked if Maguire’s new contract included a buy-out clause to further fend off potential suitors, Puel said: “I don’t know the details of his contract. But him signing is good for the club and the fans and shows the ambition of the club.”
Speculation that Gazidis – who oversaw Emery’s appointment to replace Arsene Wenger is May and has also been behind the change in management structure at the Emirates Stadium – will depart for Italy has intensified this week.
The 54-year-old has worked for the Gunners since 2009 and played a major role in introducing roles such as head of football relations Raul Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat.
Those appointments wrestled some power away from Wenger, whose 22-year tenure came to a close at the end of last season.
Emery has since taken the reins and has won his last two Premier League games after defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea at the beginning of the campaign.
But the Spaniard admits he is in the dark as to whether Gazidis will soon depart his post, bound for Serie A giants Milan.
“First of all, every conversation with him is speaking about us and about our work here every day. I don’t know any other news from him,” Emery said ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Newcastle on Saturday.
“Every conversation with me is speaking about us. About our performance. About our ideas. Our process. Then, for his future we didn’t speak. I think it’s one question for him.”
Arsenal return to action at St James’s Park following the international break, with Emery’s squad carrying no fresh injury concerns.
Emery is hopeful the club can now reap the benefit of Mesut Ozil’s international retirement.
The 29-year-old retired from Germany duty under a cloud following their poor performance at the World Cup and politics within the camp.
He has been able to train with Arsenal throughout the recent international break and – ahead of Saturday’s trip to Newcastle – Emery feels he has enjoyed a rest from playing.
“The players have the habits to play in the international break, in important matches, defending their identity and when one player is finishing that, I think it is also good for them to focus only on their team,” he said.
“The reason for Mesut is important for me also, this focus every day with us, a relaxing three days off at the weekend. Mesut, like other players, works very well here and also working the ties and also together to improve things. Mesut, I look at him with the focus totally here.”