Manchester City have become the first club in British football history to see their wage bill smash through the £400 million barrier.
The arrival of Erling Haaland and the huge bonuses City paid out as a result of their extraordinary Treble success saw salary costs jump £69 million to £422.9 million for last season, despite the club employing 56 fewer football staff than the previous 12 months.
Nonetheless, wages still accounted for just 59 per cent of turnover – a healthy figure – thanks to revenues soaring to a record £712.8 million, almost £100 million more than the season before and the largest income ever posted by a British club.
City’s wage bill was £91.5 million higher than that of Manchester United owing to their cross-city rivals not being in the Champions League last season and Pep Guardiola’s side winning the competition as well as the Premier League and FA Cup.
Haaland was joined at City by Julian Alvarez, Manuel Akanji and Kalvin Phillips in the summer of last year when Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko all exited the club.
City raked in a staggering £299.4 million in broadcast income thanks to their success domestically and in Europe while commercial revenues reached £341.4 million – almost 50 per cent of turnover – with a further £71.9 million generated from matchday revenue.
Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the City chairman, described it as the “greatest football and commercial year” in the club’s history but insisted they would not rest on their laurels.
“In the aftermath of the Champions League win in Turkey and the completion of ‘The Treble’ the question I was asked most often was ‘How do you top that?” he said.
“The answer is by doubling down on the proven philosophies and practices that have brought us this success and to challenge ourselves to continue to constantly innovate in order to achieve new levels of performance both on and off the field.
“We will continue to question all the industry norms, we will evaluate our successes and learn from any failures. We will not be afraid to set new goals and develop new strategies that deliver for our club, its communities and stakeholders and especially for the fans.”
Neither Al Mubarak nor chief executive Ferran Soriano made any reference in their statements to accompany the latest accounts about the Premier League charges hanging over the club.
City were charged with more than 100 breaches of Premier League rules in February following a four-year investigation.
An independent commission can impose punishments ranging from a fine and points deduction to expulsion from the Premier League.
Legal experts believe the case could take between two and four years to be resolved, despite the Premier League coming under pressure from other member clubs to conclude the matter as soon as possible amid concerns about how delays could undermine the integrity of the competition.
Manchester City have posted a Premier League record revenue of £712.8million for the 2022-23 financial year.
This exceeds the record £648.4million posted last month by Manchester United and is a £99.8million rise on the previous year.
City’s profit of £80.4 is up from last year’s club record of £41.7million.
The figures come on the back of a season in which they became the second English club after Manchester United in 1999 to win the Treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.
The revenue is less than the €990m (£861.43m) Barcelona recorded in 2019, although the validity of this has been challenged due to the ‘exceptional’ sums that were added to the overall revenue figure.
“In the aftermath of the Champions League win in Turkey and the completion of ‘The Treble’ the question I was asked most often, was ‘How do you top that?’,” said City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak.
“The answer is by doubling down on the proven philosophies and practices that have brought us this success and to challenge ourselves to continue to constantly innovate in order to achieve new levels of performance, on and off the field.
“We will continue to question all the industry norms, evaluate our successes and learn from any failures.
Success today simply means further investment for tomorrow. Our financial health and on-field success mean everyone connected to Manchester City can look forward to the future with excitement.
“Our collective achievements give me huge confidence that together we can accomplish even more in the years to come.”
The club’s financial statement reveals increases in all major revenue streams. Broadcast revenues increased 20.2% to £299.4m. City say this was “primarily” due to their success in the Champions League and FA Cup.
It also confirms on 6 February 2023, City were referred to a commission for a “number of alleged breaches of Premier League rules”. The club repeated its statement in response that it “welcomes” the review and that it has “irrefutable evidence” to support its position.
City’s wage bill rose by almost £70m to £422.89m and the club is committed to in excess of £262m in “transfer fees, signing on fees and loyalty bonuses” if set conditions are met.
The club made £121.7m profit on player trading in the financial year and says transfers conducted after 30 June, which included the arrivals of Jeremy Doku, Mateo Kovacic, Josko Gvardiol and Matheus Nunes, plus the departures of Cole Palmer, Riyad Mahrez, Aymeric Laporte and James Trafford cost the club approximately £84m.