UEFA and Harry Styles can help Man City to ‘double down’ on growth – Simon Bajkowski

According to the City boss, the Treble will be topped by &aposdoubling down&apos on what they have done to get to where they are, including &aposconstant innovation&apos, &aposquestioning all the industry norms&apos and &aposnot being afraid to set new goals and develop new strategies&apos. Pep Guardiola&aposs answer to how his players will go about replicating their success might not sound too different.

The challenge of matching their 2022/23 revenues may be as difficult as winning the Treble again would be – at least in the short term. City&aposs success last season made them the most-watched team in Europe and encouraged a number of key sponsors to spend more with the club, yet it is going to be hard to make more money than a campaign where the Blues won the three biggest competitions and enjoyed lucrative cup ties at home against Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

While City&aposs matchday revenue has shot up 30 per cent on the back of those extra, high-profile cup ties to 71.9m, they will likely have to wait for the completion of their redevelopment plans before they can start challenging their rivals in that area. As well as the joint venture into Co-op Live with entertainment powerhouse Oak View Group and singing sensation Harry Styles, the expanded North Stand will also help generate significantly more revenue.

“That will change City from generating revenue on 30 days a year to bringing in further money 365 days a year,” football finance expert Kieran Maguire told the Manchester Evening News. “That makes sense and we&aposre seeing quite a few clubs do that.

“How much extra it will bring in is open to question. It&aposs a slow process but fanzones, pre-match – all that kind of thing contributes.

“United&aposs matchday is around 130m and I&aposd expect Spurs to be around 120m. Arsenal will be round about 100m so City have always been significantly behind the other big six clubs. When I&aposve historically worked out the average revenue per fan per season, the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool get around 1,600 per season and City are only getting around 1,000.

“The reason those two clubs do spectacularly well is Liverpool have very few season tickets – 27,000 in a 54,000 capacity – so they sell a huge number of matchday tickets, which you can charge a hell of a lot more for than you can with a season ticket divided by 19. As part of the expansion, City will probably look to deal with that fanbase that they&aposve got – both domestically and overseas – who get a chance to go to a few games a season but pay more for their tickets, go to the megastore and spend on merchandise and are more likely to buy the programmes and so on.”

With the development of the North Stand yet to begin and not scheduled to complete for a couple of years, City will have to find other ways to make money – particularly if they are to keep control of a wage bill that has also set a Premier League record as the biggest anyone has recorded.

An obvious area is the academy; City made over 50m of sales from their youth system last year that contributed towards the 121m in profit on player sales that turned operational costs from a 40m loss into an 80m profit, and the chairman noted in his report that there were 64 academy graduates last season including 13 in the Premier League. With close to 100m from the academy this summer in a transfer window that saw Wythenshawe&aposs Cole Palmer join Chelsea for 42.5m to become one of the club&aposs most expensive exports, that will significantly bolster the club&aposs financial position for this season.

And from next year, UEFA could play a role in giving City extra revenue across all three strands of matchday, broadcast, and commercial. The changes to the Champions League guarantee at least one extra home game to make money, and the football authority are not being shy about the other benefits to clubs.

“It is a high benchmark. I think you&aposll have to wait for the expansion of the stadium before you see any significant growth on top of that [712m],” said Maguire, “although 2024/25 is the interesting season because UEFA are being very bullish with regards to the additional sponsorship income that the revamped competition that they&aposre going to bring in.

“With the expanded Champions League, they could earn more. I think they&aposre hoping to get more sponsorship from UEFA, there is definitely one additional home fixture if they go all the way to the final. They could get more money out of sponsors from being in an expanded Champions League, or signing more commercial deals on the back of winning the Treble.