Man Utd maintain off-field dominance over rivals City, says report

Man Utd maintain off-field dominance over rivals City, says report
Revenues up for both clubs, but Old Trafford continues to provide key for supremacy.

English soccer giants Manchester United have maintained their dominance over domestic rivals Manchester City in the off-field financial stakes, according to a report by KPMG Football Benchmark.

The study shows that City, who are owned by Abu Dhabi royal family member Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, have begun to close the gap on United, but remain well behind the Glazer family-owned outfit.

While City’s revenue growth since the 2011/12 season of 108 per cent dwarfs that of United’s 76 per cent, United’s 2017/18 figure of €666 million (US$754.8 million) still hugely outweighs their rival’s overall figure of €568 million (US$643.7 million).

Likewise, although City’s broadcast revenue of €239 million (US$270.8 million) is marginally the greater, the capacity of United’s 75,000-seater Old Trafford stadium means that its overall matchday revenue continues to dominate that of the Etihad. At €124 million (US$140.4 million), United’s matchday numbers almost double those of City, whose home games brought in €64 million (US$72.4 million) of revenue during the 2017/18 season.

Despite the continued matchday disparity, City’s position has improved, with a 52 per cent increase in matchday revenues over the course of the study’s sever years of research. This, in part, is due to the venue’s renovation and expansion during the 2015/16 season.

However, as the report points out, these figures represent a dramatic growth for the reigning Premier League champions, with the club also benefiting financially from its on-field superiority.

The report states: ‘While in the first season under analysis United registered revenues 39 per cent higher than City, in the last season such a gap was reduced to 17 per cent.

‘These figures are a result of the wider international appeal gained by Manchester City FC in recent seasons, which is especially reflected in broadcast (+129 per cent over the seven seasons), thanks to constant UEFA Champions League participation unlike the Red Devils.’

However, even with City’s step forward, the study shows that the overall gap between the clubs’ commercial revenues has increased. The gap has moved from nine per cent to 17 per cent, not least as a result of United’s €85 million (US$96.2 million) per year deal with Adidas and US$66 million (US$96.2 million) annual shirt sponsorship agreement with Chevrolet. City’s sponsorship deals have come under recent scrutiny following the release of Der Spiegel’s Football Leaks which allege that deals were topped-up by the club’s owner Sheikh Mansour to negate UEFA Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

Indeed, in the last seven years, the report states that City have made a net loss of €151 million (US$171 million), while United have made a profit of €285 million (US$322.8 million).

On the field though, City’s fortunes have leapt dramatically, with the side – managed by Pep Guardiola – dominating their Manchester opposition. There is a 12-point gap between the two in the Premier League, after City beat United 3-1 on Sunday.

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