What Does Third Really Mean?
City fans around the world will be lauding the Blues` dramatic clinching of third place and an automatic Champions League spot. It`s not just the dangerous qualifier that we avoided, but the chance to bring in players early doors through the knowledge that we are securely in the group stages.
While this is a perfectly reasonable train of thought, it is not the quality of players that City will now be able to bring in that is the important factor here, but the sponsorship deals.
The negotiation platform that City now find themselves in is vastly superior to the one had we finished fourth. Sponsors that might well have deemed the risk to be too high due to our potential exit in the qualifier will now be joining the queue to put their high profile brand on our high profile club.
By now, pretty much every fan is well acquainted with the new Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations; the ones that were designed to keep the top clubs at the top and the bottom ones at the bottom. Not really 'fair play` at all then.
With losses of around £110m last year, a Champions League spot was vital this season as it would bring in around £30m just by being in it. Add to that the commercial opportunities and match day revenue and we are looking at a figure of around £50m.
That still leaves us with a shortfall of £60m, a void likely to be filled by the stadium naming rights and player sales. Any remaining money is likely to be reinvested into the squad in an effort to topple United from the summit of the Premier League.
As it stands, this model in not entirely sustainable as we have a vast wage bill to cover every year and won`t be offloading as many players. What it does do, is buy us enough time for the Eastlands redevelopment to come into fruition.
With revenue coming in from a host of commercial ventures, as well as increased sponsorship, a lower wage bill and the all important Champions League money, City are well set to face the FFP regulations head on.