Manchester City and Money: A (Financial) Analysis

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It is common knowledge that Manchester City has a lot of money, and they certainly haven’t been shy about spending it in recent years.

In fact, right now it looks like it might be coming back to bite them as they stand charged with numerous alleged breaches of financial rules

But where does its money come from? Does Manchester City make a profit? Who are the club’s owners? And just how much would it cost to buy Manchester City?

We are looking at all of that and more in our blog post today.

So let’s get started…

Manchester City and Money: In Short

Manchester City is one of the richest clubs in the world as they are owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As a result the club has drawn much commercial sponsorship from the oil-rich country and posted a record profit of £41.7million in 2021/22. In 2022 Forbes valued Manchester City at £3.5billion ($4.25billion). 

Who Are The Owners Of Manchester City?

The short answer is the owner of Manchester City is Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan.

Sheikh Mansour is the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the brother of the current President of the UAE, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The longer answer is slightly more complicated than that.

Manchester City Football Club is owned by City Football Group Limited (CFG). CFG is a holding company that is owned by three companies:

  • 81% share: Newton Investment and Development LLC.
  • 18% share: Silver Lake.
  • 1% share: China Media Capital and CITIC Capital.

Sheikh Mansour owns Newton Investment and Development LLC.

Silver Lake is an American private equity firm that has investment holdings in a number of companies including Airbnb, Expedia, Twitter, GoDaddy and more.

China Media Capital and CITIC Capital are both Chinese conglomerates.

Sheikh Mansour is the fifth son of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was the first president of the UAE serving from 1971 to his death in 2004.

He is involved in a number of government-run companies in the UAE and has held a number of political positions since being appointed chairman of the presidential office in 1997 when he was 27 years old.

Sheikh Mansour acquired Manchester City in September 2008.

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Why Does Manchester City Have So Much Money?

Well Sheikh Mansour has an individual net worth of around £17 billion and a family fortune of at least $1 trillion.

That really is the long and short of it.

The owner of Manchester City is part of one of the world’s wealthiest families and has been able to invest heavily in the football club.

The investment by Sheikh Mansour into Manchester City has improved the performance of the club significantly, as shown by the club’s Premier League finishing positions:

  • 2008/09: 10th
  • 2009/10: 5th
  • 2010/11: 3rd and FA Cup winners.
  • 2011/12: 1st
  • 2012/13: 2nd
  • 2013/14: 1st and League Cup winners.
  • 2014/15: 2nd
  • 2015/16: 4th and League Cup winners.
  • 2016/17: 3rd
  • 2017/18: 1st and League Cup winners.
  • 2018/19: 1st and League Cup and FA Cup winners.
  • 2019/20: 2nd and League Cup winners.
  • 2020/21: 1st and League Cup winners.
  • 2021/22: 1st

Naturally, the improved performance on the pitch has led to Manchester City being increasingly attractive for commercial sponsors, the table below shows the value of the club’s main shirt sponsorship per season (the sponsor since 2009 has been Etihad Airways.

SeasonValue per season (in £)
2009/107.34 million
2010/117.5 million
2011/1220 million
2012/1320 million
2013/1420 million
2014/1520 million
2015/1620 million
2016/1720 million
2017/1835 million
2018/1945 million
2019/2045 million
2020/2140 million
2021/2267.5 million


So investment from the club’s owners alongside increasingly lucrative sponsorship deals are the main sources of Manchester City’s wealth.

Additionally the club receives a significant income from the Premier League and UEFA Champions League broadcasting rights, they accounted for around £260million of the club’s income in 2021/22.

Manchester City has also generated over £700million from the sale of players since 2009, however they have spent almost £2billion…

SeasonTransfers InTransfers OutProfit/Loss


Finally matchday revenue is another source of income for the club, although it is not nearly on the same scale as broadcasting revenues or sponsorship deals.

Matchday revenue accounted for £64million of the club’s total income in 2021/22 (compared to £294million in broadcasting revenue and £373million in commercial revenue).

How Much Would It Cost To Buy Manchester City?

In 2022 Forbes valued Manchester City at £3.5billion ($4.25billion).

This more or less matches up with the value City Football Group placed on the company when American private equity firm Silver Lake purchased a 10% stake in 2019 for £415million ($500 million).

So to buy Manchester City probably would cost somewhere in the region of £3.5billion to £4billion.

Just for the record the world’s top ten most valuable football clubs according to Forbes are:

  1. Real Madrid: £4.23billion
  2. Barcelona: £4.15billion
  3. Manchester United: £3.82billion
  4. Liverpool: £3.7billion
  5. Bayern Munich: £3.55billion
  6. Manchester City: £3.53billion
  7. Paris Saint-Germain: £2.66billion
  8. Chelsea: £2.57billion
  9. Juventus: £2.03billion
  10. Tottenham Hotspur: £1.95billion


Does Manchester City Make A Profit?

In its most recent annual report for the 2021/22 season Manchester City reported record revenues of £613million, and record profits of £41.7million.

That revenue figure was made up as follows:

  • Commercial income: £309.4million
  • Broadcast income: £259.1million
  • Matchday income: £54.5million

Full details are set out in the club’s financial report for 2021/22.

Final Thoughts

INFOGRAPHIC Explaining the Situation Around Manchester City and Money
Click infographic to enlarge.

We’ve gone through quite a few topics here, but the real reason Manchester City has so much money is due to its owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan.

The Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE has invested a lot of money into the club and drawn a lot of commercial investment from the oil-rich country.

The club makes a significant amount of money each year from commercial sponsorship deals, but many of the sponsors come from one area, the UAE.

For instance in 2019/20 Manchester City made around £250million in commercial sponsorship, but £140million of this was from partners in the UAE.

Naturally this increased investment has led to much success on the pitch, which has made them a more attractive financial prospect as well.

This led to them turning over a record profit of £41.7million in 2021/22.

In fact in 2022 Forbes valued the club at £3.5billion, putting them sixth on the list of the world’s most valuable football clubs.

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