In some positive news for Manchester City fans, the club continues to spend cash as they have now signed former Inter Milan defender Patrick Viera. The French defender will join City on a 18-month contract barring any set backs during his medical exam today.
Viera ultimately decided to leave Milan in order to get more playing time and bolster his chances of making the France World Cup squad. “I wanted to go to the World Cup and I need playing time,” he told Canal Plus. “It’s over, after a year in Turin and three and a half years in Milan. I have objectives and I can’t achieve them by staying at Inter where I am not part of the coach’s choice.”
On a more sour note, Manchester City has also announced the largest single year financial loss in English soccer history. City has lost nearly $150 million during the year ending May 31, 2009, and the debt does not even include the nearly $160 million invested by the owner in the last transfer window.
City’s chief financial and administration officer Graham Wallace said: ”The financial results reflect a period of rapid change at the club, the result of long-term planning and investment by the Board and our owners, to create a sustainable business in the future. We have always said that this transformation will take a number of years and these figures reflect that.”
While the debt does seem quite daunting, Manchester City has seen positive areas of business growth. Turnover has increased six percent, attendance is up nearly two percent, ticket revenues are up about $3 million due to extended play in the UEFA Cup and television revenues have increased 12% to about $77 million.
In a statement summing up City’s financial future, the club explained: “The financial year to May 2009 marked the beginning of a period of significant planned investment in all areas of the club; the playing squad, the youth academy, infrastructure, website and technology applications and our people. Not surprisingly, this substantial investment has had a significant impact on this year’s financial results. This investment is also forecast to similarly impact the financial results of the next several years as the club seeks to achieve success both on and off the field.”