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Volume 7 No. 149


Man City revealed turnover of £500.5M during the '17-18 season, during which it won the EPL.

Man City became the second English club in history to surpass £500M ($655.6M) in annual revenues, according to James Ducker of the London TELEGRAPH. The Premier League champion on Thursday published its accounts for '17-18, which show turnover hit £500.5M ($656.3M), a 44% rise in five years and a "near" six-fold increase in the 10 seasons since Arab billionaire Sheikh Mansour bought the club. It leaves Man City trailing only ManU (£581M/$761.8M) in revenue terms "among the Premier League elite."  Man City is the fifth club in Europe to reach £500M in annual revenues, after ManU, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. The club also posted a profit of £10.4M ($13.6M), the "fourth season running" the club has returned a profit "after heavy losses early in the Sheikh's ownership." Man City's wage bill increased from £243.8M for '16-17 to £260M ($340.9M) -- the second-highest in the top flight, behind ManU -- but the wage to turnover ratio dropped from 56% to 52% (TELEGRAPH, 9/13). In London, Murad Ahmed reported Sheikh Mansour "invested hundreds of millions of pounds to buy superstar players to help power the team to the top of the sport," while also creating a "huge training complex" near the club's stadium in the east of Manchester. But Financial Fair Play regulations introduced in '11 propelled Man City "to gain revenues beyond the largesse of its owner, in order to sustain its massive spending." Man City Chair Khaldoon Al Mubarak said that last season's strong financial performance was "the result of a carefully crafted strategy -- one in which organic evolution has also been allowed to thrive" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 9/13). REUTERS' Martyn Herman reported Al Mubarak said that the club will "strive for more." Al Mubarak: "Our aim is obviously to build on the achievements of the last year. Our journey is not complete and we have more targets to fulfill" (REUTERS, 9/13).

Juventus' shares have spiked to record levels since signing Cristiano Ronaldo.

While the rest of the Italian stock market has experienced a downturn, Juventus shares in the Milan Stock Exchange have risen by 62% in the last month, according to Juan Castro of MARCA. At the same time, the FTSE MIB index, which includes the main Italian companies, "continued to fall in recent weeks" (-6.2%) due to the national and int'l context. Since Cristiano Ronaldo's move, Juve's shares have reached €1.47 ($1.72), while the previous record, dated Jan. 3, 2002, was €1.32. Juventus' general capitalization "also registers" historic levels, having reached €1.35B ($1.58B) as maximum value and an overall 86% rise in stock value from the beginning of the year (MARCA, 9/12).

Cristiano Ronaldo is opening his sixth "CR7"-branded hotel in Paris, according to LE PARISIEN. The project will cost a reported €60M ($70M) and is scheduled to open in '21. It will be a four-star establishment with 210 rooms situated on the southern bank of the Seine in Paris. In '16, Ronaldo opened his first hotels in Lisbon and Funchal, his hometown. The hotels have been set up as part of a partnership with Portuguese tourism company Pestana. Ronaldo plans to have three more opened in Madrid, N.Y. and Marrakesh by '20 (LE PARISIEN, 9/12).

Bankia and Caixabank are reportedly interested in funding renovations to the Santiago Bernabéu.

Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez "will not have a problem" finding a bank to finance the club's renovations to the Santiago Bernabéu, according to Fermín de la Calle of EL CONFIDENCIAL. There are "reportedly two banks interested in a deal:" Madrid-based Bankia and Catalan firm Caixabank. The "financial battle has begun." Bankia "is an old partner of Pérez and the club," but Caixabank, which is "very interested in financing the remodeling of the stadium" and has informed Pérez it is willing to "offer better loan terms than Bankia," has emerged as a "serious competitor." The competition between the banks "will inevitably benefit Real Madrid when it signs the loan" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 9/13).

Juventus' accounts for '17-18 are "expected to show a loss of close to€20M ($23.4M), "largely due to a decrease in Champions League revenue." The first half of '17-18 closed with a profit of €43.3M, but that was a decrease of €28.7M from the same period the previous year. Exor, Juventus' holding company, released financial statements for the full year, which show an operating loss of €62.2M (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 9/12).

Rugby league side Balmain Tigers staved off voluntary administration by "negotiating a significant financial contribution" from Heworth Pty. Ltd., the developer that took control of the Rozelle site 18 months ago. Rumors "swirled for days" that Balmain would be forced into voluntary administration, almost 10 years to the day after the start of the global financial crisis, which "halved the value" of its assets (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 9/13).

Brasileiro Série B side Avaí is the first club to launch its own cryptocurrency, with in Initial Coin Offering targeting a $20M capital raise. Partnered with blockchain technology specialist SportyCo and football investment specialist Blackbridge Sports, the Avaí FC Token will go on sale on Oct. 3 for $1, with the sale period lasting for a month (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 9/12).

U.K. gambling group GVC reported a rise in profit helped by the World Cup, but said that it was "looking to offset" falling U.K. revenues with the "significant new market opportunity" provided by the opening up of the U.S. gambling sector. The company on Thursday said that revenues for the first six months of the year were up 8% to £1.7B ($2.2B) compared with the same period in '17 (FINANCIAL TIMES, 9/13).

Goals Soccer Centres, in which Sports Direct is the biggest shareholder with 18.9%, said that a 2.8% fall in like-for-like sales in the first half was "followed by a strong start to the second half." Like-for-like sales for the year turned positive, which, according to analysts, implied growth of 8-9% in July and August, or an extra two or three games a day at each center (LONDON TIMES, 9/13).

Sports Direct was forced to issue a statement clarifying that it did not intend to make a takeover offer for Debenhams "after yet another chaotic annual meeting." Confusion arose after Simon Bentley, the outgoing senior independent director, allegedly told journalists that the board "discussed the possibility of combining Debenhams with its newly acquired House of Fraser department stores chain." Sports Direct "quickly denied that this was the case" and its spokesperson said that Bentley, who spoke to the media after the meeting concluded, had been "misunderstood" (LONDON TIMES, 9/13).