LONDON: Manchester City went top of the Premier League on the day the club released accounts which supported the club’s confidence that UEFA’s financial fair play restrictions will be met.
City overtook Arsenal by winning 5-1 at Tottenham to record their 18th win in a 20-match unbeaten run in all competitions, which started with the 6-0 demolition of Spurs last November.
Just four minutes were on the clock when Sergio Aguero struck the post – a warning the hosts failed to heed as in the 15th minute he flicked a David Silva through-ball past Hugo Lloris.
It was the Argentina international’s seventh goal in his five appearances since returning from a calf injury and one he might have had more but for a leg strain late in the first half.
Spurs had no luck. A first-half ‘goal’ by Michael Dawson was ruled out for offside and then, after the interval, Danny Rose was sent off by referee Andre Marriner for taking down Edin Dzeko in the box.
Yaya Toure converted the spot-kick and City extended their lead in the 53rd minute, with Dzeko netting his sixth goal in as many matches against Tottenham.
Tim Sherwood’s men pulled one back through substitute Etienne Capoue, but City struck again through a replacement of their own, Stevan Jovetic, and captain Vincent Kompany to head into a tough-looking February top of the pile.
Off the pitch City cut their losses in half last season. The club posted a net loss of £51.6m, down from £97.9m, but remain confident UEFA will not punish them despite exceeding the £37m threshold.
If a club fails to meet FFP they could be banned from the Champions League.
City expect cash spent on youth development and facilities, which is exempt from the FFP calculation, to bring the club within the limit.
The first FFP reporting period is due to end in May this year.
Intriguingly, City made £47m from the sale of “intellectual property” to “related” and “third” parties – without that income the losses would have been higher and being FFP compliant a much tougher task.
As it is, despite finishing over the £37m figure, City are confident their spending on youth development and infrastructure – which is exempt for FFP accounting purposes – will enable them to comply.
City’s financial report for 2012-13 reveals the club, who were Premier League champions in 2012, generated an annual turnover of £271m, the second-highest in the league.
City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said there was a “renewed sense of confidence for the future”, with success on and off the pitch having generated “significant commercial opportunities for the organisation and underpinned a strong momentum for the years ahead”.
The club, who posted losses of £197.5m back in 2011, have also now paid off all their debts, which were £58m a year ago.
Chief executive Ferran Soriano said: “Growing revenues and controlled expenses are bringing the club to breakeven in the immediate future and profitability thereafter.”
City have extra income to look forward to this season from new commercial contracts, a further boost of about £25m from the new Premier League TV deals, as well as more cash from the Champions League having qualified for the knock-out stages for the first time.
Manuel Pellegrini’s team have also reached the final of the League Cup and are through to the fifth round of the FA Cup.