The Real Footie Analyst

Financial Fair Play set to force Man City to trim squad

Manchester City are seeking to sell as many as 20 players in the next two transfer windows as they seek to dramatically reduce their wage bill to try and meet Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

The club employs 63 professionals and are looking to get that down to the low 40s by next summer.

In the recently published financial results for the 2010-11 financial year, City’s wage bill was £174 million which was £21 million higher than turnover.

While City will be able to add Champions League revenues to their results next year and are working hard on commercial deals to supplement their Etihad stadium and shirt sponsorship deal, the wage bill needs to come down if they are to show Uefa they are committed to meeting their regulations.

City made a loss of £195 million in the last financial year and are hopeful of getting that below the £100 million mark by the next time financial results are examined.

Under FFP, clubs are not supposed to post losses more than £39.5 million over the three years in which it is assessed.

Teams which fail to meet Uefa’s rules could be banned from European competition from the 2013-14 season, although there is scope for flexibility if a club can show it is making progress towards breaking even.

The priority is getting high earners off the payroll who no longer make a contribution to the first team but there will also be a need to sell younger players who are not quite good enough to make the grade with Roberto Mancini’s first team.

City are seeking a deal to sell Carlos Tévez and the player’s adviser has been in Italy negotiating with AC Milan.

There are only a limited number of buyers able to afford him but with City reluctantly prepared to take a lower transfer fee than they were in the summer, a move is certainly possible.

The club are optimistic about doing a deal for Nedum Onuoha, who spent last season on loan at Sunderland, and would also like to find a buyer for left-back Wayne Bridge.

Emmanuel Adebayor’s excellent form with Tottenham Hotspur is also a source of encouragement.

The Togo striker, though, would have to accept a drop in wages were he to make his move to White Hart Lane permanent. Roque Santa Cruz, on loan with Real Betis, is another play the club want to sell.

City have some 23 players out on loan and realise that this is not a sustainable model if they are to work towards the Uefa regulations.

While some players have been sent out on loan in order to aid their development, others have been sent out in the hope that they can attract buyers.

City have certainly learned how to buy players over the last three years; now, though, they must learn how to sell them.

Source: Manchester City

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