The 2018-19 season was extraordinary – a second consecutive Premier League win, new records broken, and an historic trophy haul, in one of the most exciting title races in recent years. To finish a season holding six domestic men’s and women’s trophies is an outcome that represents not just a season, but a decade, of hard work.
This level of sustained success is possible for many reasons, but in particular because of our people and, critically, because of our ability to plan. As intended by His Highness Sheikh Mansour, our organisation is now at a level of maturity that enables us to plan on multi-year cycles both in terms of our management of squads and more widely across the business. This strategic planning has allowed us to create an environment in which continued on-pitch success is both possible and likely, and financial sustainability is a reality.
2018-19 saw an eleventh consecutive year of revenue growth, and that is in part a product of our ongoing investment in football expertise, not just in Manchester but around the world. That investment will remain fundamental to our approach.
The way we play is reflective both of the wonderful qualities of our footballers but also of those involved in defining our style of play and identifying and recruiting the talent to deliver it. Pep Guardiola, Nick Cushing, together with Ferran Soriano, Txiki Begiristain, Brian Marwood and their extended teams deserve huge credit for the football we are seeing today in Manchester and in our clubs across the globe.
We remain committed to continuing our investment in youth development and advanced facilities, but in doing so we know that the challenges of the next decade will be very different to those of the last. What therefore must also remain constant is our drive to continuously improve and innovate, be that on the pitch, commercially, in infrastructure development or in our service to fans and our community.
The passing of Bernard Halford in March, having served this Club for more than 40 years, is a reminder of the standards of dedication and service that have been set by those who have contributed to it since 1894. And as we celebrate our 125-year milestone – one of the oldest in the game – so we recognise Bernard’s indelible legacy and unrivalled contribution to the Club and to the wider footballing community of Manchester. Put simply, his is the benchmark we must uphold in all aspects of our football operations, being mindful, as he was, of the privilege to play a part in creating the future history of this wonderful club.