There is no doubt that 2020 has been a very challenging year for football and for the world in general.
Though like every club, we had to deal with the most extraordinary circumstances, our course was unchanged. Our growth objectives for Manchester City and for City Football Group remained. Slowing down is not in our plans.
Our vision is to continue to grow our global footprint, and to be faster, better and more efficient both on and off the pitch. The expansion of City Football Group with the addition of Lommel SK in Belgium, ESTAC (Troyes) in France, a partner club in Bolivar and the deal to acquire Mumbai City FC in India during this period is a clear example. We are privileged to have the unwavering backing of our shareholders, who continue to support and look to the long term with patience. This includes Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing, who we welcomed as a new shareholder in City Football Group in November of 2019.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, our overarching priority was to keep our people safe. We put measures in place to protect them and the livelihoods of their families by preserving jobs and personal incomes without seeking to access public funds to do so. We worked very hard to deliver football in a way the world had never seen; games were played, and seasons finished. We also helped our communities locally and globally, including but not limited to the provision of the Etihad Stadium as a base for the National Health Service, the creation of online resources for children’s home- learning, and the launching of the Cityzens Giving for Recovery campaign.
We are very proud of the way the City family came together in this period. It has been a difficult and uncertain time for so many reasons, but throughout our organisation, we saw the ability to remain calm and focused, to never panic, to work extremely hard and to be able to find innovative solutions when needed. We were also pleased to have positively resolved almost two years of uncertainty with the conclusion of our successful appeal against UEFA’s ruling.
Like so many businesses however, there have been difficult decisions to make and there is not yet clarity on some issues, not least when we will be able to welcome fans into our stadiums. COVID-19 has impacted our financial performance negatively, losing revenue and delaying some planned businesses. Clearly, the 2019-20 accounts in isolation are not the best representation of the reality of the season with delayed player trading and numerous games being played after June 30th 2020, the revenues from which will be accounted in the 2020-21 period. A better financial picture of the COVID years will be provided at the end of the 2020-21 season, when the two seasons are combined, and we are confident that Manchester City is on track to show a positive financial result in the season 2020-21.
As ever, we look ahead and seek to ensure success in the next phase of growth, with a recognition of the incredible effort that all our people have put in this challenging year. Our journey continues.