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  • Manchester City post profit for first time since’s Sheikh Mansour takeover

    first_img Sheikh Mansour Manchester City have made a profit for the first time since the club’s takeover by Sheikh Mansour in 2008 – and despite what the chairman describes as a “below par” season on the pitch.City made a £10.7million profit in the 2014-15 season despite failing to win a trophy – figures which highlight how the club have been able to free themselves of any UEFA financial fair play sanctions.The club reported record revenues of £351.8million, up from £347million, but significantly have cut costs including reducing the wage bill for a second successive year. The wage bill is down to £193.5million compared to £205million a year before – Manchester United’s is £203million and Arsenal’s is £192.2million. The most recent figures for Chelsea’s wage bill are £192.7million for the 2013-14 seasonCity hailed the profit as an “historical step” but chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said the lack of silverware last season remained a cause for disappointment, a statement which may serve as something of a warning to manager Manuel Pellegrini.Khaldoon said: “The fact that we consider last season to be below par for Manchester City is a testament to how far we have come in the last seven years. This is a level of ambition that we should not shirk or shy away from.“It is right to have high expectations for this great club and the talented group of players chosen to represent it.“No team can expect to win every year, but competing to win in England’s domestic competitions and improving our performance in the UEFA Champions League are entirely reasonable goals for Manchester City.“The desire for silverware has always been a critical element of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed’s strategy for the reinvigoration of Manchester City FC both on and off the pitch.“To put things in their simplest terms, we are now a profitable business with no debt and no outstanding restrictions.”Chief executive Ferran Soriano said the opening of the City Football Academy last December was a significant step and the expansion of the Etihad Stadium to a 55,000 capacity would generate more income.He added: “The 2014-15 season marked a historical step in Manchester City’s journey.”City’s financial results show the club are now competing with neighbours Manchester United off the pitch as well as on it. Overall revenue is in the same ball-park (£351.8million compared to United’s £395million), the wage bill is similar but City do not have to pay anything in debt repayments. 1last_img read more

  • Chelsea up to second as Morata brace helps Blues sink spirited Crystal Palace

    first_imgAlvaro Morata bagged his fourth goal in his last four Premier League appearance as his brace helped Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 3-1 and give Maurizio Sarri a record-equalling start to Premier League management.The Spaniard’s first-half effort was cancelled out by Andros Townsend as the Blues initially struggled to deal with their vibrant visitors. Hazard provided the assist for Chelsea and Morata’s second goal Morata is in very good form Pedro put the result beyond any doubt REVEALED But Eden Hazard, back from a three-game absence with a back problem, provided the striker’s second with his first touch, sending over a free-kick which Morata expertly diverted into the net.The often derided Spain frontman also has five goals in his past six Chelsea games and Pedro added a third soon afterwards as the Blues moved second in the table, above Liverpool on goal difference.Palace are now without a win in six league matches.An eighth victory from an 11-game unbeaten start saw Sarri, a 59-year-old former banker, equal Frank Clark’s Premier League record. Clark was undefeated in his first 11 Premier League matches with Nottingham Forest in 1994. Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions 5 Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Sarri needed to call on Hazard to achieve his record-equalling start 5 The Palace goalkeeper saved a Luiz header from Willian’s free-kick as the visitors’ set-piece vulnerability was exposed again.Hazard and Mateo Kovacic were sent on for Willian and Ross Barkley and Hazard had an immediate impact.The Belgium playmaker’s free-kick bounced through to Morata at the far post. The striker controlled the ball and drilled a shot into the far corner.Chelsea had a third soon afterwards when Marcos Alonso’s low cross from the left evaded four Palace defenders and Pedro finished with aplomb. Morata missed a hat-trick opportunity when played through by Hazard on the counter-attack in stoppage time. His attempted lob of Hennessey was poorly executed and held by the goalkeeper. Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Andros Townsend’s 53rd-minute strike gave the Blues something to worry about Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? BEST OF center_img no dice ADVICE 5 Palace’s star man Wilfried Zaha, meanwhile, operated at another level to his team-mates and was often isolated.He constantly caused trouble for the Blues and created a shooting chance for Max Meyer, who fired over from the edge of the box.The German winger then had a shot blocked by David Luiz, who next delayed Zaha long enough for the forward to pass into space, his team-mates failing to keep up.Chelsea scored with their first shot on target. Pedro’s cross towards Morata was returned to him by James Tomkins. Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Sarri, who replaced Antonio Conte as head coach in July, will be seeking to extend his own streak next Sunday against Everton, following Thursday’s Europa League clash at BATE Borisov in Belarus.The Italian resisted the temptation to tinker with the line-up which secured a 4-0 win at Burnley, leaving Hazard on the substitutes’ bench.Both teams were trying to show they were not over-reliant on one player, but neither managed it in the first half.Without Hazard on the pitch, Chelsea appeared to lack a cutting edge. 5 Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Latest Football News REVEALED huge blow Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Pedro centred again, Morata controlled, turned and fired in with his second touch.Willian had an effort correctly ruled out for offside three minutes later and Hazard was sent out to warm up early in the second half.His introduction for the first time since the draw with Manchester United appeared more likely when Palace levelled after Luiz had been caught cold.James McArthur fed Townsend, who surged by the Brazil defender and held him off before finishing superbly for his first goal in 20 league games.Morata had a header saved by Wayne Hennessey, but was offside anyway. 5 MONEY RANKED last_img read more

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