Manchester City’s hopes of keeping pace with the top clubs in the Premier League could be set to receive another big blow.
City are already facing the prospect of losing huge amounts of revenue if they fail to successfully appeal their two-year ban from European competitions.
It is estimated that City could miss out on at least £150 million if the suspension is upheld, creating a massive hole in their income.
In addition to that issue, the club also stands to lose a significant portion of their revenue due to the Premier League’s decision to restart the season behind closed doors.
City resumed their 2019/20 campaign on Wednesday with a 3-0 victory over Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium, but fans were barred from attending.
The full financial impact of playing games in empty stadiums is not yet known, although recent research by Betway Football points to City taking a big financial hit.
The club generated matchday revenues of £55m last season, a figure that represents more than 10 percent of their £535m turnover.
Although discussions have already begun about allowing fans back into Premier League matches, no timeframe has been put on when that may happen.
Football finance expert, Kieran Maguire, believes that clubs like City will need to be creative in order to negate the financial effect of playing behind closed doors.
“They will be trying to claw that back in some shape or form,” he said. “I think football might have to reinvent its relationship with fans in terms of its ability to offer an experience.
“Those clubs with good lines of communication to their fans will be successful, they will work hard to engage with them. The industry is big, but it’s got to innovate.”
With a European ban hanging over them and other revenue streams under threat, this is undoubtedly a worrying time to be a City fan.
One major concern for the club if things go awry will be their ability to retain their top stars and attract new ones to Manchester.
Recent comments by Roberto Martinez heightened the fear, with the Belgium manager claiming that Kevin De Bruyne would consider his future if City are barred from Europe.
Maguire echoed those sentiments, suggesting that City may have to consider selling players in order to replace any major financial losses.
“Clubs have got such high fixed costs and they might have to think of ways they can cut back,” he added. “The return to some form of live action is essential. I’m not trying to be sensationalist.”