Manchester City chief operating officer Tom Glick has revealed that the club will next year break into world football's top five clubs in terms of revenue, per Manchester Evening News' Stuart Brennan.
Glick has overseen a big increase in commercial revenue at the Etihad Stadium, with the MEN report revealing a 51 percent increase in that area last year alone.
City are currently seventh on the list of clubs with highest revenue, but Glick believes they will soon overtake Arsenal, Chelsea and even Bayern Munich as they move toward challenging rivals United:
Next year Manchester will have two of the top five clubs in terms of worldwide revenues, we’re catching up with Bayern Munich. We are very excited about the direction of the club.
We are fortunate to have amazing owners who challenge us, and to have a visionary chief executive [Ferran Soriano].
Over the summer we played nine games in four continents and we were astounded by the number of fans and interest in our club.
City's Emirati owners have invested substantially in both the squad and infrastructure at the club, with that spending only set to continue as plans proceed apace to expand the capacity of the stadium to 61,000, per BBC News.
Work on a training campus and academy facility nearby, to be known as the Etihad Campus, is already well underway, while the club have recruited experts from around Europe to oversee their development—such as the former Barcelona duo of Soriano and Txiki Begiristain.
Should on-the-pitch performances improve, particularly in the UEFA Champions League, City's capacity to increase revenue will increase substantially—without the burden of debt that is saddled by the likes of United, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
With Financial Fair Play rules already coming into play, such increases in revenue will allow City to continue spending substantial amounts while also complying with the new regulations.
The club are still heavily reliant on their investors and the hugely profitable sponsorship deals they bring, with Etihad "effectively underwriting the club" per a source in Nick Harris' Daily Mail article.
As the Mail's piece suggests, for all of Glick's bravado, the club are still struggling to attract the enormous sponsors they require without the help of Etihad—a state-funded airline closely connected with Manchester City's owners.
Positive steps are being taken by the club to establish themselves as a major player in world football, with or without investment. However, for the moment, the club's owners and Etihad remain the backbone of the club's finances—regardless of commercial revenue figures.