Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini won two trophies in his first season, and yesterday vowed to push for more championships after winning English soccer’s Premier League title.
“Big teams cannot be satisfied with one title,” the coach told the British Broadcasting Corp. after City’s 2-0 defeat of West Ham United. “It’s very important. Celebrate, today, tomorrow and Monday and on Tuesday start working for next season because this club and players deserve more titles.”
Pellegrini, who also won the League Cup in the just completed season, helped City regain the league title on the season’s final day. Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany scored as City reached 86 points, leaving Liverpool in second place after the Reds won 2-1 against Newcastle at Anfield. City needed only a draw yesterday to guarantee the title, just its second since 1968.
City, the sixth-richest soccer club, won the title on the final day of the 2012 season, and then lost it last season to Manchester United, which finished in 7th place yesterday.
Pellegrini took over as manager while the team sold striker Carlos Tevez and spent more than 90 million pounds ($152 million) in bringing in midfielder Fernandinho, winger Jesus Navas and strikers Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic.
Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has spent at least $1 billion on the club since buying it in 2008.
City’s triumph came after Liverpool appeared poised to take its first league title since 1990. The Reds’ campaign was derailed by a 2-0 home loss to Chelsea on April 27 and a 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace on May 5 after they blew a 3-0 lead.
“We are genuine title contenders before a ball is kicked next year, and we need to go and prove that we’re the top side in the league over 38 games, and not second,” Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard told the BBC.
In January, City said it cut its annual loss in half for a second straight year as revenue rose to a record, thanks to a boost in income from commercial activities.
The new Premier League champion reduced its loss by 47 percent to 51.6 million pounds in the year to May 31, 2013, the club said. It had a loss of 197.5 million pounds in 2010-11.
UEFA, soccer’s European governing body, may fine City and restrict its roster for the elite Champions League tournament for failing to meet restrictions on spending, the Telegraph said last week.
Sales rose to 271 million pounds in 2012-13 from 231.1 million pounds a year earlier. The club said it had “zero financial debt” after paying off all remaining borrowings. Four of the club’s biggest sponsors -- Etihad Airways PJSC, telephone service provider Etisalat, Visit Abu Dhabi, and Aabar Investments PJSC -- are based in the United Arab Emirates.
Commercial revenue, not including broadcast income, rose 33 percent to 143 million pounds on contracts with backers including Etihad Airways, the club’s shirt and stadium sponsor. Broadcast revenue was little changed, while matchday income increased 11 percent to 39.6 million pounds. Spending on salaries rose to 233.1 million pounds from 201.8 million pounds.
Deloitte LP’s latest rankings listed Manchester City as the sixth-richest soccer club based on sales behind Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain. The Premier League championship in 2012 was its first top-tier title in 44 years.
City’s success comes as cross-town rival United struggles after the departure of manager Alex Ferguson, who won 38 trophies in 26 years. His replacement, David Moyes, failed to last a season, and the club placed too low to qualify for the Champions League.