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Aug 19, 2008

Man City take out £30m loan against TV revenue

Manchester City have reportedly moved to create a transfer kitty for new boss Mark Hughes by taking out a £30million loan secured against future television revenue.

With the bulk of owner Thaskin Shinawatra's £800million fortune frozen back home in Thailand as part of a criminal investigation, there had been suggestions that City could be forced to sell before they buy again, with £18million Brazilian striker Jo and defender Tal Ben Haim the only arrivals over the summer.

But after a disappointing start to the season, which has seen the Eastlands side lose at home to minnows FC Midtjylland in the UEFA Cup and ship four goals in defeat at Aston Villa, the club was anxious to free up funds for Hughes to strengthen the squad.

Securing debt on television revenue is a new way to secure loans in the current credit crunch era after clubs previously looked to bring in funding based on future gate receipts.

However, it is a dangerous model to follow as relegation from the Premier League results in a huge drop in TV money while gates can, to an extent, remain healthy.

Hughes has already failed in a £12million raid on his former club Blackburn Rovers for Roque Santa Cruz, and is also said to be interesting Diego Milito of Real Zaragoza.

The blow of Valeri Bojinov's Achilles injury in the warm-up at Villa Park has added to Hughes' need to sign more firepower with Darius Vassell and Benjani already out and Rolando Bianchi currently in limbo after a move back to Serie A collapsed.

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