THE huge UEFA cloud hovering over Manchester City has a £369 million Silver lining.
Or a Silver Lake lining to be precise.
The US investment firm paid that enormous sum for a 10 per cent share in the City Football Group back in November.
And Sunsport has learned ALL that cash has been paid up front and gone straight into CFG coffers – rather than Sheikh Mansour’s pocket.
While it may not be classed as ‘revenue’ on the financial fair play balance sheet, it would help under-pin the whole operation during what could be a turbulent couple of years.
And it would mean all money from sponsorships and player sales could go towards making up the shortfall from missing out on the Champions League.
That is estimated to be around £160 million if the two year ban which was handed down on Friday is upheld.
Yet City’s beancounters are confident there would be no financial meltdown at the Etihad if the worst happens.
And they believe they are already well on their way to making up that blackhole through new deals signed in recent months.
Their new kit agreement with Puma – which began in July – is worth £65 million per year – a sizeable £45 million more than the previous one with Nike.
Meanwhile the deal with MarathonBet to have their name displayed on trainng gear is estimated to be worth around £10 million a year.
Neither of those were included on the balance sheet when City announced a record turnover of £535 million for 2018/9 in November.
They are also encouraged to have struck lucrative deals with Nissan, SAP and Nexen Tyre recently as well as their Abu Dhabi sponsors.
Much of that cash should be available for balancing the books and buying new players – thanks to the security provided by the deal with Silver Lake.
Their major injection is earmarked for spending on infrastructure and facilities at City and their seven sister clubs around the world, which should help continued growth.
A club insider said: “Any organisation would miss £80m, that goes without saying. The reality is that City won’t be in search of a begging bowl.
“City were already going to be roughly £60m-per-year better off next season, before the UEFA ruling.
“It’s wishful thinking perhaps on the part of some if they do think the cash taps will suddenly run dry here.”
Meanwhile Leroy Sane could also become a huge help to City both on and off the pitch as he nears a return to fitness.
The German winger remains a target for Bayern Munich and was valued at £140 million by City last summer.
While his value will have plummeted with just over a year left on his contract, the German giants still believe they will have to pay more than £70 million to get him.
Given the former Schalke man has not played a single game for City this season due to a cruciate injury, that would be viewed as decent business for them.