English Premier League champions, Manchester City have appointed Ferran Soriano as their new chief executive officer, the club announced Friday.
The Spaniard, who was CEO and vice-chairman at Barcelona FC from 2003 to 2008, replaces outgoing CEO Garry Cook.
In a statement published on the club’s official website, Soriano said: “I am delighted to take up the position of CEO at Manchester City Football Club. The vision of the owner together with his commitment, and that of the Chairman and the Board, make this opportunity absolutely compelling.
“The Club has incredible potential to be fulfilled both on and off the field. I very much look forward to playing my part to ensure that happens.”
Soriano was credited with turning around the fortunes of the Catalan club during his tenure, more than doubling revenues from €123 million ($150 million) to €308 million ($378 million) and turning a €78 million ($95 million) loss into cumulative profits of 88 million ($108 million) within five years, according to Manchester City’s official website.
City Chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak said the search for Cook’s replacement had been a “far-reaching and exhaustive” one.
“In Ferran we have our preferred candidate. His experience in football and in the wider commercial world make him exceptionally well equipped to lead Manchester City through its continued evolution,” Al Mubarak said in a statement.
The Abu Dhabi United Group have invested heavily since buying the club in 2008, spending close to $785 million on transfers and reporting a loss of £197 million ($310 million) for the 2010-11 season.
With the implementation of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules — which can impose penalties on clubs which spend more than they earn — City will look to Soriano to help balance the books.
UEFA started auditing football clubs’ financial statements last season, with a two-year lead in for the start of the 2013-14 season when FFP kicks in.
Soriano will officially take over on September 1, while City kick-off their season on Sunday against Southampton at the Etihad Stadium.
Title and city rivals, Manchester United — who confirmed the signing of former Arsenal striker Robin van Persie on Friday — take on Everton at Goodison Park on Monday.