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May 15, 2014

Loss of European football to cost £35m

Former Manchester United player Bryan Robson believes the club will compete for the Premier League title next season.

Manchester United have announced record revenue which they said will allow them to continue investing in players who they believe will guarantee a top-four finish next season.

Old Trafford
United will expect to reinvest in top talent to get back into the top four.

Okwonga: Season review

United announced financial results showing that their income soared 26 percent to 115 million pounds for the third quarter of the financial year as they reduced their debts from 367 million pounds to 351 million pounds.

The club insist they remain in a healthy financial position, even though their income will suffer in the next financial year, when the loss of European football is set to cost them around 35 million pounds.

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said in a conference call to investors that he believes the price of missing out on Champions League football will be "mid-30s" in terms of millions of pounds.

He added that an announcement on a new manager will be made "in due course" with the belief being that Louis van Gaal may not now be confirmed until next week. It is believed that Ryan Giggs has already been offered the assistant manager's role.

But while United only finished seventh in the Premier League, Woodward anticipates an immediate return to the Champions League. "You will see this in the transfer market," he said.

United have a transfer budget in excess of 100 million pounds and Woodward added: "We are looking at investing in players this summer. Deals are being done but not been done in terms of the past tense."

Woodward anticipates a further rise in the wage bill, which increased by 8.5 million pounds to 53.4 million pounds in the third quarter due to "player acquisitions and renegotiated player contracts," which will include Wayne Rooney's new contract and the January arrival of Juan Mata.

The cost of sacking former manager David Moyes was described as being "single digit" in terms of millions of pounds -- the Scot was reported to have been given a 3.5 million payoff -- and it will be reflected in United's fourth-quarter results.

The 20-times champions' revenue between January and March amounted to 115.5 million pounds while their 40 million-pound adjusted EBITDA -- a measure of a company's profitability -- is 60 percent higher than it was in the same period last year.

United are yet to agree a new kit sponsorship deal, which is expected to be lucrative, while Woodward stated they remain in talks with a number of potential partners.

They agreed commercial deals with Aperol and EuroFood in the third quarter, increasing their commercial revenues to 42.8 million pounds and sponsorship deals rose 43.5 percent.

In addition, their broadcasting revenue, aided by the new Premier League deal, went up 64 percent compared to the first three months of 2013.

Woodward added: "We once again generated record revenues and EBITDA as all of our businesses delivered impressive year over year growth. This puts us in a healthy financial position to continue to invest in the squad. Everyone at the club is working hard to ensure the team is back challenging for the title and trophies next season."

United project their turnover for the 2013-14 financial year will be in the region of 420-430 million pounds.

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