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Manchester United annual profits up £20m

Manchester United are predicting 'dramatic growth' in their income over the next two years after seeing their profits rise by £20million to £30.8million last year.

The club's annual report reveals that turnover was £165.4million in the year ending June 30, 2006, compared to £157.2million in the previous year, while operating profits were up from £10.8million to £30.8million.

The figures were achieved despite United last season failing to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League for the first time in a decade.

United chief executive David Gill said the new Premier League TV rights deal, the record shirt-sponsorship deal with insurance firm AIG and the increase of the Old Trafford capacity to 76,000 seats will lead to a major cash injection with well over £2million in ticket sales every home game.

Gill said in the report, which will be published in full on Wednesday: 'In the course of the next two years, I expect the club's revenues to show dramatic growth, due to a combination of increased stadium capacity and greater sponsorship and television income.

'The club are in a very healthy position. Our attendances are now the envy of European, not just UK football and with a burgeoning season ticket waiting list, watching United at Old Trafford is still in great demand.

'The future is promising for the club. We continue to operate by budgeting sensibly and managing our affairs through stable business practices.

'Success on the pitch will always be a driver for success off it and from this base, the club are healthily placed to begin a period of renewed growth.'

Gill insisted United would not fleece fans despite the demand for season tickets.

He added: 'The club remain committed to making top-class football affordable and structures its prices accordingly.'

The £12million that Chelsea had to pay United in compensation for Mikel Jon Obi helped swell United's coffers last year, but the income streams for the next year look staggering.

The AIG deal is worth £18million a year, TV money from the Premier League will be around £50million, the Champions League should see income of around £20million while the average crowd at Premier League matches this season has been 75,776, bringing in around £2million in ticket sales for every home match.

The report reveals United paid £1.8million to agents compared to the £2.6million the previous year.

They are not compelled to reveal such payments but Gill added: 'The club remains committed to disclosure of the amount it spends on agents' fees and has adopted the Football League's guidelines on this issue.

'The club fully supports the new agents' regulations which come into effect this summer and will see players being responsible for paying their own agents.'