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By ESPN Staff
Jan 7, 2008

Man Utd expected to announce £245m turnover

Manchester United are set to announce a massive increase in turnover to £245million later this week.

The Red Devils have cashed in on an outstanding season, during which they ended a four-year drought by lifting the Premier League title, only lost out to AC Milan in the Champions League semi-finals and were beaten by Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

Slightly irritated by Arsenal's bullish claim to be the richest club in England when they reported turnover of £201million in September, United have also factored in revenue from the long-term contract with shirt manufacturers Nike, which has never previously been included.

It leaves United as unquestioned number one in England, slightly behind only Real Madrid in the global arena.

Confirmation of the £245million figure for overall business will come from Old Trafford overnight on Thursday, with the club itself reporting turnover in excess of £200million for its core football activities.

It is also expected United will continue to buck the Premier League trend of not disclosing agents' fees by releasing the overall figure it has spent on agents.

Although this is a step back from previous policy of detailing the fees involved in each transaction, United chief executive David Gill had warned the club may no longer detail payments to agents at all if the club's top flight rivals did not follow suit.

Gill will certainly be satisfied with the overall results, which are expected to confirm the highest profit figure ever recorded by an English club, which may go some way to easing the widespread concerns of many fans over the debt incurred during Malcolm Glazer's controversial takeover in 2005.

It has also allowed the club to reduce its wages-turnover ratio to 43.6%, well within the 50% limit set by the Glazer family as a long-term aim.

With a new TV deal currently in place and United going well in both the Premier League and Europe, plus securing a place in the FA Cup fourth round at Aston Villa on Saturday, there is even scope for improvement this season, especially if new commercial director Richard Arnold can capitalise on a fan base now estimated at 333 million according to market research company TNS Sport.