Football: Manchester United post record revenue and expect further growth for next year

Manchester United said revenue is expected to be between £615 million (S$1.1 billion) and £630 million in the year to next June.
Manchester United said revenue is expected to be between £615 million (S$1.1 billion) and £630 million in the year to next June.PHOTO: REUTERS/ACTION IMAGES

(REUTERS) - English Premier League football club Manchester United forecast record revenue for 2018-19, despite having dropped off the early pace in the new season.

United, whose squad includes World Cup winner Paul Pogba, David de Gea and Alexis Sanchez, said revenue is expected to be between £615 million and £630 million in the year to next June.

Their revenue for 2017-18 also came in at a record £590 million (S$1.06 billion) despite a slowdown in the fourth quarter, due to a dip in commercial and broadcasting revenue.

"Our increased revenue expectation for the year demonstrates our continued strong long-term financial performance which underpins everything we do and allows us to compete for top talent in an increasingly competitive transfer market," executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement.

However, a Guardian report on the earnings revealed that the club still have a £487m debt, 13 years after the Glazer family bought the club for a debt of £525m.

This means that less than £3m a year has been paid off since then, with the cost of serving the debt amounting to £24m a year, according to the British paper.

There have been media reports of behind-the-scenes discord between Woodward and team manager Jose Mourinho, over the club's recruitment policy.

Revenue for the three months ended June 30 fell 16 per cent to £147.6 million, as United's failure to progress beyond the round of 16 in the lucrative Uefa Champions League contrasted with the previous year, when they won the second-tier Europa League.

The team are currently seventh in the league, eight points behind early leaders Liverpool and six behind cross-town rivals and reigning champions Manchester City.

City, owned by Arab billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, won the league with a 19-point margin over United last season and are now looking to close the gap on the Red Devils off the pitch as well.

Earlier this month, it posted revenue of £500.5 million and profit of £10.4 million for the year ended June 30. (https://bit.ly/2Q1fCBM)

United's adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) for the year are expected to be between £175 million and £190 million compared with £177.1 million reported for 2017-18.