United’s 84 points in the League place the team 16 points ahead of second-placed Manchester City. And with revenues of £97.1m in the last three months, the club has smashed all its previous records for third-quarter turnover. And these figures don’t even include the club’s recent £120m eight-year deal with AON. However, a soaring wage bill has eaten away at earnings, leaving a pre-tax loss of £3.1m.
According to figures released to the New York stock exchange today, United has generated 52.2% more advertising revenue and a 32% increase in commercial income to £114.5m compared to the same quarter last year. That adds up to a 28% revenue rise on Q2. As a result, the club’s bosses are adjusting their annual revenue forecasts to £360m.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: ‘Each of our three primary sectors – commercial, broadcasting and matchday – delivered strong top-line gains and helped us achieve a record third quarter for both revenue and adjusted EBITDA.’
Gross debt is also being gradually paid down. The current total stands at £367.6m, a decrease of 15.9% since June last year.
However, overheads are rising across the board at the club. Total operating expenses for the third quarter increased 18.6% year-on-year to £79m. Star signings Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa, costly renegotiations of contracts and a raft of new hires in United’s commercial team have seen wages rise 25.1% to £44.9m. And completing the purchase of the club's own TV channel, MUTV, cost United £2.7m.
Still, the record earnings, coupled with Manchester United’s dominance of the league, should mollify fans somewhat. The Glazer family, which bought Manchester United using the club’s own assets to finance their takeover, alienated many loyal supporters by creating the debt mountain. The news also marks a positive end to CEO David Gill’s tenure at the club. He steps down this summer to move on to pastures - or should that be playing fields - new…
Read MT's EXCLUSIVE interview with David Gill.