Saturday afternoon’s defeat to Manchester City was still lingering in the memories of supporters, the working week will be a long one for those of us surrounded by Manchester City fans. But whilst the results on the pitch give the Blues hope that their club is the biggest in Manchester, United have gone and blown this perception right out of the water with the latest figures for the last quarter revenue-wise. Yes, the FA Cup may be the only trophy to have been won in the last three years, but United have become the first British team to break the £500 million barrier.
The figures make for very good reading. United are second only to Barcelona in World football (the Spaniards released they turned over £571 million earlier in the year) and far and away the highest earners in Britain. On top of the turnover, the club made £68 million profit alone, all in spite of operating expenses jumping 12.9% (£49.4 million) to £436 million. The rise in revenue is in no small part to the gigantic agreement in place with kit manufacturers Adidas and the 14 new partnerships added to United’s portfolio, the sacking of Louis van Gaal and his staff amounted to a meager £8.4 million (less than Everton had to fork out to oust Roberto Martinez) and the money spent in the summer has come nowhere near to having an impact on the finances.
What we need to remember is all this has come without the contribution from the Champions League. Also, the Premier League television money is yet to reach its peak, both of these factors (providing Jose Mourinho achieves the goal of recapturing a top four finish) will continue to allow the club to grow fiscally. The club debt rose, but by an insignificant figure of £5.7 million and is absolutely nothing to worry about.
People may be doubting the credentials of the club in the wake of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, and on the pitch, they are absolutely correct to do so. Manchester United haven’t so much as looked like challenging on any fronts domestically (bar the triumph in the cup last season) but these figures are proof that this is yet to have an effect on the club itself. United are a juggernaut in every sense of the word and the backing new manager Jose Mourinho has received is yet more proof of this. A World Record transfer fee for Paul Pogba followed up by World Record revenue is a massive statement of intent.
Revenue seems to be able to be a steady £540 million (if forecasts are to be believed) due to the lack of Champions League football. It’s a quite incredible achievement, and Ed Woodward deserves a heck of a lot of credit for steering the club into the upper echelons of the financial world. Continuation of growth like this matched with success on the pitch only points to these figures getting bigger and bigger. Trophies and Champions League under Jose Mourinho may well see the £1 billion mark reached in 2017. Whether you’re interested in this side of things or not, there are some very exciting times ahead.