Manchester United: Poor on the field but still the richest

The record turnover of £500million came in a season, when Manchester United failed to secure Champions League qualification.

By: Express News Service | Published:September 14, 2016 12:12 pm
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On Monday, Manchester United became the first English club to earn over £500million in a year, ending June 30. It made them the richest football institution on the planet. The record turnover came in a season, when United struggled on the pitch and failed to secure Champions League qualification. But Ed Woodward’s money-spinning machine rolled on. The Premier League’s £5.136 billion TV rights deal, too, played a part

£519million turnover
According to a report in The Times, United’s revenue was equivalent to €691million (£587million). The British pound plunged following the Brexit, but the year’s average Euro exchange rate, €1.3426 to the pound, had been used. Barcelona and Real Madrid, the Red Devils’ nearest rivals, had turnovers of €679million (£577million) and €620million (£527million) respectively. At the present exchange rate, however, United’s turnover was €611.3million (£519million).

The commercial partners
Figures revealed on the club website earlier this year showed United had 70 commercial partners. Arsenal had 28 listed on their site. Chelsea and Liverpool had 24 and 23 respectively, while United’s cross-town rivals Manchester City had only 17. United reportedly signed 14 commercial partnerships last season, a period when the FA Cup win was their tenuous link to on-pitch success.

Fattest wage bill
The Times also reported that United trumped Chelsea with a wage bill of £232.2million. The Blues had forked out £215million the season before.

Other records
United’s operating profits of £68.9millions is a Premier League record as well. The club recorded a net profit of £36.4million but net debt had been increased by £5.7million and stood at £260.9million.

Woodward makeover
The Glazers own the club. Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, runs it. Woodward studied physics at the University of Bristol but he redefined commercial operations after joining United in 2005 as a financial planner. Back then, at the time of the takeover by the Glazer family, United had commercial revenue of £48.7million.

The comparison
According to the financial data available, Premier League is the fourth richest sport league in the world with revenue of £3.4billion. India’s premier domestic T20 cricket tournament, the Indian Premier League, has net revenue of £287million. According to a report in the financial services firm Deloitte, the IPL has a market value of close to £2.6billion. India’s premier football event, the Indian Super League, had revenue of £59million in its first season. Revenue per club at the ISL was £7.3million compared to £173million in the Premier League.

The write-off
United have written off their £6.7million asset, German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger. The latter has been frozen out by Jose Mourinho.Schweinsteiger was written off as an assent, ostensibly because his non-inclusion (to the first team) could have given a negative impression to the investors.