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Despite struggles, Manchester United still printing cash

Feb 12, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT

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The figures are in, and they look pretty good.

While much is made of Manchester United’s struggles in the Premier League table — they sit in seventh place ahead of today’s match with Arsenal — the Red Devils are making money.

Manchester United’s revenue is up nearly 12 percent from last year, according to a report released by the club on Wednesday. Included in that figure are rises in broadcasting revenue (+18.7 percent), commercial revenue (+18.8 percent) and sponsorship revenue (+close to 40 percent)

United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: “We once again achieved a record revenue quarter with strong contributions from our commercial and broadcasting businesses despite the current league position, which everyone from the team manager down has acknowledged is disappointing.”

Leave it to The Daily Mail to take the positive money news and spin it against United. The web site points out that the $1.1 billion in debt that the Red Devils have paid down since the Glazers took over in 2005 is slightly more than the $1.06 billion Manchester City has spent on transfers in the past half-decade. They also point out that despite the money Manchester United has spent paying its debt, the club is still about $588 million in debt.

It’ll be curious to see whether moves toward austerity and FIFA’s Financial Play movement pay off, or whether the rich will continue to operate with impunity.

  1. dfstell - Feb 12, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    This is why United is going to be basically okay long term. United isn’t wealthy because they have a rich owner. They’re rich because they have a global brand and are very popular. It’s possible to have a money-machine line United and not operate it well, but there are limits to how much mismanagement the market will bear. There is always some entity out there looking to acquire a company like United if it is intrinsically valuable (due to the brand), but is mismanaged and not reaching it’s potential. Eventually some oil merchant would come along and offer the Glazers enough money that they cannot say “No”.

    Now, that doesn’t mean that normality will be restored soon. This seasons sucks and is probably a lost cause. United isn’t catching Liverpool. Next season will suck too because United will stick with David Moyes for at least the beginning. But, Moyes will either get the club performing OR he’ll be sacked by November. Then the club will hobble along with some interim manager for the rest of the 14-15 season. But….by a year from now…..the talk about the new manager will fire up.

    It was impossible to get someone really good to succeed SAF. Who wants to succeed the greatest of all time when they just won the league in a walk with a squad that really overachieved? But, I think by next spring, you’ll see a LOT of impressive managers who would be very interested in succeeding 7th place David Moyes.

    It’ll be fine. United will always struggle against Chelsea and City just because the finances are not equal, but there’s no reason for them to do a Liverpool and struggle for 20 years.

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