Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Gill sees 'very good' accounts

David Gill

Manchester United chief executive David Gill insists there is no pressure to sell star players such as Wayne Rooney despite the club making losses of £83.6million.

Gill said the club would still prefer to have "Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch than £80million in the bank" as proof of their desire to keep players.

"We are not a club that needs to sell," he said. "We have money in the bank so there is zero pressure on that, no pressure at all to sell any star player whether it is Wayne Rooney or X,Y or Z. I can categorically say that."

Gill added: "There was no desire at all from anyone at the club to sell Cristiano - he wanted to go and as a result we managed to extract a world record fee.

"These philosophy is to retain and attract the best players. We have £165million in the bank but in some ways we would prefer to have £80million in the bank and Ronaldo on the pitch."

Although United's group operating profit topped £100.7million, after player-related costs, interest payments and a number of expensive one-off costs related to the bond issue, overall there was a record loss for the club.

Gill said the accounts released on Friday were "very good" with excellent revenues, and said there should be no concern about United going down the same road as Liverpool, whose American co-owners have struggled to finance their ownership.

The United chief executive did admit the figures could be confusing to fans who saw a record turnover of £286million for the year ending June 2010 contrasting with the record losses of £83.6million. The figures show that United's wage bill rose by 7% to £131.7million, while United's overall debt rose to £521.7million.

Fans' group have raised concerns that there could be parallels with the Liverpool crisis, where the holding company may be forced into administration next week over unpaid debts following a leveraged takeover, and the Glazer ownership of United. Gill however insisted that was not the case.

He added: "I can't speak for any other club but the United fans should not be concerned, we have a long-term financing structure in place, excellent revenues that are growing, we are controlling our costs - total wages are 46% of turnover - and we can afford the interest on our long-term finance."

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