Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United chief Ed Woodward: Last Champions League slot is at risk

By Staff Reporter

Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has warned of the risks of English clubs losing a Champions League slot this season.

United are predicting they will become the first British club to earn more than £500m in a single year this season but the value of the Champions League has been underlined by the club's first-quarterly figures.

These show income has rocketed by 39.3 per cent to £123.6m thanks to being back on Europe's elite stage.

Woodward said another poor season in Europe could mean only three English clubs in the Champions League next season instead of four.

He said: "If our teams perform badly compared to Italian and German teams, there is a risk. If we did as badly as last year and Germany and Italy did as well then that fourth position would come under threat."

United's return to Champions League competition has seen a big leap in matchday and broadcast revenue, while the first income from the Adidas kit deal - worth £75m annually - has also kicked in.

The figure for EBITDA - which reflects the underlying profitability of the company - was up more than 100 per cent to £41.6million.

Woodward also revealed that Memphis Depay's replica shirt was the third most popular in the world behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo between July and September.

United made a net loss on player sales of £7.4m compared to a £16.9m profit the previous year.

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