Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has announced that the club have posted a record second-quarter revenue of £122.9m, but admitted that “everyone from the team manager down” has acknowledged that the start to David Moyes’ career at Old Trafford has been disappointing.
United published figures showing an 18.8% rise in commercial income to £42.3m, which pushes the year total up to a 30% increase. In the quarter leading up to December 31 2013, the club activated six new sponsorship deal with more to follow, although the wage expenditure does show a 17% increase.
Speaking after the results were published, Woodward did accept that everyone involved with the club have been left disappointed with how the season has gone so far, with United already losing ten matches this campaign since Moyes took over at the club – one more than they experienced under Sir Alex Ferguson last season.
“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,” said Woodward.
“We continue to see meaningful opportunities to grow our commercial business and the popularity of football on TV is leading to continued broadcasting revenue growth - all of which bodes well for the long-term stability and financial strength of our business.
“We are also very pleased to have added a world class player in Juan Mata to our squad, who has already made a positive impact.”
The figures revealed that broadcasting revenue was up 18.7% to £46.9m due to the new Premier League television right agreement, while increases in the Champions League pool distributions also contributed to that sum due to their league success last season.
Although the £37.1m signing of Juan Mata is not included in the figures, staff cost increased by 16.7%, due to the additions of Marouane Fellaini and Wilfried Zaha. Zaha was initially loaned back to Crystal Palace for the second half of last season, so his wages were only added to the bill since the beginning of the season.
The clubs gross debt has been reduced by a further 2/7% to £356.6m, but do have an additional £72m in the bank which can be used in the summer to strengthen the squad – fans will expect that figure to be used to address the problems currently in the first team.
United have chosen to remain quiet though on their ongoing negotiation of a new kit supplier, with their current deal with Nike set to expire at the end of the season. Speculation has linked kit-makers Asidas, Puma and Warrior with making offers to take the manufacturing rights to all United shirts, which would see their name branded on one of the most famous club shirts in the world.
Woodward also failed to reveal any contingency plans financially should United miss out on Champions League qualification this year. However, Woodward will speak to shareholders later on Wednesday.