Belfast Telegraph

Income falls but Manchester United will still be big spenders

By Martyn Ziegler

Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward has raised the prospect of more expensive signings by the club next year by predicting bringing fewer players in - but not necessarily less spending.

Woodward, speaking on a conference call with United investors, said that he anticipated fewer players coming into the club - but could not guarantee a drop in the overall amount spent on transfer fees.

United spent more than £115m during the summer including £36m on teenage French striker Anthony Martial, but sold £59.7m record signing Angel di Maria to Paris St Germain for around £45m. Asked by one investor if 2015 represented a peak in terms of capital investment in players, Woodward said: "Was 2015 a peak? I think it's impossible to answer that question.

"We have seen a large number of ins and outs in terms of the squad in the last couple of summer windows. We have previously guided on a more modest number in and out. It is a number-times-price calculation - the number can vary and obviously the price can vary quite materially based on who you are purchasing so it is difficult for us to guide on that."

United announced they expect to become the first English club to break the £0.5bn income barrier this season. The club reported revenues down last season by 8.8% to £395.2m.

United's income fell by £38m from £433.2m - the loss of £50m in income from Europe being partially offset by an increase in commercial income.

The club's adjusted profit was down to £3.1m from £28.7m, and gross debt increased to £411m from £341m a year ago - partly due to refinancing old bonds and partly due to exchange rate changes with the dollar.

Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke, Sepp Blatter's right-hand man, has been suspended by the organisation pending an investigation into allegations he was implicated in a World Cup tickets scheme.

It is understood emails and documents suggest Valcke was aware that a Swiss marketing company were selling off World Cup and Confederation Cup tickets for almost five times their face value.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph