SportSoccer

Manchester United set £500million revenue target despite Champions League exit

SoccerBy Sunday World
Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward
Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward

Manchester United are still on course to become the first British club to earn more than half a billion pounds in one year despite their precarious league position and exit from the Champions League.

United's 1-1 draw at Chelsea on Sunday left them six points adrift of the Champions League qualification places with 13 Premier League matches left.

Louis van Gaal has faced questions about his position too, with Jose Mourinho reported to be ready to replace the beleaguered United boss if he is sacked, but off the pitch everything appears rosy.

United announced in their second-quarterly financial results on Thursday that they expect revenue for the year to hit £500-£510million. No British club in history has recorded such a figure.

United announced a record second-quarter revenue total of £133.8million, up 26.6 per cent on last year.

Commercial revenue for the second quarter was £66.1million - an increase of 42.5 per cent on the previous year.

Broadcasting revenues were also up 31.3 per cent and sponsorship revenue for the second quarter was up £1.6million to £37.4million.

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: "Our strong commitment to investing in our squad, youth academy and the broader club are ultimately underpinned by our financial strength and the hard work and dedication of everyone at the club.

"Our solid results off the pitch help contribute to what remains our number one priority - success on the pitch."

Woodward will speak more about the results and field questions from investors during conference call on Thursday.

He also hinted at a big summer of spending for Man Utd, as he suggested they will target marquee signings.

"I think this is the biggest window in preparation for the next season, I do think there’ll be more activity in the summer," he added.

"The philosophy we have is to target the quality of players based on a huge amount of scouting that we do and analysis in the training ground, and then we do our best to do the best deal we can.

"Some players are bought by other clubs with an eye to them developing into something special in a few years' time, whereas there's a bit more pressure, perhaps, on some of the bigger clubs to bring in players that are going to be hitting the ground running and top players verging on world-class almost immediately."

Clearly, he suggested United would be looking to sign players in the latter category, so expect more big name targets next summer.