LONDON / ISPORTCONNECT: Manchester United fans, concerned enough about the danger of the club falling out of the Champions League, may also ask questions about the club’s priorities after the latest quarterly financial results.
United have announced record revenue of £122.9m up to December 31, 2013, with a 39.4pc increase in sponsorship revenue as a result of six major new deals with Unilever and Hong Kong Jockey Club (regional), Banif Bank(financial services), Fuji TV and SPOTV Korea (MUTV) and STC (mobile).
There was also an 18.7% rise in broadcasting revenue as a result of new rights deals agreed by the Premier League.
However United have slipped from third to fourth in the Deloitte Football Money League, having been overtaken by Bayern Munich last year, and the gross debt stands at £356.6m.
Spending on player and staff wages showed a £7.4m increase from one year previously, representing a 16pc rise.
The club’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, welcomed the growth but lamented his side’s “disappointing” league position in a statement accompanying the results.
He said: “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.
“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.”