London, United Kingdom, Sep 21 – Manchester United announced record revenues and operating profits on Thursday despite missing out on the riches of the Champions League last season.
The Old Trafford club earned revenues of £581.2 million ($783 million, 659 million euros) in the 12 months to the end of June and made an operating profit of £80.8 million.
Debt, linked to the purchase of the club by the Glazer family in 2005, dropped to £213.1 million from £260.9 million a year previously.
Broadcasting revenue rocketed by 38.2 percent to £194.1 million following the Premier League’s new rights agreement.
Despite finishing sixth in the Premier League last season, United qualified for this season’s Champions League by virtue of winning the Europa League and also won the League Cup in Jose Mourinho’s first season in charge.
Earlier this year, financial analysts Deloitte revealed United had returned to the top of football’s rich list for the first time since 2005, supplanting Real Madrid thanks to revenues of £515 million.
In June, US magazine Forbes said the Manchester giants had overtaken Real Madrid as the world’s most valuable football team thanks to the club’s enduring brand appeal and aggressive sponsorship strategies.
“We concluded a successful 2016/17 season with a total of three trophies (including the Community Shield) and a return to Champions League football,” said executive vice chairman Ed Woodward.
“We are pleased with the investment in our squad and look forward to an exciting season.”
The Premier League joint leaders expect similar figures during the current financial year.
Woodward is also expecting a change in dynamic when it comes to bidding for TV rights, with non-traditional players such as Facebook and Amazon vying to enter the European football market.
“Absolutely, I think they’ll enter the mix,” he said. “I think anecdotally there was strong interest in the last cycle.
“We are hearing that around the Premier League table but we’re also hearing that from a European perspective as well, in terms of interest in the Champions League and in Europa rights.
“But I think the wider picture you have to look at (is) what is happening elsewhere at the moment because obviously there aren’t any clear European sales to these kind of partners at the moment.”