Football

Manchester United debt rises to £380.5m in six months

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Manchester United have today announced that their levels of gross debt have risen to more than £380 million over the last six months.

They confirmed that money owed by the club has risen by 6.7% from £356.6 million in the six months up to December 31, which they say is down to the strengthening of the dollar against the pound.

Revenue

Manchester United's overall revenue fell to £194.4m compared to £221.4m for the same six-month period a year ago, which the club put down to the lack European football and broadcast revenue this season, although the fall wasn't as great as some predicted because of two new sponsorship deals.

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: "Notwithstanding no European football this season, our revenues and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) remain strong and demonstrate the underlying strength of our business model, with commercial revenues up year over year.

Challenge

"On the pitch, the team is well positioned to challenge for a top-four finish in the Premier League and we look forward to the rest of the season."

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Overall commercial revenue was up 9.7% to £46.4 million up for the quarter. The news from Old Trafford comes two days after the Premier League announced a record-shattering £5.14 billion deal with Sky Sports and BT over broadcasting rights.

"The recently announced Premier League broadcasting rights package for 2017-19, representing an increase just over 70 per cent, once again demonstrates that we are part of the top football league in the world," Woodward continued.

Manchester United, under the ownership of the Glazer family who purchased the club in 2005, are ranked as the fourth richest club in European football in the Deloitte Football Money League.

Trouble

However it was reported last year that Manchester United could find themselves in trouble with UEFA over the levels of their debt, and could be punished under Financial Fair Play regulations.

The debt leveraged on the club by its owners has been a bone of contention for fans, with more than £500 million taken from Old Trafford to pay for things like fees and interest. A splinter group formed FC United after the Glazer's takeover in protest against the move.

Despite the money leaving the club, Manchester United splashed around £150 million on new players last summer in an attempt to make up for the failings under former boss David Moyes last season.

Opinion

Manchester United are a very modern club in more ways than one, and their latest financial statement shows just that. In an attempt to keep the money rolling in the club they continue to hawk the brand to the highest bidder - the latest "partnerships" are with soft drink Chi in Nigeria a wellness partner in China. 

The level of debt which has contributed to rising ticket prices amongst other things remains a massive issue. The fact the total number has gone up by such a significant number is likely to prompt a few uncomfortable questions; ones that need to be asked too.

Should Manchester United's owners be booted out of the club? Have your say below!

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester United

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