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Machester United Releases Earnings

We have added a new section over at Premier League Tickets where we look at the finances of Premier League teams.

Today Manchester United released their financial statement for last season. Here is what we said about the numbers:

Fascinating set of financial numbers were released by Manchester United today. United had a spectular season last year on the field, winning both the Premier League and the Champions League.

That success on the field certainly helped increase United’s revenue. Accounts to June 2008 reveal turnover at the club has risen an incredible 22% to £256.2million, underpinning a 7.5% increase in profits to £80.4million.

However, Red Football, the umbrella for United and its various offshoots, confirmed a loss of £44.8million, taking United’s overall debt to an eye-watering £649.4million. Debt payments for the time period were £45.5million.

Some critics like Seth Ballter and Michel Platini are sure to pounce on that debt figure as evidence of an unsustainable financial structure. Questions will be asked how it is possible for the Glazer family to make a profit if their losses are so high in a season as successful as the last one.

The Glazer’s do not see that concerned with the debt levels as they continue the grow the value of the Manchester United brand which is now estimated to be worth over £1billion.

The issue for the Glazers and Man United is whether they can continue to grow revenues in today’s financial climate. Attendance figures, while still extremely healthy, are showing signs of dipping slightly, suggesting further controversial increases in ticket prices might have more of a negative effect than has previously been the case.

Income from media streams, which show up a mammoth 30% rise to £90.7million, might offer more scope for improvement given the domestic Premier League TV deal has gone up five per cent, with the overseas contracts likely to exceed that figure.

However, balanced against that is a rare surplus of £21million on transfers, generated by the sales of Gabriel Heinze, Giuseppe Rossi and Gerard Pique amongst others, plus an uncertain commercial market.

United are already touting for new shirt sponsors after AIG confirmed they will not be extending an overall £18million annual deal when it expires next year. If Man Utd can get a new deal that is comparable to the AIG deal in value, that will show that the Glazer plan continues to work.