Manchester United become first British side to record revenue of more than £500m in a single year as owners pocket £15m
Manchester United have become the first British football club to rake in £500million in a year — while their owners pocketed £15m.
Figures released on Monday show the Old Trafford outfit generated a staggering income of £515.3m for the year ending June 30.
In world football, the vast amount is second only to Barcelona, who announced revenues of £570m in July.
The figures also revealed that, for the first time under a controversial dividend scheme, £20m was paid out to shareholders.
That means the six members of the Glazer family, who own 80 per cent of shares, have received their first annual windfalls of around £2.5m and have effectively emptied £15m from United’s bank account. The vast revenue at Old Trafford is thanks largely to United’s world-record £750m kit deal with adidas and a relentless commercial drive which has seen them sign 14 lucrative deals with new sponsors.
The US-based Glazer family took control of United in 2005 with a leveraged buyout, which saw them borrow £525m and transfer the debt to the club.
Last year it emerged that they were planning to pay $0.045 per share to shareholders in a move that many saw as a shameless lining of their own pockets.
United remain in debt to the tune of £260.9m, a rise of £5.7m on the previous year. Much of the debt relates historically to the takeover and while their commercial activity alone is enough to pay off that figure, it is thought that the club retain the debt for tax purposes.
The spreadsheet also revealed the cost of the departure of Louis van Gaal and his staff. Former manager Van Gaal was sacked in May, following the FA Cup final victory and a disappointing fifth-place Premier League finish, and replaced by Jose Mourinho.
The Dutchman and his backroom team were given £8.4m, which is less than the £10m-plus Sportsmail last week revealed Everton paid the sacked Roberto Martinez.
Bastian Schweinsteiger has also literally been written off, having been deemed surplus to requirements by Mourinho. The German World Cup winner’s fall in status means he can no longer be included as one of United’s assets, leading the club to write off a sum £6.7m.
Despite no Champions League football this season, United forecast that revenue will be between £530m and £540m in 2017 with money from the Premier League’s new broadcast deal set to land.
United made an operating profit of £68.6m, compared with £31.6m the previous year. However, the highlight of the figures from a business sense, is the staggering rise in retail and commercial revenues.
As revealed by Sportsmail when the club signed their record deal with adidas, United took back a number of rights held by previous kit-maker Nike. Those included the return of the Megastore and allowed them to sign lucrative new deals with external retail companies, including Columbia and New Era. Commercial revenue rocketed from £196.9m to £268.3m while retail went up 207.9 per cent to £65.7m.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: ‘Our (results) reflect the continued underlying strength of the business and the club is on target to achieve record revenues in 2017, even without the Champions League. This strong financial performance has enabled us to invest in our squad, team management and facilities to position us to challenge for, and win, trophies in the coming years.’
United spent around £150m on new players after the arrival of Mourinho, including a world-record £89m fee on Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba.
And Woodward added: ‘We’re writing the next chapter in our history. We believe this investment should translate into further growth of the club financially