Manchester United’s Dublin foray is still hanging around the squad

Like a once-promising player who flopped but can’t be shifted from the payroll, the club’s lease on a Westmoreland Street premises still pops up in its financial statements

Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney: the €62,000 profit is enough to cover his wages for a day. photograph: martin rickett/pa wire

Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney: the €62,000 profit is enough to cover his wages for a day. photograph: martin rickett/pa wire

Fri, Jun 20, 2014, 01:06

Manchester United has bigger difficulties to manage, more is the pity, than its ill-fated superstore and Red Cafe that opened briefly on Westmoreland Street in Dublin in 2000.

Like a once-promising player who flopped but can’t be shifted from the payroll, the club’s lease on the premises still pops up in its financial statements. To United’s property portfolio, the Dublin venture is the commercial equivalent of Bebé, a useless Portuguese midfielder who must have seemed like a good idea at the time.

Accounts filed recently for Manchester United Commercial Enterprises (Ireland) show that the club has at least managed to sublet the premises, upon which it has already swallowed a near €600,000 accounting charge.

United earns rent of €98,000 from subletting part of the building, which is where you’ll now find the Lafayette bar and nightclub.

It is difficult to decipher from the accounts precisely what rent the club is still paying on the main lease, but the United entity declared a profit for last year of €62,000, enough to cover Wayne Rooney’s wages for a day.

Irish-based fans of other football clubs won’t be delighted to learn the profits were boosted by a €13,000 tax credit from the State.

The entity is still technically insolvent to the tune of €8 million, with most of that owed to other United companies and so will likely never be repaid. That figure is also roughly what the club wasted on the real Bebé.

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