United able to reduce debt
Soccer:Manchester United’s gross debt was reduced to €447.8 million after the club’s owners ‘retired’ a further €78 million-worth of bonds during the first financial quarter. A 32.4 per cent increase in sponsorship revenues, underpinned by that massive shirt deal with Chevrolet, contributed to commercial revenues rising by 24 per cent to €53.5 million over the quarter and an overall profit of €25.5 million.
United estimate overall income will reach €450 million over the entire financial year to June 30th, 2013. The results are bound to receive a negative reaction from some fans groups, particularly as reports in the United States overnight indicated the club had to be forced to disclose greater information than they initially wanted when they launched their IPO in the summer.
But commercially, at least, the results underline how successful United have been. In the last quarter alone, United entered into 10 sponsorship arrangements, including that incredible €444 million deal with General Motors for the Chevrolet logo to be worn on their shirts for seven seasons from 2014.
That eye-boggling sum persuaded United to buy-out the present deal with DHL for United’s training kit, which will now come to an end at the climax of this season.
United confirmed the ‘exceptional item’ of €38million related to professional advisor fees in connection with the IPO.
This sum will be seized on by critics of the Glazer family, who continue to point to the massive sums incurred by the club as a direct result of their controversial leveraged takeover in 2005. Yet United now appear set on a campaign to maximise commercial revenues.
They have opened an office in Hong Kong and confirmed staff costs had risen to €50.1 million “primarily due to growth in commercial headcount”. United also confirmed they received €1.6 million due to their players being selected for Euro 2012.