Manchester United forecast record revenues for 2017

Meanwhile, Mourinho is giving his players a day off on ‘à la carte’ basis before final

Manchester United are predicting record revenues of up to £570m (€665m) this year, despite struggling domestically and without Champions League football this season.

United, who are sixth in the Premier League but have the Europa League final against Ajax to look forward to next week, have increased projected revenue in their third quarter results to between £560m to £570m – a £30m (€35m) rise on the second quarter prediction. United regained the top spot in the Deloitte rich list from Real Madrid with record revenue of £515.3m (€600.8m) for the 2015-16 season. They achieved a record profit of 191.9m (€223.8m) last year and are on course for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of between £185m (€216m) to £195m (€227m) this time round.

The United executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, said: "As we near the end of the season, I am delighted we have picked up two trophies [the Community Shield and the League Cup] and look forward to competing for a third in the Europa League final, the only trophy we have never won.

“We are forecasting better full year financial performance than expected and as such have raised our revenue and profit guidance for the year. We look forward to a strong finish to 2016-17 on and off the pitch.”

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Total revenue for the fiscal third quarter ending 31 March 2017 was £127.2m (€148.3m) and broadcasting revenues of £31.4m (€36.6m) were up 12.9 per cent for the quarter. Staff costs rose 18.3 per cent on the corresponding quarter last year and net debt is £366.63m (€427.5m), representing a £17.6m (€20.5m) increase over the year but US dollar debt principal remains unchanged.

José Mourinho is giving his players days off on an "à la carte" basis as he looks to keep the squad fresh for the Europa League final in Stockholm. United travel to Southampton for Wednesday's penultimate Premier League game with Paul Pogba to miss the game because of his father's funeral. Mourinho also has four long-term absentees owing to injury: Marcos Rojo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ashley Young and Luke Shaw. Timothy Fosu-Mensah is battling to be fit for the final following a dislocated shoulder.

Regarding resting players before the final, which if won also awards Champions League qualification, Mourinho said: “It’s all so difficult. I am giving one-day holiday, à la carte, if you understand what I mean. Monday Daley Blind, one day off, Monday Henrikh Mkhitaryan one day off. Ander Herrera one day off. But the guys who played 90 minutes [in Sunday’s 2-1 loss at Tottenham Hotspur] I cannot give one day off if I want them to play against Southampton.

"It is à la carte and trying to have the people the best they can be. So this is a period in one week when I have to give one day off and now I give a day off to Antonio Valencia. It has to be. And against Crystal Palace [the final game] two or three more and against Southampton two or three more and that's to try to arrive in the final in the best possible conditions."

Pogba may return for the visit of Palace on Sunday, though the decision is being left to the midfielder. Mourinho said: “I don’t think Paul has the conditions to play. We have left him completely free to be back when he thinks he’s ready.”

Mourinho had previously confirmed that Sergio Romero will retain his regular Europa League starting berth against Ajax. The Argentinian will also play in one of the final two league outings.

“Now we need everybody,” Mourinho said. “Fosu-Mensah is the only one who has a little chance to be ready for the final and even this kid is trying everything to be fit because the others are impossible. What I want from the last two league games from the players is a good attitude, a positive approach and team spirit. An understanding that some guys have to sacrifice themselves for the good of others.

“A final is a final and we have to go to the final with everything like Ajax does because they have finished the season and they do not have any more football to play until the final.”

Mourinho was impressed with Anthony Martial in the defeat at Spurs. "Yes, he was good. He was okay against Arsenal – against Celta he didn't play because the options were different but he's fine, he's fine and he's one of the guys for who it's very important to play 90 minutes," said the manager. "Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Juan Mata, it's very important for them to play 90 minutes."

(Guardian service)