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Old 17th November 2017, 12:13   #1
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Default What you might have missed from Manchester United’s financial figures and Ed Woodward

What you might have missed from Manchester United’s financial figures and Ed Woodward’s conference call

The club's social media dominance and amount of cash in the bank were both revealed

Mark Critchley Northern Football Correspondent
The Independent Sport
Thursday 16 November 2017 16:01 GMT

Ed Woodward sat down with investors to discuss Manchester United's latest financial figures on Thursday lunchtime.

The executive vice-chairman was happy to report that the club's revenues rose to £141m at the start of the new fiscal year between July and September, up 17 per cent from the same period in 2016.

Other headline figures were a net income of £7.1m, at an increase of 558.3 per cent, while United expect total revenues to hit between £575m and £585m for the full fiscal year.

There were other nuggets of information hidden between the numbers too. Here are some you may have missed...

£17.3m in player sales

During Woodward’s call with investors, Cliff Baty, United’s chief financial officer, noted that the club had received £17.3m from player sales during the summer.

Part of this was from the sale of Adnan Januzaj to Real Sociedad, despite the academy product enduring a difficult season on loan at David Moyes' Sunderland.

The remainder came through sell-on fees. Two other former academy products, Leicester City's Danny Drinkwater and Burnley's Michael Keane, moved to Chelsea and Everton respectively.

Dominance on social media

It may not be surprising but United dominate social media compared to their Premier League rivals, as Woodward was more than happy to confirm to investors.

Between July and September, United saw 300m interactions on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels, an 11 per cent year-on-year increase. Woodward claimed that represents 80 per cent more than the next biggest Premier League club and more interactions than the clubs ranked third to sixth combined.

The club’s Twitter handle, @ManUtd, is the most engaged of any football club on the platform, with 16.5m likes and retweets in this period. Not bad for a club that had only just created an account this time four years ago.

Uefa broadcasting rights due

The next round of broadcasting rights for Uefa competitions are currently being negotiated and Woodward not only expects the fees involved to increase, but also believes that a decision will have been made by the time of his next conference call in February.

“As everybody is aware, Uefa have been in the market and a number of deals have been announced,” he said to one of the two investors that asked a question.

“I think they’re long way through and close to conclusion. Nothing has been announced yet but we are expecting an uplift before the next call in February.”

Net debt is down with more money in the bank

A bone of contention ever since the Glazer family’s controversial takeover in 2005, United’s net debt figure fell to £268.1m, a 20.6 per cent decrease compared to the same period in 2016.

Last November, United’s net debt rose from £286.2m to £337.7m, with the club partly blaming the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, but that figure has now fallen back to its pre-Brexit level.

This is in part due to cash reserves of £216m in the bank, up from £164m last year. Will it be enough for some January spending?

Fastest-selling away shirt ever

There might not be much to say for the mauve third shirt with its ‘Old Trafford stock image’ watermark but Woodward made sure to let investors know that United’s other change strip has proved exceptionally popular.

The Adidas-manufactured black away kit is, according to Woodward, “the fastest-selling away kit Manchester United has ever released” after a publicity campaign involving the likes of David de Gea, Ander Herrera and, of course, Paul Pogba.

Modern football, everybody.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King
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