Ed Woodward says Man United can return to ‘pinnacle’

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward believes Manchester United are entering an exciting new chapter that can return the club to football’s “pinnacle”.

A general air of malaise had set in since Alex Ferguson’s exit, with the club missing out on Champions League qualification in two of the three years following his retirement in 2013.

Last season’s fifth-place finish in the Premier League meant FA Cup glory was not enough to save manager Louis van Gaal, with Jose Mourinho swiftly named his successor at Old Trafford.

Woodward, speaking for the first time since Mourinho’s appointment, added: “These are very exciting times for Manchester United and we’re optimistic for the season ahead and for our longer term future.

“Our club remains at the top of the sport and global interest in football has never been higher.”

Woodward was basking in the afterglow of United’s record-breaking financial results, which showed they had become the first UK club to earn more than half a billion pounds in a single year.

The accounts up until June 30, 2016 showed the club’s revenue was £515.3million, which is predicted to rise to between £530m and £540m at the end of the next financial year - albeit a figure less than Barcelona’s 679million euros (£570million) revenue announced in July.

United have enjoyed record operating profit of £68.9m in 2015-16, with broadcasting revenue up 30.4 percent to £140.4m as matchday revenues rose 17.7 percent to 106.6m.

Commercial revenue rose 36.3 percent to £268.3m in a year that the agreement with Adidas came into play, helping retail revenues rise 207.9 per cent.

United’s net debt increased 2.2 percent to £260.9m, with that £5.7m change pinned on the impact of exchange rate movements on their US dollar denominated debt.

Total operating expenses were £436.6m - a 12.8 percent increase - and employee benefit expenses £232.2m, an increase of 14.6 percent primarily thanks to contract extensions and a rise in salaries due to Champions League participation.

There is no increase this term as United will ply their trade in the Europa League, but Woodward is still expecting record revenues next year.

“Our record Fiscal 2016 financial performance reflects the continued underlying strength of the business.


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