SBD/March 23, 2011/Franchises

Manchester United Parent Company Posts Record Loss In Latest Fiscal Year

Manchester United's commercial revenue increased over $20M in latest FY
Manchester United parent company Red Football Joint Venture Ltd. announced a "record pre-tax loss" of about $177.5M (all figures U.S.) for the FY ending June '10, according to Jackson & Conn of the GUARDIAN. The loss represents an additional $47.2M from the $130.3M "pre-tax deficit posted for the same period by Red Football Limited, the football club's immediate holding company, in October." Most of the $47.2M is the "interest accrued on the club's payment-in-kind loans," which stood at about $379M in June and "has since been cleared." Jackson & Conn noted ManU's commercial revenue increased to $82.1M, up 35.5% from $60.6M "due to the new deal with Aon" to sponsor the club's jersey. This trend "should allow United to become the first club to draw" a profit exceeding £100M (about $163M) from commercial revenue. ManU's overall revenue increased from about $236M to $255M, "which indicates the club's earnings are increasing even while it services the huge debt" (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 3/22). In Manchester, Stuart Mathieson notes ManU Joint Chair Joel Glazer yesterday "tried to reassure fans by saying the club has 'sufficient cash reserves ... for investment in the playing squad'" (MENMEDIA.co.uk, 3/23). ESPN SOCCERNET's Harry Harris cited a source as saying there have been "suggestions that the club are financially handicapped in some way," but "they are exceptional circumstances." The source noted the club has about $269M in cash "in the bank, and even as we stand the club would pass UEFA's fair financial play rules" (ESPNSOCCERNET.com, 3/22).

UPPING STAKE: The PA reported Arsenal investor Alisher Usmanov has "upped his stake" in the EPL club to "over 27%." Red & White Holdings Limited, which is jointly owned by Usmanov and partner Farhad Moshiri, "made the brief announcement on Tuesday but did not give any details as to the additional stock acquired." Rams Owner Stan Kroenke "remains the largest individual shareholder" in the club with a 29.9% stake (PA, 3/22).
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