SBD/September 19, 2013/Franchises

ManU Creates Singing Section At Old Trafford In Effort To Raise Noise Levels

Manchester United fans led the effort to create the new signing section
EPL club Manchester United has "created a designated singing section" for games at Old Trafford that will have a trial run during the team's UEFA Champions League game against La Liga club Real Sociedad in October, according to Oliver Pickup of the London TELEGRAPH. ManU was "forced to shelve one previous attempt at the venture, mooted last April, after police objected to the relocation of visiting supporters to the third tier of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, opposite the manager's dugouts." A section with a capacity of 1,400 at the Real Sociedad game "will be available to season ticket holders who express an interest." If those seats "are not snapped up by season ticket holders they will go to members who have also registered an interest." Although it is a "fan-led initiative, United are backing it after employing acoustic engineers earlier this year in an effort to increase noise levels" (London TELEGRAPH, 9/19).

MAN UP: In London, Martin Booth reported ManU has "announced record annual revenue" for the last financial year. Total revenue for the FY ended June 30 was up 13.4% to $582.4M (all figures U.S.). Sponsorship revenue alone "was up" by 44.1% to $146.2M and profit for the period "leapt to" $235.4M -- an increase of more than 500%. Matchday revenue increased to $175.4M (LONDON TIMES, 9/18). Also in London, David Conn reported ManU spent $114.1M in '12-13 "financing the cost of the Glazer family's debt-laden takeover of the club" in '05. Investment analyst Andy Green said that the total cost to ManU "in interest, fees, bank charges and debt repayments" for the takeover is $1.1B. ManU Exec Vice Chair Edward Woodward stressed that commercial income from recent sponsorship deals is now 42% of ManU's total at $246M, "far exceeding" the $164M from broadcasting (GUARDIAN, 9/18).
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