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Volume 10 No. 25

Finance

ManU achieved "record annual revenues last season, boosted by a new broadcasting deal for English football and trophy wins," according to Murad Ahmed of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The team finished the '16-17 season by winning the Europa League title and the League Cup. It started this season with a "series of victories that have propelled" the club to a share of first place in the Premier League with Man City. ManU on Thursday released its full-year results for the year to June 30. Revenues increased 12.8% compared with the previous season to £581.2M ($789.2). EBITDA increased more than 17% to £199.8M ($271.3M). Pre-tax profits also increased 7.7% to £39.2M ($53.2M). The financial performance beat the club's guidance provided in May, when it projected annual revenues of £560M-£570M ($760.4M-$774M) and EBITDA of £185M-£195M ($251.2M-$264.8M). ManU has been boosted by a £5.1B ($6.9B) domestic broadcasting deal signed by the Premier League with Sky and BT that "raised income at all 20 clubs in England's top division." The club earned £194.1M ($263.6M) in broadcasting revenues, up more than 38.2% from the previous season (FT, 9/21). The BBC's Bill Wilson reported the club is back in the Champions League this season "thanks to its Europa League final victory" over Eredivisie side Ajax in May. It is the second successive year ManU has accrued revenues of more than £500M ($679M), recording a figure of £515.3M last year. Employee wages -- including those of players -- increased by 13%, "primarily due to an increase in first team salaries." Operating expenses for the year were £511.3M ($694.3M), an increase of £74.7M ($101.4M), or 17.1%, on the previous year. However, net debt fell by £47.8M ($64.9M) to £213.1M ($289.4M). Commercial revenue rose 2.7% to £275.5M ($374.1M). Money from sponsorship, retail and licensing was up, but the club said that it lost 15% over the year on its digital output. Matchday revenue climbed 4.7% to £111.6M ($151.5M), but ManU said that this was "primarily due to playing two more home games in the year" (BBC, 9/21).

Scottish Premiership side Celtic's return to the Champions League group stage "contributed to a revenue increase of 74.2%" to £90.6M ($123M) for the year to June 30. The interim results for the club show pre-tax profit rose from £0.5M to £6.9M ($9.4M). Additionally, operating expenses increased by 33.3% to £76.3M ($103.6M) and the club gained £2.3M ($3.1M) on the sale of player registrations (BBC, 9/20).

Super League side Wigan Warriors reported an operating loss of more than £600,000 last year. Accounts filed with Companies House revealed the club lost £605,286 in its Grand Final-winning campaign, "a rise on the £184,422 lost the previous year." A drop in sponsorship income, from £1.2M to £833,000, and a rise in wage costs were "among factors blamed for the increased loss." But the board of directors predicted "improved fortunes for this current year." The report said that a "revamped commercial approach" had seen the Warriors link up with "several" national and int'l brands (WIGAN TODAY, 9/20).