In Brief

Manchester United top of the earnings table

Club is the first in UK to break through the £500m revenue mark

Manchester United have smashed their previous revenue record and become the first football club in the UK to turn over half a billion pounds in a single year. 

In its latest annual results for the year to the end of June, the club revealed an income of £515.3m. Operating profit more than doubled to £68.6m, reports the Daily Mail.

The stellar revenue figure was second only in pound terms to the Spanish giant Barcelona, which has generated €679 (£570m) over the past year. 

The euro's strength against the pound has much to do with the Catalan club coming out on top, according to the BBC. At the exchange rate before the EU referendum in June, the pound equivalent total would have ranked below United's.

Commercial revenues accounted for much of the improvement recorded by Manchester United last year, not least as a result of the £750m kit deal signed with Adidas. 

This was not only lucrative in itself, but passed back control of the club's Old Trafford retail megastore from previous kit supplier Nike, opening up the opportunity for separate deals with the likes of baseball cap brand New Era.  

Overall, commercial income soared to £268.3m from £196.9m, while retail sales went up 208 per cent to £65.7m. Revenues are expected to rise again next year to an overall total of as much as £540m.

In the debit column for the past year was the £6.7m United wrote off after German star Bastian Schweinsteiger was sidelined by the club's new manager Jose Mourinho. Under a controversial dividend scheme, £20m was also paid out to shareholders, including £15m to the Glazer family.

Manchester United's dollar-denominated debt pile rose in value to around £261m, up £6m primarily as a result of the slide in the value of the pound. 

The club's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: "This strong financial performance has enabled us to invest in our squad, team management and facilities to position us to challenge for, and win, trophies in the coming years."

United spent around £150m on new players after the arrival of Mourinho, including a world-record £89m fee on Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba.

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