In Brief

Man Utd sell two million shirts but profits plunge after Moyes

Business booming at Old Trafford as they sell double the number of replica shirts as rivals

Manchester United endured a nightmare on the pitch last season, but business off it is booming and the club today announced record revenues of £433.2m, after selling two million replica shirts last year – more than twice as many as their nearest Premier League rivals.

However, because of the club's tax situation, profits plunged 84 per cent to £23.8m, compared to £146m a year ago. However, last year's figure was boosted by a £155m US tax credit, and the club's underlying profits actually rose £11.5m this year.

The figures, released today,  included details of the club's pay-off to former manager David Moyes and his coaching team, who received a total of £5.2m in compensation, says the BBC. The results do not show the impact of his failed campaign and finish before current manager Louis van Gaal's £150m summer transfer spree.

Failing to qualify for the Champions League could cost £50m and revenue next year is expected to fall to between £385m and £395m.

The expected results were outlined in a prospectus issued ahead of a release of new shares on the New York Stock Exchange last month.

Despite the huge turnover, which rivals that of Real Madrid, profits were only expected to be around £25m. Debt levels at the club remain around the expected level of £350m.

Transfer fees and player wages mean that last season's operating costs were up almost 20 per cent at around £373m, but commercial revenues have also leapt up by a quarter to £190m thanks to lucrative pre-season games and pre-season tours and new sponsorship deals.

Referring to the staggering number of shirt sales the prospectus says: "The annual launch of the new jersey is always a much-anticipated day for our global community of followers.

"The result is a robust wholesale apparel business that sold approximately five million items of Manchester United branded licensed products, including approximately two million replica jerseys, around the world in the last year."

According to figures in the Daily Mail, United and Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid were the only clubs to average more than one million shirts sales a year over the last five years. The figures estimate United's sales at 1.5 million, 500,000 fewer than they managed last season.

Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool sell, on average, between 800,000 and 900,000 shirts a year.

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