Man Utd record revenues can cushion Champions League blow
Old Trafford on course to turnover £500m in a single year, but will it arrest share price slump?
Manchester United posted record second-quarter revenues of £133.8m and profits of £18.6m.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward announced the much-needed good news as he sought to alleviate fears over the club's performance on the field.
The positive financial results come amid uncertainty over the future of manager Louis van Gaal and fears United will miss out on the Champions League next season. On Monday, the club's shares slipped below the $14 mark for the first time since floating on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012.
However, the club's finances are in good order. Commercial revenues rose 42.5 per cent to £66.1m for the quarter and broadcast revenues were up 31.3 per cent at £37.3m. Total revenues for the last six months of 2015 were £257.4m, up from £194.4m in 2014.
United also have money tucked away, notes The Guardian. "The results show that the club is sitting on a war chest of £121.6m, up from £37m a year ago, which could come in useful in offsetting the loss of income from Champions League football should they fail to make the top four this season."
Woodward made it clear strong finances were vital to United's success elsewhere. "Our strong commitment to investing in our squad, youth academy and the broader club are ultimately underpinned by our financial strength and the hard work and dedication of everyone at the club," he said. "Our solid results off the pitch help contribute to what remains our number one priority – success on the pitch."
The results mean "United are still on course to become the first British club to earn more than half a billion pounds in one year - even if matters on the pitch continue to fluctuate", says the Daily Telegraph.
The positive financial news "should help arrest the decline in the club's shares", says Telegraph business reporter Mehreen Khan, but turmoil on the global markets will not help when trading begins.
United's shares were at the lowest point for three years on Monday, notes the Daily Mail, which adds that the price "has dropped by nearly a quarter since Sir Alex Ferguson retired as manager in May 2013".