By Jonathan Davies
Manchester United has reported an increase it its quarterly revenues in its latest financial statement.
The club, one of the world's biggest and most successful clubs - both on and off the pitch, saw its revenues rise by 11.6% in the three months to the end of December 2013.
The increase in overall revenue is largely thanks to strong growth in the club's broadcast and commercial revenues.
Commercial revenue was up to £42.3milllion for the quarter, an increase of 18.8% compared with the same period in 2012. The club has completed a number of high profile sponsorship deals over two seasons.
Last week, the Daily Express reported that the club was nearing a $1billion deal with kit supplier, Nike.
But the deals have stretched far beyond the usual kit supplier and shirt sponsor deals. In August 2012, United struck a deal with Chevrolet, worth a reported £357m, which saw the American car marker sponsor the club's Carrington training facility.
The club has also struck deals to create 'official partners' of; global spirits, diesel engines, savoury snack, carriers (airline), office equipment, timekeepers, beer, telecoms in Malaysia, wine, logistics, Japan, betting, motorcycles, telecoms in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, paint, telecoms in Bulgaria and finally, noodles in Asia, Oceania and the Middle East.
United also saw revenues increase thanks to growing broadcasting rights. It's broadcasting revenue grew by a slightly small 18.7% after a rise in revenue received from the Premier League and UEFA from televised fixtures.
Ed Woodward, Executive Vice Chairman said: “We once again achieved a record revenue quarter with strong contributions from our commercial and broadcasting businesses despite the current league position, which everyone from the Team Manager down has acknowledged is disappointing. We continue to see meaningful opportunities to grow our commercial business and the popularity of football on TV is leading to continued broadcasting revenue growth — all of which bodes well for the long-term stability and financial strength of our business.
However, the club did report a fall in its matchday revenues. Manchester United is typically top of the tree when it comes to matchday revenue, largely thanks to Old Trafford's capacity - the largest in the Premier League. But the club reported a 3.7% fall in matchday revenues for the period. It said this was due to playing one less home fixture in the Premier League, compared with the previous year, but was offset slightly by one more Capital One Cup match.
United also reported an increase of 16.7% in its staff costs. Staff were paid a total of £51.6 million during the period, a rise of £7.4 million compared to the previous year. The club said this was largely due to player acquisitions and renegotiated contracts.
United signed Marouane Fellaini from Everton for a reported fee of £27.5 million in the summer of 2013, but the figures do not include the signing of Juan Mata, who joined in January.
Despite the positive news off the pitch, it will have done little to settle the worries of Manchester United fans. The club could miss out on a place in next season's Champions League, costing the club a large chunk of its broadcast revenues.
David Moyes has so far struggled in his first season in the Old Trafford hot seat. The current Premier League champions sit seventh, 16 points off Chelsea who top the table and nine points off Liverpool who are fourth.
Most football experts, pundits and fans have ruled out United's chances of finishing in the top three, which would guarantee Champions League qualification.
But they face a four way fight for fourth place, which would require them to play a play-off at the start of next season to qualify. But they can move within six points of Liverpool if they beat Arsenal tonight (Wednesday) and Liverpool lose to Fulham.
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