Manchester United have projected record annual revenue of up to £640 million in the current financial year as the takeover saga surrounding the club rumbles on.
United’s owners, the Glazer family, are weighing up offers for the club from Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the founder of chemicals firm Ineos.
The Glazers first indicated they could sell by initiating a strategic review last November, but the bidding process has dragged on.
Reports have suggested Sheikh Jassim’s offer – which is for 100 per cent of the club – is now the most likely to be accepted.
Sources close to the Qatari bid have indicated their eagerness to close the deal, with the summer transfer window now open.
Supporters staged fresh protests against the Glazers at Old Trafford on Tuesday as the club launched the kit for next season.
Revenue guidance for the current financial year was raised to a record £630m to £640m in the third quarter financial results for the period ending March 31, 2023, which were released on Tuesday.
This is driven by record match attendance and matchday revenues. Ticket sales for the 2022-23 season surpassed the previous record set in 2016-17, with 2.4m sold.
Global memberships also hit 360,000, which United said was the largest paid membership programme in world sport.
Revenue for the third quarter was up 11% on the same period last year.
Broadcasting revenue was slightly down on the corresponding period due to United being in the Europa League rather than the Champions League, but was partially offset by the club’s performance in domestic cup competitions.
Cash and cash equivalents are at £73.7m, down from £95.8m in the same period last year, reflecting the investment that has been made in the team.
However, the figure is £31m higher than in the second quarter, boosted by money coming in from sponsorship and ticket sales.
Summer recruitment will not be affected by the results, according to sources close to the club, with enough cash available to enable United boss Erik ten Hag to invest in the team.
The limiting factor is understood to be the requirement to stay within financial sustainability rules.
Fans block Man Utd megastore in Glazer protest
Manchester United supporters blocked the entrance to the club’s Megastore on Tuesday to protest against the Glazer family amid the ongoing ownership saga.
Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe have tabled rival bids to take over the Old Trafford club.
But fans are growing frustrated over the progress of the process, which started last November when the Glazers announced their intentions to sell.
The protest was organised by fans’ group The 1958 and timed to coincide with the launch of the team’s new home kit.
Ratcliffe’s bid is designed to enable the Glazers to maintain some element of interest in the club, while the Qatari group is targeting a 100 per cent buy-out.
Announcing the protest on Monday evening, The 1958 posted on Twitter: “Everyone has a part to play in this battle against Glazer. For you, for us, for each other.”
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