Skip to main content

Quiet in transfer window but Manchester United announces record revenue

updated 1:41 PM EDT, Wed September 18, 2013
Manchester United played a pre-season game in Hong Kong in July and is hugely popular in Asia.
Manchester United played a pre-season game in Hong Kong in July and is hugely popular in Asia.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manchester United announces a club record annual revenue of $580 million
  • The English Premier League champion also says sponsorship revenue increased 44 percent
  • But most United fans are disappointed the team didn't buy more players in the summer
  • United was linked with Cristiano Ronaldo, Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera

(CNN) -- While Real Madrid signed Gareth Bale in the summer's highest-profile football transfer and added several other big names, Manchester United fans were left largely underwhelmed by the Premier League champion's moves in the off-season.

They might be even more disappointed after learning how much United made in its last fiscal year -- and therefore had to spend.

The record 20-time league winner in England -- self described as "one of the most popular and successful sports teams in the world" -- announced record revenues of $580 million for the year ended June 30, 2013 and said commercial revenues soared to a record $244 million.

Read: United second 'most valuable' sports team

It left executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who replaced David Gill in the United hierarchy, to declare on United's website: "It has been a little over a year since our IPO (initial public offering) and in that time we have delivered on our targets and objectives.

"Our commercial business continues to be a very powerful engine of growth enabling the team to continue to be successful."

But United, in its first season without legendary manager Alex Ferguson, was largely quiet under new boss David Moyes and Woodward as it defends its Premier League title, signing just Marouane Fellaini and relatively unknown Uruguayan Guillermo Varela.

United was linked with Cristiano Ronaldo, Cesc Fabregas, Ander Herrera and Leighton Baines -- who all stayed put with their current clubs.

"It's been pretty disappointing," said Andy Green, a United supporter who tweets about football finances. "I don't think it's Moyes' fault. He gives his targets to the club. I don't think he should be held accountable at all."

Meanwhile, city rival Manchester City bought four key players prior to August, Chelsea swooped for the likes of Samuel Eto'o and Willian and Arsenal smashed its transfer record by purchasing Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid for more than $65 million.

Read: Real Madrid doesn't do austerity

Tottenham splashed out on more than half-a-dozen stars, attempting to make up for the loss of Bale.

"United's commercial acumen isn't of value because it doesn't lead to a bigger stadium, lower ticket prices or better players," said Green. "You have all these commercial deals but it's no benefit to the football club."

United has made a lukewarm start to the league season, winning two of its four games, although it began its Champions League campaign with a win Tuesday against Bayer Leverkusen.

United is "delighted to have David Moyes lead our football team into a new and exciting chapter," Woodward said. "We look forward to a successful 2013/14, both on and off the pitch."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:23 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
updated 8:53 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT