Glazer Sees Man Utd Profits Drop 20% (go back to the homepage)
LONDON - Since soccer fans are also self-appointed poets laureate at their clubs, they swiftly rework bad news into crude shanties to be sung on stadium terraces at the opposing team's supporters. We suggest "where've your profits gone?"--to be sung to the strains of golden oldie Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep--to rival fans visiting Old Trafford.
For Manchester United, the Premiership soccer club that was pulled from the London Stock Exchange when whiskered billionaire Malcolm Glazer took it private at the falling of the final curtain on the last financial year, has seen its profit dip like a David Beckham free kick.
On Monday the club--which was walloped out of this season's Champions League during the group stage--said operating profit before depreciation, amortization and exceptional charges dropped to 46 million pounds ($82 million) for the 11 months to June 30, compared with 58.3 million pounds ($104 million) for the 12 months ended July 2004 . Yes, it has taken them this long to get the numbers out.
The figures are an unwelcome hitch in the Glazer game plan. The billionaire reportedly has a plan that targets a 50% rise in club revenue over five years and a trebling of operating profits. Yet a drop in television money from last year's smaller FA/Premier League broadcasting rights package and a whacking 2.2 million pound ($3.9 million) transfer agents' bill--including 1.5 million pounds ($2.68 million) to buy wunderkind Wayne Rooney from Everton--further contributed to the fall in profit.
United Chief Executive David Gill said despite the drop, Glazer was "comfortable" with the results and was confident the club would turn in healthy figures next year. "The forecast for 2006 is very good but I am not going to predict profits will be over 50 million (pounds)," he was quoted as saying in a media report. "But going forward, the new stadium expansion means there will be nearly 8,000 extra seats from the start of next season and the end of 2007 is looking very positive," Gill added.