Page last updated at 14:57 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010

Manchester United to raise 500m

Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Manchester United (March 2009)
Manchester United received a world record 80m for Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United has said it plans to raise £500m through a bond issue in order to refinance its debts.

The announcement came as the club announced pre-tax profits of £48.2m for the year to 30 June 2009, compared with a loss of £21.4m a year ago.

The profit includes the £80m fee the club received from Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo last summer.

US businessman Malcolm Glazer bought the club for £790m in 2005, borrowing heavily to do so.

Group turnover rose to £278.5m from £256.2m the previous year, the club's holding company Red Football Ltd said.

There has been much speculation in recent weeks that United was considering a bond issue to address its debts.

Man Utd: £48.2m profit
Man City: £92.6m loss
Chelsea: £44.4m loss

Although no total debt figure was disclosed in the results announcement, it has previously been reported as £699m.

The Old Trafford club paid £41.9m in interest on a £509.5m loan.

Without the sale of Ronaldo, United would have reported a loss of £31.8m, despite winning the English Premier League for the third year in a row, as well as the Carling Cup and the Club World Cup last season.

The team also finished runners up in the Uefa Champions League.

"What the Glazers are trying to do is to give the club a bit more financial security," said Roy Kaitcer, client director for Brewin Dolphin stockbrokers in Manchester.

Financial analysts expect the bonds to be priced at the end of next week.

The club was knocked out in the third round of the FA Cup this month, a defeat that could have cost Manchester United more than £2m should the club have gone on a run all the way to the final.

Last week, United's big-spending neighbours Manchester City reported an annual loss of £92.6m after splashing out on top-class players since new owner Sheikh Mansour bought the club in September 2008.

Current Premier League leaders Chelsea made a loss of £44.4m last year but said it was now "virtually debt-free".

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