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Last Updated: Friday, 11 January 2008, 08:22 GMT
Gill bullish on Man Utd finances
Old Trafford is a sell-out for every United game.
Old Trafford's expanded capacity has helped United increase profits
Manchester United chief executive David Gill claims the club's finances are strong enough to withstand any decline in fortunes either on or off the pitch.

Pre-tax profits rose 93% to 59.6m in 2006/07, but United's main UK holding company has debts of around 135m.

Charges for that borrowing by owners the Glazer family are spread across the group, including the football club.

But Gill said: "In any financing plan there's a degree of cushion, so we can cater for any downturn in performance."

Philip Long, a football finance expert with accountants PKF, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "The banks will always give their support provided the club is doing well.

"But things can very easily change, and if you see a change in the fortunes of the team on the field then that could very easily translate into a lack of (financial) support for the club."

Long added that any global economic downturn could be bad news for United if the Glazers ever sought to refinance the borrowing attached to their ownership.

"As things stand, things look very healthy for the football club, but when you look throughout the group, the picture is different," he said.

However, a bullish Gill said the business was reaping the rewards of United's success, with turnover up 27% to 245m, leaving United behind only Real Madrid (263m) in Europe.

"We had a very good year on the pitch, winning the Premier League, reaching the FA Cup final and the Champions League semi-finals," he said. "If you go through the rounds in sport you get more income.

"The expansion of Old Trafford (to 76,000 seats) has clearly helped, and every game is a sell-out."

SEE ALSO
Success boosts Man Utd finances
11 Jan 08 |  Business


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