Manchester United have reported record revenues for the third quarter of the financial year which club chiefs say puts them in a good position to invest in the squad and challenge for the title next season.
United reported revenues of £115.5million for the quarter, up 26 per cent, mainly due to rises in income from Premier League broadcasting money and sponsorship deals.
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United are expected to announce next week that Dutch coach Louis van Gaal is to be their new manager, but no mention was made of the appointment in this report.
Ed Woodward, United's executive vice-chairman, said in a statement: "We once again generated record revenues... as all of our businesses delivered impressive year over year growth.
"This puts us in a healthy financial position to continue to invest in the squad. Everyone at the club is working hard to ensure the team is back challenging for the title and trophies next season."
The players' wage bill was also up however by 18.9 per cent, reflecting the arrivals of Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini plus new deals for Nani and Adnan Januzaj.
Wayne Rooney also signed a new deal during the current financial year but it is understood that is for the same level as his previous contract - around £230,000 a week - but he earns more from a separate image rights contract which is not reflected in United's staff costs.
The financial picture for United's current season looks rosy - sponsorship income rose 43.5 per cent while United's overall debt is down 4.3 per cent at £351.7million, while the cost of servicing that debt also fell - there was a £2.8million reduction in interest payable following refinancing in June last year.
Broadcasting revenue for the third quarter was £35.6million, an increase of £13.9million or 64.1%, due to increased revenue from the Premier League.
It will be this time next year however that the impact of not playing in the Champions League will be felt, though there will also be extra income from United's huge Chevrolet sponsorship deal which comes on stream next season.