Manchester United, soccers wealthiest club, announced yesterday that it was even richer with pretax profits of £39.3 million (US$64.84 million) for last season.
While most other clubs remained in recession caused by huge wage demands, the Reds, who have commercial links with the New York Yankees, appear to be more buoyant than ever although their figures were helped by the sales of England captain David Beckham to Real Madrid and Argentina midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron to Chelsea.
"The sales of David Beckham and Juan Sebastian Veron, the release of David May and Laurent Blanc at the end of their contracts and the acquisitions of Tim Howard, Eric Djemba Djemba, David Bellion, Kleberson and Cristiano Ronaldo, were all important steps," said Manchester United chairman Roy Gardner.
"They have strengthened the playing squad and equipped the manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, with the players he needs to keep the club challenging for major trophies. These transfers have decreased the average age of the squad to 25 and have also reduced average player wages."
In figures announced to the Stock Exchange, the club revealed it earned £27.6 million (US$45.54 million) from the Champions League in 2002-2003 and £24.2 million (US$39.9 million) from its partnership with Nike.