Soccer

Man United's revenue rises at start of Moyes era

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LONDON (AP)

Manchester United's revenue rose almost 30 percent as the Premier League champions benefit from their global appeal and the soaring value of television rights.

The financial results released Thursday by the club, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, showed little change off the field at the start of David Moyes' reign as manager after replacing Alex Ferguson.

Although United is fifth in the Premier League, the team beat Arsenal last weekend to close the gap on the leaders to five points and leads its Champions League group.

In the three months to Sept. 30, United generated a record 98.5 million pounds ($158 million) - up 29 percent year-on-year - with sponsorship revenue alone soaring by 63 percent as 12 new deals kicked in during the first quarter.

The club said it remains on course to make between 420 million pounds ($673 million) and 430 million pounds ($689 million) in 2013-14 if it finishes at least third in the league and reaches the quarterfinals of the Champions League and the domestic cups.

But there was a loss of 293,000 pounds ($469,000) after the club - owned by the Glazer family - made a profit of 20.5 million pounds ($33 million) in the first quarter in 2012-13.

The gross debt that hit 716.5 million pounds (then $1.1 billion) in 2008-09 now stands at 361 million pounds ($579 million) and the finance costs dropped 21 percent to just below 10 million pounds ($16 million).

''Our unique approach to the commercial business will continue to drive future growth,'' United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said.

Driving the growth is United's ability to attract commercial backers, with sponsorship revenue up 63 percent year-on-year to 45.2 million pounds ($72 million).

The start of new three-year Premier League TV deals from this season has led to United's broadcast revenue rising by 41 percent to 19.3 million pounds ($31 million).

United is buoyed by the enlarged windfall English clubs can expect from UEFA from 2015-16 as a result of value of Champions League and Europa League TV rights more than doubling to 1.076 billion euros ($1.44 billion) in a three-year British deal with BT Sport.

''We are ... excited by the continuing rise in the value of sports content, evidenced, amongst other things, by the recently announced BT deal for the UK rights to broadcast the Champions League and Europa League matches for three seasons from 2015-16,'' Woodward said.

Under Ferguson, the club won 38 trophies in almost 27 years.

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