Man United sitting on ‘revolutionary’ Old Trafford answer after £649m update

Manchester United dropped one place in the Deloitte Money League report despite an 11% revenue jump, but Old Trafford could be the key to unlocking Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s plans for the club

Manchester United could be sitting on “revolutionary” growth potential after club revenues were shown to surge 11 per cent year-on-year in the annual Deloitte Money League report.

The annual report, which looks at revenue generated and not the operating costs of the business, showed that United had dropped one place to fourth, leapfrogged by a return to strong revenue generation by Barcelona for the 2022/23 financial year, but that revenues had reached £648.5m, a figure that saw them jump ahead of Liverpool, who saw a decline in revenues from £594.3m to £593.8m to see them slip from third in the list to fourth.

The United brand has remained remarkably resilient in the face of comparative competitive success, with greater hope given for a change in direction on the pitch following the acquisition of 25% of the club and oversight of football operations by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his INEOS firm last month.

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According to Tim Bridge, the lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, focus on upgrading a declining Old Trafford could be key to unlocking huge revenue potential for the club, with the stadium having been woefully underfunded by ownership over the years in comparison to what the owners of rival clubs had done with regards to infrastructure investment.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Bridge said: “What is so impressive (about United) is that resilience, that ability to continue to generate significant commercial return in the market, to find new (commercial) partners. They have this way to engage with commercial partners in a way that few other clubs can.

“But you could also flip it around and also talk about what is the scale of the opportunity if they got it right. There have been a lot of reports around the current conditions at Old Trafford, there has been a lot of comparison to other football stadiums and the overall offering.

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Man United sitting on 'revolutionary' Old Trafford answer after £649m update

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“I genuinely believe that if they had a genuine matchday offering that kept the fans in and around the stadium in the way that you have at somewhere like Tottenham, the results from a revenue perspective could be revolutionary and really outplay the rest of the competition.

“Because they still generate £100million-plus from Old Trafford and yet in experience terms, compared to what is also available on the market, or what may be available on the market from a Real Madrid or a Barcelona in the future, then the two are probably not comparable. So the strength of their brand, the strength of their fanbase, the loyalty is absolutely incredible and is extremely resilient and impressive.”

INEOS is set to invest $300m (£235m) on club infrastructure after securing the stake in United, with the aim of returning the club to European football’s summit.

Leading the way in the top 20 were Real Madrid (£723m), followed by Champions League winners Manchester City (£718.2m), and Paris Saint-Germain (£697.2m). Rounding out the top five were Barcelona (£695.8m), and United (£648.5m), with Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, and Arsenal completing the top 10.

Man United sitting on 'revolutionary' Old Trafford answer after £649m update

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