Manchester United hit record revenue levels following commercial success

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Remind me again why Manchester United only brought in one expensive signing in the summer transfer window?

It certainly wasn’t because cash-flow has been a problem, just look at these figures.

On Wednesday Manchester United announced that for the 12 months to June they reached record revenue figures, with over $540 million reaching the Premier League club. Earlier this year the club was also floated on the New York Stock Exchange.

American businessmen the Glazer family put the increase down to a huge rise in commercial revenue, as sponsorship deals went through the roof. Record merchandising and product licensing also saw revenue lines sky-rocket, as United made a net profit of $215 million.

(MORE: Real Madrid oust Manchester United as worlds richest team)

Manchester United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward was delighted with the results after he took over from previous incumbent David Gill.

“We are very proud of our results,” Woodward said. “Our commercial business continues to be a very powerful engine of growth enabling the team to continue to be successful. We won our 20th English League title last season and are delighted to have David Moyes lead our football team into a new and exciting chapter. We look forward to a successful 2013-14, both on and off the pitch.”

United have certainly been busy off the field in the past 12 months, as sponsorship for all kinds of things began to pop up. We had ‘Mr. Potato’ as their official snack-partner, Russian airline Aeroflot is now involved, and US car manufacture Chevrolet who will be the club’s shirt sponsor for next season. Some have laughed at the huge number of sponsorship deals United have signed in the past few months, but it’s having the desired outcome… so why not cash in? Every other club or sports franchise in the world would do the same if they had United’s allure and attractiveness from a business standpoint.

In all, commercial revenue is up 30 percent and as United continue to become a global success story off the pitch, they will hope some of that success continues to happen on the pitch, too.

But does all this financial success put more or less pressure on David Moyes to succeed in his first season in charge at Old Trafford?

I think it actually helps him out. Moyes shouldn’t bat an eyelid at these figures. The only thing he should know is that United are in a terrific position in terms of future outlook, and although the club has had plenty of debt piled onto it by the Glazers, Manchester United could easily recoup that with the correct business plan in place.

Moyes’ job is easy. Focus on the soccer. Everything else will look after itself. And, commercially, it’s doing more than that… it’s thriving.

Video: Mbappe taps home to give France first blood

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The match is really opening up now, and France has begun to assert itself with an opener just beyond the half-hour mark.

[ MORE: Denmark, Australia draw, leaving Group C wide open ]

Kylian Mbappe has given Les Bleus a 1-0 lead over Peru after a deflected Olivier Giroud cross found the Monaco attacker just in front of goal for a tap-in finish.

The sequence began after Paul Pogba dispossessed Peru deep in their own half, before dishing the ball off to Giroud.

The goal for Mbappe is his first at a World Cup, as the 19-year-old continues to impress for both club and country.

American referee Geiger accused of asking for Portugal kit

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Morocco’s World Cup journey will conclude after the group stage, but the African side isn’t pleased with how their second match transpired on Wednesday against Portugal.

[ MORE: Spain gets win after Iran sees equalizer ruled off ]

The Moroccans have lodged a complaint with FIFA against referee Mark Geiger — an American who has become one of the most well-known officials in Major League Soccer.

Geiger was alleged to have asked Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo for his jersey at halftime of the 1-0 win over Morocco, to which Geiger has categorically denied the claims.

FIFA released the following statement on the matter:

The claims stemmed from Morocco player Nordin Amrabat, who addressed the matter in an interview following the match.

“I don’t know what [Geiger] is used to, but he was very impressed by Cristiano [Ronaldo],” Amrabat said. “I’ve been just told by Pepe that in the [first half], he asked if he could have his shirt. Come on, man. What are we talking about? … We are at the World Cup, not a circus here.”

Geiger returned to action on Thursday as video assistant referee for the Denmark-Australia match, which included an important alteration in a call that led to an Australia penalty kick.

Group C wide open as Denmark, Australia settle for draw

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Denmark and Australia settled for a 1-1 draw on Thursday, as this exciting Group C affair had nothing to separate the two nations at the end of 90 minutes.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

As it stands, the Danes lead the group with four points, while Australia earned its first point of the World Cup.

France will meet Peru later on Thursday, with Les Bleus having won its first match and Peru having suffered defeat to Denmark.

The Danes broke through after seven minutes when Nicolai Jørgensen picked out a perfect back-heel pass to Christian Eriksen at the top of the box, before the Tottenham Hotspur attacker volleyed home for a 1-0 lead.

Jørgensen nearly doubled the Denmark advantage in the 24th minute when the 27-year-old had an open header from close range that skewed just wide of the target.

Australia worked its way into the match following the opener, and were awarded a penalty kick in the 37th minute after VAR Mark Geiger altered an initial decision for a handball inside the box.

Mile Jedinak converted the spot kick to level the match at 1-1, giving the Socceroos life.

A dangerous free kick four minutes later almost gave Denmark the lead once again, however, Eriksen couldn’t get a crucial touch on the ball to knock it over the goal line before Ryan collected.

The second half continued with lightning pace from both sides, and Aaron Mooy‘s 71st minute blast came inches away from giving Australia an improbable lead.

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The two nations will conclude Group C play on June 26, as Denmark faces France and Australia takes on CONMEBOL side Peru.

Video: VAR awards Australia penalty, before Jedinak converts

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The Socceroos battled admirably in the latter stages of the first half, and Australia was rewarded for their efforts.

Australia has leveled the match at 1-1 after a Mile Jedinak penalty kick cancelled out Christian Eriksen’s stunning opener in the seventh minute.

After an initial decision to play on by the head referee, VAR Mark Geiger opted to award a penalty kick to the Aussies after Yussuf Poulsen was caught with his hand away from his body on a Mathew Leckie header.

Poulsen was also shown a yellow card for the infraction, which rules him out for Denmark’s group-stage finale against France.