Despite struggles, Manchester United still printing cash

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The figures are in, and they look pretty good.

While much is made of Manchester United’s struggles in the Premier League table — they sit in seventh place ahead of today’s match with Arsenal — the Red Devils are making money.

Manchester United’s revenue is up nearly 12 percent from last year, according to a report released by the club on Wednesday. Included in that figure are rises in broadcasting revenue (+18.7 percent), commercial revenue (+18.8 percent) and sponsorship revenue (+close to 40 percent)

United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: “We once again achieved a record revenue quarter with strong contributions from our commercial and broadcasting businesses despite the current league position, which everyone from the team manager down has acknowledged is disappointing.”

Leave it to The Daily Mail to take the positive money news and spin it against United. The web site points out that the $1.1 billion in debt that the Red Devils have paid down since the Glazers took over in 2005 is slightly more than the $1.06 billion Manchester City has spent on transfers in the past half-decade. They also point out that despite the money Manchester United has spent paying its debt, the club is still about $588 million in debt.

It’ll be curious to see whether moves toward austerity and FIFA’s Financial Play movement pay off, or whether the rich will continue to operate with impunity.