Quarterly earnings are down, but that's not stopping Manchester United from upping its profit outlook - the UK Premiership club eyeing a spending spree this summer to boost chances against Europe's elite teams next season. David Pollard reports.
Ten years on. Manchester United's latest results are for the third quarter of this year. But many see them as a benchmark for the decade since - almost to a day - American tycoon Malcolm Glazer took over the trophy British club. There's said to be a buoyant mood at ManU. That's despite a failure to qualify for Europe's prestigious top-tier championship this season. And revenues down for a third quarter - this time by 18 percent. Reuters Sports Correspondent, Martyn Herman. SOUNDBITE (English) REUTERS SPORTS CORRESPONDENT, MARTYN HERMAN, SAYING: ''That was quite expected without Champions' League football - they failed to qualify this year having finished seventh last year and that was always going to put a big dent in their finances. But in terms of commercial revenue, they're 11% up, which really goes to show the strength of the club and the brand.'' Broadcasting revenues are down too. But a middling season certainly hasn't prevented mouth-watering commercial revenues rolling in. Chevrolet are in the first of a seven-year sponsorship worth £361 million. Adidas start a £750 million shirt 10-year deal in August. As for the Glazers: a controversial and highly-leveraged buyout left them in the driving seat - but many fans feeling the club had been dumped in a huge, £780 million debt pile that resulted. That's now down to around £380 million. SOUNDBITE (English) REUTERS SPORTS CORRESPONDENT, MARTYN HERMAN, SAYING: ''Relations between the fans and the Glazers are improving and I think the way it's being run as a business, not many people can argue with it these days. It is attractive, it is successful off the field, and signs are that results on the field are beginning to pick up as well.'' Which can - and will says ManU - mean more spending. ManU manager Louis van Gaal has already scored a British record by paying nearly £60 million for Angel Di Maria. The club is now promising a spree on new talent to boost its expected return to European football. While, at the same time raising its guidance on full-year earnings - those now seen at up to 110 million pounds.