EPL

Finance expert says United could ‘outplay competition’ with Old Trafford upgrade

By Sports Desk January 24, 2024

Modernising Old Trafford and improving the matchday experience could help Manchester United achieve “revolutionary” growth in revenue, a football finance expert has said.

The Red Devils may have gone a decade without a Premier League title and 15 years without winning the Champions League, but commercially they remain a success story.

They dropped one place to fifth in the Deloitte Football Money League but earned a club record £648m for 2022-23, which briefly stood as a Premier League record before Manchester City announced their results for the same period in November last year.

Tim Bridge, the lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, hailed their enduring ability to generate revenue despite their on-field struggles, but believes upgrading Old Trafford could elevate them above their Premier League and European peers in commercial terms.

“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,” Bridge told the PA news agency.

“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.

“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 300 million US dollars (£235m) on club infrastructure after securing a 25 per cent stake in United.

Supporters have issued a number of complaints about the stadium, highlighting in particular leaks in its roof.

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