Manchester United: £515m income announced; LVG pay-off revealed; Pogba performance slammed

Manchester United have released their annual accounts to reveal the biggest ever income for a football club at £515.3 million, including a £68.9 million operating profit. The £120 million boost on last year’s accounts is believed to be fueled by FA Cup success, a bunch of new sponsorship deals and a new TV rights deal which has become increasingly lucrative for big clubs like the Red Devils this year, despite the lack of Champions League football.

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It shows a clear success by Ed Woodward in the commercial arms of the club to boost incomes in order to help fund transfers and improvements to the squad. It is hard to imagine many of the big money signings this summer, such as Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Eric Bailly, would have taken place without such strong financial strength off the field.

The release of the club’s accounts have also revealed the cost of sacking Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal and his staff, which was calculated as £8.4 million. Many will see that as good value for money, with an immediate turnaround visible, in part thanks to Jose Mourinho’s ‘Galactico’ transfer policy. However, it does raise questions over the decision making of club bosses in rewarding the former Barcelona boss with such a long contract when hired, with some fearful of how big a payout would be required to send Mourinho packing should things turn sour as they have previously at Real Madrid and Chelsea for the Portuguese manager.

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Another interesting note was that Bastian Schweinsteiger has literally been written off by the club, who have removed him as an asset in the first team squad. That is likely to show that the club have given up any hope of receiving any kind of transfer fee for the German, and also represents the end of any hopes he had of making a return to the side despite Jose Mourinho’s insistence that he will never play for the club again.

After a disappointing display against Manchester City at the weekend, pundit Jamie Carragher has slammed £89 million man Paul Pogba’s display, saying that he was responsible for the defeat. The Daily Mail quote him on Monday Night Football on Sky, describing his performance, saying:

For a central midfielder in a game of that magnitude it was one of the most ill disciplined performances I’ve seen in the first 45 minutes. It was like the best kid in a school yard – he does what he wants, he runs where he wants.

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With eight duels lost and a pass completion ratio fairly low at 78%, it is easy to see why the Frenchman is shouldering much of the blame. The 21-year-old has so far struggled to match up to the valuation put on him by his transfer fee, having struggled to influence games in the same way that he did at Juventus as he adapts to life back at Old Trafford and in the Premier League, with no goals or assists in any of his three appearances in a Red Devils shirt in his second stint at the club.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by craig ballantyne.

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