Man Utd profits slip to £28m

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Manchester United today reported lower annual profits of £27.9 million as it warned future results would be affected by a drop in media revenues.

The club said media income would reduce by around £14 million - partly because of its third place finish in the Premiership last season - and cause a "significant impact" on short-term profitability.

Despite the fall in bottom-line profits from £39.3 million last year, Manchester United said its performance at an operating level showed a 6 per cent improvement to £58.3 million.

The fall in profits for the year to 31 July reflected the impact of buying new players, including though the re-investment of the proceeds from last year's sale of England captain David Beckham.

The club warned that short-term results would be affected by a sharp drop in media revenues, including £8 million from the latest Premier League television deal. The third place finish in the Premiership will also have a £6 million knock-on effect on media revenues from the Champions League.

Chief executive David Gill said: "Despite the expected fall in media revenues in this current year, our long-term strategic planning will ensure that we continue to grow as both a business and football club."

The club, which recently acquired England striker Wayne Rooney, said it held staff costs as a percentage of revenues at 45 per cent - well below its target rate of 50 per cent.

Turnover for the year was down by £4 million at £169 million, a performance helped by continued strong demand for games at Old Trafford.