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Manchester United have confirmed their position as the world’s wealthiest club by unveiling annuall pre-tax profit of œ32.3million.

This figure, based on a turnover of œ146.1million, represents a 48% increase in pre-tax profits after benefited from the sale of a number of players.

Of some concern to the club will be the increase in the club’s wage bill which, at £70 million, accounts for almost 50% of the club’s turnover.

The club’s manager Sir Alex Ferguson ensured a trading profit in the transfer market of œ17.4millionafter offloading Jaap Stam, Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke. However, the figures do not include the acquiisition of Rio Ferdinand, who moved to Old Trafford for £30 million in the summer.

Increased television receipts of £51.9 million as well as gate receipts were œ42.1million boosted the annual figures

United chairman Sir Roy Gardner described today’s results as ‘robust’.

‘They also demonstrate the strength of our commercial operations and the significant benefits of reaching the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League,’ he added.

Gardner claimed that the outlook looked rosy for the club even taking into account the £30 spent on Ferdinand. Sponsorship deals with with Nike, Pepsi, Budweiser, Lycos, Dimension Data and Ladbrokes are all in place and look set to boost the club’s turnover in the coming years.

‘All these partnerships not only enhance current year revenue but also offer opportunities to build our commercial relationship with our fans,’ added Gardner.

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