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Manchester United have announced a dip in profits for the financial year up to July 31, 2004.

The club unveiled pre-tax profits of £27.9m, a drop of £11.4m from last year, but overall operating profits for the PLC did show a 5.9 per cent increase to £58.3m. Turnover for the year was £169m

The reason for the decrease in profits is atttributed to increased spending on transfers. Last year’s profit was also inflated by the sale of David Beckham to Real Madrid.

Moreover, lack of success on the pitch cost the club, especially their failure to advance beyond the last 16 of the Champions League.

However, despite the figures, Chief executive David Gill, insisted the clu remains in rude health.

“We are happy with our results,” said Gill. “They show the resilience of our financial performance.

“The impact of the new Premier League TV contracts will show a fall in our domestic TV income of £8m. In the Champions League we will show a drop there of up to £6m.

“Media revenues will take a hit but other areas are showing a positive sign. There are certain other elements we have to work on and expand those to offset the downturn in media revenue.”

“We are one of the most attractive clubs in the world to do business with and to follow,” he added.

“We are still one of the best clubs in the world. We have spent £50m since January this year on players and acquired Wayne Rooney, one of most experienced players in many a year.

“Look at the strength of the balance sheet – we have £36m in cash. We don’t think we are on a downward spiral.

“We can get new players in and will continue to do that.”

Gill also reiterated the club’s backing for Sir Alex Ferguson.

“Is it good enough? Our aim is to challenge at the latter stage of the Premier League and Champions League every year,” he added.

“We are not sitting down saying we are satisfied but we don’t want to get things out of perspective.

“Sir Alex is very committed and motivated. He is clearly the manager, he is very fit and will continue for many years to come.

“He has signed a new contract and we are delighted with that. We are focused on giving him the resources and tools to continue the success of the last 18 or 19 years.”

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