Manchester United will need to spend in excess of £150million if they are to continue to compete with Europe’s elite, the club’s supporters trust has told MM.
The claim comes after it was revealed that United have dropped out of the football rich list’s top three for the first time, based on revenues for last season.
The list, compiled by financial services group Deloitte, has United ranked fourth despite increasing revenues from €395.9million to €423.8million.
Real Madrid top the list for the ninth season in a row, and fierce rivals Barcelona come a close second.
Bayern Munich, who enjoyed one of the most illustrious seasons in their history claiming a historic treble, have moved into third place.
This season has been the worst in recent memory for the Red Devils.
They currently lie seventh in the league and have been knocked out of both domestic competitions.
Sean Bones, a spokesman for the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST), told MM that a huge amount of investment is needed if we want to stay competitive with Europe’s elite.
“It’s going to take in excess of £150million. If you’re looking at the amount of money that Chelsea, Manchester City, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have put in over the years, it’s going to take a lot of investment,” he said.
Qualification for the Champions League is crucial and United are far from certain to qualify for next year’s competition.
Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said that he was confident United would rise back into the top three next season as long as they perform well on the pitch.
“Consistent non-qualification for the Champions League would be a problem,” he told The Telegraph.
“In round number terms it is worth £40million – for the season we are currently in that’s likely to be about 10 per cent of their revenues.”
MUST spokesman Sean says the top three clubs in the rich list all have one thing in common.
“In 2005 before the Glazer’s came we were top, and the difference between us now and the teams who are above us is that they’re all supporter owned clubs,” he said.
“When it’s a supporter owned club, the revenue that the club earns goes back into the team and it creates a completely different atmosphere to a club that’s owned by owners who are not accepted by the vast majority of the support.”
Sean believes comparisons can be drawn to the Glazer family-owned American football club, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“If you look at their record over the last three years they’ve spent well under the salary cap. The supporters have been ferocious about the quality that has been on the field,” he said.
“In the last six years, the Tampa Bay Bucks have finished bottom of their league four times and next to bottom two times.
“There’s a definite parallel with them, no doubt.”
It was recently revealed that the share price of the club has plummeted by £150million since David Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson as manager.
While United are having to endure turbulent times, their city rivals are experiencing anything but, on and off the field.
Manchester City, who are bankrolled by the royal family of Qatar have risen one place to sixth, while Liverpool have fallen out of the top ten for the first time since 1999-2000, sitting in twelfth place.
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