Manchester United, despite their shortcoming in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, have always been a team of great ability on the pitch, as evident from their impressive trophy cabinet. However, in financial ability as well, the side has been very smart, and enjoyed great success over the years.
Apart from figures coming in due to their sheer fan following, the Red Devils, like several other clubs in the modern game, earn quite a bit through cleverly placed clauses in the contract of their transfers out of the club.
As per their latest financial figure, the Premier League giants pocketed an impressive sum of £17.3 million from 1st July to 30th September. However, if memory serves right, no major outgoing transfer was made to account for the amount.
This is due to the fact that this fee is a result of remuneration for players, and is listed as ‘profit on disposal of intangible assets’. A good amount of this sum is from the nearly £10 million sale of form shy youth talent Adnan Januzaj to Real Sociedad.
Apart from that, the rest of the amount is a result of the transfers clauses of former United players Danny Drinkwater and Michael Keane, with the club receiving a decent cut from their combined transfer fees of £60 million from this summer.
Drinkwater played in the United academy from a very young age, but could never break through to the first team and was eventually sold to Leicester in 2011, where he made history by securing the Premier League title.
On the other hand, Keane, who did sparingly feature in the first team, couldn’t maintain a constant spot, and the defender was offloaded to Burnley in 2014.
Now, with Drinkwater’s move to Chelsea and Keane’s transfer to Everton, the sell-on clauses placed in their contracts have paid due dividends.
The same applies for Januzaj, with the Belgian, despite his brilliant start to life at Old Trafford, couldn’t fashion a decent form, and after loan moves to Sunderland and Borussia Dortmund, has eventually found life with the La Liga side.
Such financial thinking is one of the many reasons why the Mancunian side is still one of the most profitable sides in the world, irrespective of how they may perform on the pitch.
Written by Naveen Kelvin
A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.