Man United suffer financial loss in second-quarter despite rise in revenue

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Manchester United have recorded a second-quarter loss – but it will not affect the club in terms of competitiveness or financial fair play.

The Red Devils continue to expect revenues for fiscal 2018 to be between £575million and £585million – the third successive year they will earn more than half a billion pounds.

Revenue for the second quarter is up four per cent to £163.9m, but the accounts show a £29m loss for the period.

Wages have increased by 9.4 per cent to £69.6m, thanks in no small part to United’s Champions League return, and a deferred tax asset has been impacted by the corporate income tax rate in the United States dropping from 35 per cent to 21 per cent.

A revaluation of that asset means a “non-cash tax accounting write off of £48.8 million” is shown in the figures.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Arsene Wenger admits Harry Kane is Europe's top striker but backs Arsenal's forwards to shine in north London derby

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Harry Kane has enjoyed playing against Arsenal, who released him when he was 8.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted Tottenham‘s Harry Kane is currently the best striker in Europe but believes his own frontmen can shine in the north London derby this weekend.

Kane bagged his 100th Premier League goal in Spurs’ dramatic 2-2 draw at Liverpool last time out and spoke earlier this week of how being released from Arsenal’s academy as an eight-year-old left him with a “chip on his shoulder”.

He has a fine record against the Gunners with six goals in seven appearances but Wenger is looking to his forwards to take the headlines on Saturday lunchtime.

When asked whether there is a better striker in Europe than Kane at the moment, Wenger replied: “If you look at the numbers, no, because he has high numbers but I believe what you want in a game like that is to keep him quiet and for our strikers to express their talent.”

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger claims English players are "masters" of diving

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Arsene Wenger claims English players are now the “masters” of diving.

Simulation has been in the headlines this week following Dele Alli‘s booking for diving as Tottenham drew at Liverpool on Sunday.

Wenger made the remarks ahead of this weekend’s north London derby against Spurs and after Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said diving was a “minimal issue” within the sport.

Arsenal manager Wenger has already escaped the wrath of the football Association on the subject this season after claiming Raheem Sterling “dives well” following a 3-1 defeat at Manchester City in November.

Pochettino said on Tuesday that ‘tricking’ an opponent was now part of the game but, while he believes he knows what the Argentinian was getting at, Wenger went on to point the finger at home-grown players.

“I am convinced that he wanted to say that tricking your opponent is to say that you have to be clever,” he said when asked about Pochettino’s comments.

“How far was it an apology for diving? I’m not sure at all. I don’t think he would. In my personal case? No. We have to get the diving out of the game.

Dele Alli 1

“I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did it but I must say the English players have learned very quickly and they might even be the masters now.”

While Alli was cautioned for simulation at Anfield, his team-mate and fellow England international Harry Kane was accused of a similar action by Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk as he won a contentious penalty for Spurs.

Wenger was adamant that he would not actively encourage diving but said most attacking players would look to push the boundaries in order to gain an advantage.

“I don’t tell my players to dive,” he said.

“I don’t encourage them to dive at all. But sometimes you want your players to be intelligent, they have played a little bit with the rules, they make more of it on the penalty case.

“Every striker will do that. They extend a little bit the rules. Where is it and how far can you go? That is down to the referees and I think that sometimes, at normal speed, it is very difficult to determine, I must say.”

Arsenal head to Wembley to face Spurs having not beaten their rivals in the Premier League at White Hart Lane since 2014.

Kane of Tottenham Hotspur reacts

The Gunners are four points and one place adrift of their neighbours as they sit sixth heading into the north London derby.

But Wenger’s men have won their last nine games at the national stadium, including a penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea in this season’s Community Shield and the Frenchman is pleased to be back at Wembley.

Asked if he preferred the game to be at Wembley rather than White Hart Lane, Wenger replied: “Yes, because we have a positive history there.

“Of course Wembley is a pitch that is quality, a stadium with a big crowd and it is always a special day in your mind so overall, yes. At Wembley you play special games where you are under pressure to perform and we responded well to it every time.”

Goalkeeper Petr Cech is a doubt for the game having been forced off in the win over Everton last week but Nacho Monreal should be recovered from illness in time to retain his place in defence.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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