Manchester United have earned more than half a billion pounds for the second successive year, with a record-breaking revenue of £581.2million.
While Jose Mourinho’s men stuttered home sixth in the Premier League and went without Champions League football, the money-making machine was still in full flow last season.
United last year became the first British club to break the half-billion mark and have improved on that position, with revenue rising from £515.3m to £581.2m for the year ending 30 June 2017.
The club – who in January returned the top of the Deloitte football Money League for the first time since 2005 – achieved a record operating profit of £80.8m and record earnings of £199.8m before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: “We concluded a successful 2016/17 season with a total of three trophies and a return to Champions League football.
“The year saw us set record revenues of over £581m and achieve a record EBITDA of £199.8m.
“We are pleased with the investment in our squad and look forward to an exciting season.”
Arsene Wenger insists there is no ulterior motive to starting Alexis Sanchez in minor competitions and leaving him out of Arsenal’s Premier League side.
Sanchez was a surprise starter as the Gunners made hard work of beating Doncaster 1-0 in their Carabao Cup third-round meeting on Wednesday night.
The Chile forward played the whole game, just as he did in last week’s Europa League opener against Cologne.
Despite racking up plenty of game-time, Sanchez was only named on the bench in Sunday’s battling draw at Chelsea and has yet to start a Premier League game this campaign.
Given Sanchez was close to leaving the Emirates Stadium in the summer – with a move to Manchester City failing to materialise on deadline day – and the fact he is out of contract at the end of the season, it had been insinuated in some quarters that Wenger was making a point.
But the Frenchman, whose side host West Brom on Monday, says there is nothing sinister in limiting Sanchez’s appearances, pointing instead to an extended summer break and a niggling injury as an explanation.
“There is no disguised attitude on my side,” he said.
“I just try to get him back to full fitness and for me the Europa League and the League Cup is important as well.
“I just try to give him competition and to get him back to his best, because I gave him a long holiday and after that long holiday this year he had a real rest. He came back not really fit, it took us time to get him back and then he got injured.
Despite his defence, Wenger said Sanchez would not be put on a pedestal over his Arsenal team-mates.
Asked if Sanchez was firmly in his plans, Wenger replied: “All the players are, he’s not more than another.
“I said I chose the team at Chelsea who can be strong on the counter-attack and fight very hard and Sanchez could have played if he was 100 per cent fit at the start, but for me there’s no real hierarchy.”
Wenger made 11 changes to the side that played Chelsea but still fielded eight full internationals from the start against Doncaster, including Sanchez and Theo Walcott – who hit the winner.
Doncaster gave a good account of themselves and could have forced extra-time when Matty Blair headed against the crossbar late on.
Rovers striker Alfie May was playing at the Emirates having been in the non-league system until earlier this year – but the 24-year-old said the visitors were not overawed by their opponents.
“The mind-set doesn’t really change no matter who we come up against,” he told the club’s official website.
“But coming to the Emirates and playing in front of so many people it’s important to show the quality we’ve got.
“This time last year I was working on a building site so the rise is unbelievable for me, I had 92 family and friends here watching me and they’ve all been so supportive.”
Anthony Martial has been backed to become a “force” to be reckoned with by Manchester United team-mate Jesse Lingard.
A promising first season at Old Trafford was followed by a frustrating second campaign, with Jose Mourinho leaving him out of the squad at times.
The United boss made his dissatisfaction clear both publicly and behind the scenes last term – tough love that appears to be having the desired effect with highly-talented Martial.
The 21-year-old took his tally for this campaign to four goals – already halfway to last season’s total – with Wednesday’s man-of-the-match display as United beat Burton 4-1.
Martial produced some outstanding football in the Carabao Cup third-round tie and fellow goalscorer Lingard said: “When he is running at you, any defender is going to be put on the back foot.
“If he continues to do that throughout the season, he’ll be a force this season.
“I thought we dominated the game throughout. With the pace we had up front, we pressed them early on and the early goal helped us a lot.
“It puts them on the back foot and starts us off on the front foot and we wanted more goals after that.”
Martial scored United’s only second-half goal, complementing Lingard’s earlier deflected effort and a brace from Marcus Rashford.
The 19-year-old was deployed in his favoured central attacking position as Romelu Lukaku was rested and impressed at Old Trafford.
“If he plays down the middle, he is bound to score goals,” Lingard told MUTV when asked about Rashford.
“He’s got the pace to beat players and he has got the composure in front of goal as well.”
Mourinho called it a positive night all-round for United as his much-changed side progressed without picking up an injury or so much as a card.
There was also an important 45 minutes for England left-back Luke Shaw, who made a half-time return from the foot ligament issue sustained at the end of April.
“He did very well,” Lingard added. “He came on at a comfortable score, so he’s come into a game where he can get on the ball and make things happen.”
While United displayed their strength in depth, Burton’s nine changes was always likely to make life difficult for the Sky Bet Championship side.
Lloyd Dyer slammed home a late consolation to give the travelling support something to cheer about on the Brewers’ second ever trip to Old Trafford.
“Their quality shone through with £180million on the pitch, never mind what’s on the bench,” Burton boss Nigel Clough said.
“They are always going to carve you open at will and unfortunately scored with their first two shots.
“We honestly thought that playing the team we did gave us the best chance of a result tonight as they were fresh.
“We didn’t sit 10 men behind the ball as we didn’t want to do that. We might as well try and score and create chances.”
Provided by Press Association Sport