European absence to take financial toll on Manchester United

LONDON - Manchester United's (MANU.N: Quote, Profile, Research) revenue and profit is set to fall in 2014-15, the English football club said on Wednesday, paying the price for missing out on European games this season and underlying the value of a swift return to the Champions League.

United, 20 times English champions, reported revenue of 433 million pounds ($698 million) in the year to the end of June, and core profit of 130 million pounds, both record figures thanks to improved TV and sponsorship deals.

The team finished only seventh in the Premier League last season, which meant that they failed to qualify for a place in the lucrative European Champions League for this campaign.

As a consequence, United forecast a decline in revenue to 385-395 million pounds in the current year, and profit of between 90 and 95 million pounds.

United have responded to last season's poor form by recruiting Dutchman Louis van Gaal as manager and spending around 150 million pounds to improve the team.

"With Louis van Gaal at the helm as manager, and the recent signing of some of the world's leading players to further strengthen our squad, we are very excited about the future and believe it's the start of a new chapter in the club's history," executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement.

United, majority owned by the American Glazer family, have signed Argentine winger Angel di Maria from Real Madrid and also recruited Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, who joined on loan from Monaco.