Manchester United CEO Expects Tech Giants to Bid for Live Rights

Ed Woodward

GETTYEd Woodward spoke out about Man Utd's finances today

United, whose top players include Paul Pogba and summer signing Romelu Lukaku, are now joint top of the English Premier League.

English premier league Manchester United (MUFC) announced record revenues and profits Thursday in the club's latest set of annual figures.

They have also qualified for the Champions League after winning the second-tier Europa League last season.

Woodward, United's non executive vice chairman, sits on the Uefa strategy board where he says there is an increased appetite for a stricter approach.

Controlled by the American Glazer family and with its shares traded in New York, United forecast revenue of between 575 million pounds and 585 million pounds in 2017-18.

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The club turnover was 784 million USA dollars with profits of 109 million US dollars, accounts for the year ending June 2017 show.

'We concluded a successful 2016-17 season with a total of three trophies and a return to Champions League football, ' he said. However, they had to settle for fifth place in the 20-team Premier League. Not long after Woodward had told investors on Thursday's conference call to discuss United's latest annual accounts that he "absolutely" expects Amazon and Facebook to "enter the mix" when negotiations for the rights begin later this year, he was asked what football was doing to get a grip on transfer fees during a summer when the market went insane.

It will be interesting to see if Amazon and Facebook do challenge Sky for the United Kingdom and European rights to the EPL. "I think it's going to be increasingly important to digitally engage with fans, and we think we can be complementary to partners like this coming in".

Facebook failed with a $600 million (£444 million) bid for cricket's Indian Premier League's overseas rights, and the digital companies could either bid for the domestic or overseas rights to English's football's top tier.

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