Chinedu EzeIfedigbo February 8, 2018

The social media frenzy surrounding Alexis Sanchez’s high-profile
move to Manchester United dwarfed interest shown when Neymar
moved from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, executive vice-
chairman Ed Woodward said Thursday.
Sanchez joined United from Premier League rivals Arsenal last month
in a deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan go the other way and has made
an immediate impact on and off the pitch, scoring on his home debut
and setting a new record for shirt sales.
“Alexis Sanchez has set a new January signing record in terms of shirt
sales — three times that previous record,” Woodward said in United’s
earnings report conference call for the second quarter of the 2017-18
financial year.
“Last month we further invested in the future of the club by extending
Jose Mourinho’s contract and entering into an exchange agreement
with Arsenal swapping Mkhitaryan for Sanchez, strengthening Jose’s
attacking options.”
He said the signing generated some striking social media statistics.
“It was the biggest United post on Instagram with two million likes and
comments, the most shared United Facebook post ever, the most
retweeted United post ever and #Alexis7 was the number one trending
topic on Twitter worldwide,” said Woodward.
“To put all that into context, the announcement posts generated 75 per
cent more interaction than the sale of the world’s most expensive
player last summer when Neymar moved from Barcelona to PSG.”
– United loss –
United, second in the Premier League, blamed US President Donald
Trump’s corporate tax reforms as the reason for a £29 million ($40
million) second-quarter loss to the end of December 2017, despite a
boom in broadcast income.
American-owned United said an exceptional “accounting write-off of
£48.8 million” had been made with the US corporate tax rate set to
tumble from 35 percent to 21 percent following Trump’s substantive
enactment of US tax reform in December.
Several large corporations have signalled that the law will result in a
short-term hit on earnings repatriated from overseas and due to
revaluation of assets.
United, who recently retained their place at the top of Deloitte’s Money
League, saw broadcast income rise 17.3 percent to £61.6 million
thanks in large part to the club’s return to the Champions League.
Total revenue for the quarter was up nearly four percent from last year
to £163.9 million.
Another wave of TV cash could be around the corner, with bids for a
new three-year cycle for Premier League TV rights in Britain from
2019-2022 to be presented on Friday.
The Premier League is aiming to build on the record £5.14 billion
three-year domestic television deal with Sky Sports and BT Sport,
which runs until 2019.
In a bid to keep the price of rights rising and encourage potential other
bidders such as tech giants Amazon and Facebook, 200 games will be
broadcast live, up from 168 in the current deal, in a range of packages.
The expected bonanza from both for domestic and overseas TV rights
saw English clubs spend a record £430 million in the January transfer
window.
United’s latest financial figures do not include Sanchez’s deal, but
wages did increase by 9.4 per cent to £69.6 million, also in part
caused by bonuses resulting from the club’s Champions League
return.


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