United to ink airline deal

by Neil Sherwin

Manchester United may be £716 million in debt but they are still proving to be an attractive prospect for suppliers with news that a deal has been agreed with Turkish Airlines.

The three year contract will see Air Asia replaced as the club’s official airline, and a similar deal between the Turkish company and Spanish giants Barcelona is rumoured to be worth in the region of £2.7 million.

The deal is expected to be comfirmed shortly, though club officials have so far declined to comment on it.

The club’s account information was released earlier this week and shows a current debt of £716 million. Despite this, income from sponsorship rose by 48% in the past 12 months, not including the £80 million shirt deal with US finance company Aon which takes effect next season.

The ownership of United has been a hot topic recently with news that the Glazer family are considering raising £500m through a bond issue to refinance the debts, much to the annoyance of supporters.

Also included in the report was the £80.7 million received from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid last summer.

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