PwC scores as United red card Grant Thornton.

Manchester United has sacked Grant Thornton as auditor after 10 years and replaced it with PricewaterhouseCoopers following a beauty parade.

In a statement Grant Thornton said the firm would cease to handle the financial affairs of Manchester United Football plc with effect from November 2000 and that the decision was taken by directors following a tender.

At the same time the club announced Price Waterhouse-trained FD David Gill had been promoted to deputy chief executive while retaining his financial director responsibilities.

Man Utd’s company secretary David Beswitherick said that after 10 years it was felt the audit should be put out to tender. He said cost had been one factor but ultimately the decision had come down to which firm ‘came across well’.

The news came as the club revealed a fall in pre-tax profits to #16.7m, compared with #22.4m the previous year. A fall in gate receipts following the club’s withdrawal from the FA cup and a hike in players’ wages contributed to the decline in profits. Paul Scholes, pictured above while in training for the England squad’s world cup qualifier against Germany this weekend, is thought to be paid in excess of #20,000 a year.

Last year Grant Thornton’s audit fee was #46,000, though the firm earned #131,000 in non-audit fees.

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