In its annual results, published this week, the club admitted it had spent £550,000 defending itself – unsuccessfully – against the OFT’s claims that it had fixed the prices of replica football shirts.
Most of the money was paid to two firms of lawyers, but finance director Nick Humby admitted that some was spent on ‘a small piece of accounting work’ by the Big Four firm.
The club said it was ‘disappointed’ by the decision, adding that ‘the fine of £1.65m has been fully provided for in these results as an exceptional item’. It has launched an appeal.
Manchester United reported 18% growth in turnover last year to £173m.
Although staff costs increased by 12% to £79.5m, the club’s wages to turnover ratio dropped to 46%.
This means Manchester United has one of the lowest wage-to-turnover ratios of any club.
Humby said: ‘We will not spend more than 50% of our turnover on player wages. That gives you an envelope of money to spend on wages as a whole.’
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