Manchester United chief executive David Gill insists there is no pressure to sell star players such as Wayne Rooney despite the club making losses of £83.6million.
Gill said the club would still prefer to have "Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch than £80million in the bank" as proof of their desire to keep players. Although United's group operating profit topped £100.7million, after player-related costs, interest payments and a number of expensive one-off costs related to the bond issue, overall there was a record loss for the club.
Gill said the accounts released today were "very good" with excellent revenues, and said there should be no concern about United going down the same road as Liverpool, whose American co-owners have struggled to finance their ownership. The United chief executive did admit the figures could be confusing to fans who saw a record turnover of £286million for the year ending June 2010 contrasting with the record losses of £83.6million.
For the previous year the club had returned a net profit of £48.2million thanks to the sale of Ronaldo, but Gill said the Glazer family who own United had not pushed for that move, nor would they for any other player. He added that United's balance sheet includes £165million remaining in the bank if Sir Alex Ferguson wants to buy new players.
In an interview with Press Association Sport, Gill said: "We are not a club that needs to sell. We have money in the bank so there is zero pressure on that, no pressure at all to sell any star player whether it is Wayne Rooney or X,Y or Z. I can categorically say that.
"There was no desire at all from anyone at the club to sell Cristiano - he wanted to go and as a result we managed to extract a world record fee. These philosophy is to retain and attract the best players. We have £165million in the bank but in some ways we would prefer to have £80million in the bank and Ronaldo on the pitch."