Glazers 'set standards of excellence'
United commercial director Richard Arnold insists the Glazer family's ownership is consistent with the demands made by Sir Alex Ferguson. Arnold has just come off the back of a remarkable week, even by United's standards, which included the announcement of three sponsorship contracts and offered further proof of how successful a new 'territorial' approach to commercial arrangements is being. After three years with United, Arnold's team have increased commercial revenues - which do not include income from ticket sales - substantially. Indeed, since the Glazer family completed their controversial takeover in 2005, commercial income has gone up 65.25% to £69.9million, due in no small part to the owners' approach to their business. "They set a standard of excellence off the pitch that is consistent with the standard Sir Alex sets on it," said Arnold. They are willing to explore new things. "They give us freedom and investment to try different ways of doing things. That has generated the results we are now seeing." For all the anti-Glazer rhetoric and the visual impact the green and gold campaign is having around United, it is perhaps being ignored that, at a time of worldwide economic strife, the Old Trafford outfit is raking in cash like never before. Instead of securing sweeping sponsorship contracts, which tends to be the case in football, a more regionalised approach has been implemented. It allowed United to cement a deal to give Telekom Malaysia exclusive on-line content rights in Malaysia, and another for mobile content rights to MTN in South Africa. In between, on a broader scale, Turkish Airlines became United's airline partner and will ferry them to and from European matches, plus their regular pre-season tours, which this year is likely to have them heading for the USA in July. "In some ways the strategy that has been conceived has been three years in the making," Arnold added. "In the last six to nine months we have really seen the results of that. "But when you look at the work that has been done, the opportunities we still have and the areas where we can be so much better than we are already, really, we are only taking the baby steps in terms of what we can do. "We have huge potential to do better things."
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